Factual spotlight: Knowledge Network


As part of Playback sister publication realscreen’s annual Global Pitch Guide, released each fall, Playback over the next several days will feature a series of profiles with leading Canadian factual commissioners; they will include intel on what they’re looking for now, how to pitch, and what they pay.


Murray Battle, director of independent production and presentation

CONTACT INFO: Pitching guidelines can be found at knowledge.ca/producers


INTERNATIONAL COPROS: Inter-provincial and international treaty copros are welcome, but for the latter, ownership needs to remain with the Canadian producer.

WHAT HE’S LOOKING FOR: Knowledge Network is British Columbia’s 24-hour arts and culture network and public educational broadcaster. It commissions original docs for its flagship strand Storyville – inspired by the BBC strand of the same name – a two-hour slot that accommodates both feature length and one-hour films.

Knowledge accepts proposals from producers across Canada but preference is given to producers from British Columbia, as well as pre-buy and acquired programming from around the world. Proposals must come from an incorporated company.

“Our priority is for filmmaker-driven creative documentaries that entertain, enlighten and challenge our viewers,” says Battle. “We will consider arts documentaries if they go beyond the traditional biopic and reflect larger social themes. The priority is to find strong stories that will engage our audience and stand the test of time.”

WHAT THEY PAY: The network’s license fees are meant to represent only a portion of a total budget, according to the producer’s portal. On first window commissions, Knowledge might invest up to CDN$60,000 in license fees and will negotiate a role in development and production. Second window is up to $10,000 for projects which have secured a lead broadcaster elsewhere in Canada.