Orca Cove Media unveils doc feature slate in rebrand

The former Drama Camp Productions banner, led by Harold C. Joe and Leslie D. Bland, is focusing on First Nations storytelling, while currently in production on the feature A Cedar is Life.

Victoria-based prodco Drama Camp Productions has unveiled its documentary production slate along with a brand new company name.

Orca Cove Media is led by Cowichan filmmaker Harold C. Joe and producer Leslie D. Bland, who launched the First Nations-focused prodco as a joint venture under the banner Less Bland Productions.

The company is currently in production on the documentary A Cedar is Life, written, directed and produced by Joe and Bland, which explores how cedar trees are essential to the West Coast First Nations. Production started in March, with filming taking place in Victoria, Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii before wrapping in late summer.

A Cedar is Life is produced in participation with Super Channel, CHEK TV, the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Creative BC and the Rogers Documentary Fund. The film is expected to run in the 2022 film festival circuit and no theatrical distributor is currently attached. Super Channel holds first window broadcast rights, expected to run in spring 2023, with CHEK TV holding second window rights.

Orca Cove wrapped production in B.C. on another documentary, Tzouhalem, at the beginning of 2021. Also written, directed and produced by Joe and Bland, the doc explores the life of historical figure Cowichan Chief Tzouhalem and how his story has been passed down through generations. The film is produced in participation of CHEK TV, Super Channel, CMF and the Indigenous Screen Office

Tzouhalem is expected to screen in film festivals this fall with Orca Cove potentially self-distributing theatrically in winter 2022. CHEK TV holds first window broadcast rights, expected to premiere in March 2022, with Super Channel holding the second window rights.

Previous Less Bland projects include the docuseries Dust N’ Bones, which premiered on Telus Storyhive’s YouTube channel. In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Joe is a cultural worker and archeology consultant who has been challenging museums, universities and private collectors to transfer the remains and artifacts to traditional territories for proper burials for four decades. The docuseries is framed around the pending transfer of items out of the Royal BC Museum.

Bland has more than 150 film and TV credits, including as the producer and director behind the doc Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood.

“We are excited to continue to create films, TV series, and digital media projects under this new brand,” said Joe in a statement. “Orca Cove will give Indigenous people the chance to share their stories with both domestic and international audiences.”

Image: Unsplash