Tag Archives: OMNI

Rogers OMNI Funds Contriversal Doc.

TORONTO – January 10th, 2007 – Canada was the first country in the world to have an official Multiculturalism Policy. Now, more 30 years later, the “M Word” has become an integral part of our national identity for some and for others, a national disgrace. At the first sign of disquiet in any part of the world – be it 9/11, the Paris riots or bombing in Thailand – Canada’s Multiculturalism Policy is called into question.

The M Word, a new OMNI-funded documentary from Third Element Productions, takes an unflinching look at the state of multiculturalism in Canada by confronting head-on such hot-button issues as:

·  Is Canada’s Multiculturalism Policy a political expedient of bygone Liberal days, which can be withdrawn at a politician’s whim? Or is it part of our legal fabric? 

·  Is multiculturalism failing the very people it is supposed to help?

·  Do we create programs to give young people a sense of belonging that they need and deserve? Or do we force integration and assimilation?

“Rogers OMNI Television is proud to support The M Word; our own history as a diversity broadcaster is as a result of a demand from various ethnocultural communities for reflection on television and a forum to share their diverse stories,” says Madeline Ziniak, Vice President and Station Manager. “With the current climate of events casting doubt on multiculturalism, the very reason we exist, OMNI is an eager participant in the project and welcomes its exploration of wide-ranging points of view.” 

Prominent Canadians helping to take the pulse of multiculturalism today in The M Word include:

·  Former Supreme Court Justice – Frank Iacobucci;

·  Strategic Counsel Chair - Allan Gregg;

·  Aboriginal lawyer and stand-up comic – Candy Palmater;

·  South Asian Legal Clinic Executive Director – Uzma Shakir.

The M Word also profiles Regent Park Focus, a unique film program for diverse youth who are striving to understand their own role and heritage within the Canadian mosaic, and invites a balance of further perspectives from an assortment of community leaders and associations such as: Dr. Henry Bishop, Curator for the Black Cultural Centre; Sid Ikeda of Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Debbie Douglas, Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI).

The M Word was exclusively funded through OMNI’s Independent Producers Initiative, a $32.5 million independent production fund that to date has supported over 200 new documentary programmes. Interested producers can access funding criteria @ http://www.omnitv.ca/ontario/info/funds.

OMNI wins CAB Gold Ribbon

TORONTO (November 7, 2006) – This morning as part of “New Realities, New Rules,” the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) 80th Anniversary convention in Vancouver, Rogers OMNI Television was awarded another CAB Gold Ribbon – for the second year in a row - in the Documentaries & Public Affairs category. Winner this year was Let’s Talk About It, a first-hand look at domestic violence through the eyes of victimized children, marking not only OMNI-TV’s second consecutive award in this category, but also another triumph for an independently produced ethnic/third-language documentary resulting from OMNI’s multi-million dollar funding initiatives.

“On behalf of Let’s Talk About It, Rogers OMNI Television is proud to be acknowledged by the CAB with private broadcasting’s most prestigious honour for this timely and socially significant Canadian production,” says Madeline Ziniak, Vice President and Station Manager of OMNI Television. “This award further underlines the importance of third language accessible documentaries in a national context.”

Let’s Talk About It was produced by Noemi Weis of Filmblanc (the same production house that won the CAB Gold Ribbon last year for Gloriously Free) and directed by Deepa Mehta. Under Mehta’s direction, the children of several victims of domestic violence – all of them from immigrant families – were armed with a video camera and told to ask their parents “any question you want about the abuse.” The resulting production, with its spontaneous tell-it-like-it-is conversations between parent and child, powerfully demonstrated how domestic violence can be born in certain cultural and ethnic traditions and beliefs; ultimately, Let’s Talk About It exists as a catalyst for open dialogue and discussion among all ethnic and cultural communities.

In addition to English, Let’s Talk About It was versioned Punjabi and Spanish. The project made its debut on OMNI Television in fall of 2005, and has been screened frequently, including at such events as “Finding Common Ground,” the Ontario Women’s Directorate November 2005 conference on reducing domestic violence, featuring a keynote address from Gloria Steinem. 

Let’s Talk About It was produced with 100 percent funding from OMNI’s Independent Producers Initiative, a $32.5 million independent production fund and seven-year funding commitment created and made available by OMNI Television for independent producers to create third-language/ethnocultural programming. The documentaries will be broadcast in their original language and transcreated into English as well as a range of other languages.