July 2008

David Cherniack

UFOs: THE SECRET HISTORY, a remarkable new feature-length documentary by distinguished Toronto filmmaker David Cherniack.

This illuminating documentary, four years in the making, will have its World Broadcast Premiere on History Television in Canada on Tuesday, July 15 at 8 PM ET/PT as the highlight of that network’s “UFO
Week”. The documentary airs within days of the 61st anniversary of the legendary July 1947 incident at Roswell, New Mexico, that launched the public’s fascination with UFOs and our culture’s now extensive
mythology surrounding extraterrestrial visitors.

Unlike previous films dealing with the subject, UFOs: THE SECRET HISTORY is the first definitive history of Unidentified Flying Objects (“UFOs”) since the first ‘sighting’ at Washington State’s Mt. Ranier
in June 1947, and shows how that history shaped, and has in turn been shaped by, our own evolving culture.

That 1947 Mt. Ranier sighting (followed by the Roswell incident only two weeks later) was also important because the story of how the momentous question “Are we being visited?” arose, evolved, and was
eventually dismissed by much of mainstream culture tells us much about our civilization, its hopes, its fears, and its secret workings. UFOs: THE SECRET HISTORY tells that story, from 1947 to the present.

Toronto-based David Cherniack has been intrigued by UFOs since he was a ‘boy astronomer’ in Winnipeg, when he experienced what he whimsically refers to as ‘a near sighting’. Following a degree in Physics
at the University of Manitoba, he travelled the world, lived in a cave in Crete, and eventually decided to study film at the renowned Prague Film Academy, arriving in that city just prior to the 1968
events now known as Prague Spring. Four years later he returned to Canada and became one of the founders of the Winnipeg Film Group, later moving to Toronto. In a long and distinguished career he has made
over 60 documentaries. As a respected documentary filmmaker for such programs as The Nature of Things and Man Alive, he returned to the topic that had intrigued him since childhood, making two films about
UFOs and extra-terrestrials for CBC.

Now, with UFOs: THE SECRET HISTORY, produced for History Television, he tells the strange and absorbing history of what may be one of the great untold stories of our times in a remarkable film: ambitious
in its scope; unique in its humour, insight and perspective; and entertainingly fashioned with stunning CGI, exclusive interviews, extensive location shooting, and fascinating archival material.

In the film, Cherniack has not taken a firm position in the ongoing, standard debate about UFOs that pits Believer vs. Debunker but reflects instead that, regardless of whether extra-terrestrial
visitations are actually going on, the UFO phenomenon has become our technological culture’s mythic way of providing meaning within the mystery of who we are as a race – locating us in an increasingly
immense universe and providing a vision of our future as we take our first baby steps towards the climactic instant when our childhood will come to its end.

Making the film took Cherniack four years, partly because he does most of the filmmaking tasks himself – he is the film’s producer, director, researcher, writer, cinematographer, editor, and narrator
(among other things)! A highlight in the making of the film was Cherniack’s four month long journey in a rented 31-foot RV through 5 Canadian provinces and 38 U.S. states, interviewing subjects for the
film and visiting locations important to the history of UFOs.

The phenomenal success of the High School Musical experience is brought to life this summer in an all-new original reality series that features talented teens as they compete for a chance of a lifetime on High School Musical: Get in the Picture, debuting Sunday, July 20 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV. Airing Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET for three weeks, then continuing on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET through the end of the summer, the series is hosted by actor, singer/songwriter Nick Lachey. Up for grabs – an appearance in the next High School Musical feature film and contracts with ABC and Walt Disney Records.

A multi-episode competition reality series, High School Musical: Get in the Picture follows Lachey and the HSM faculty, a team of casting scouts with an impressive list of credits from Broadway, television and film. With plenty of surprises from the international phenomenon, this much-anticipated series brings the incredibly successful High School Musical experience to life. The casting scouts have welcomed anyone and everyone ages 16-22 who has dreamed of being centre stage. Whether it is the high school quarterback who’s never tried out for a play but has a song in his heart, the drama club extrovert looking to break into the big time, someone looking to trade the chess club routine for a dance routine – they all are invited to “Get’cha head in the game,” as the hit song says! The finalists will ultimately participate in a summer music program to hone their skills.

At the end of the series run, one teen will be singled out for prizes that will include starring in a music video in the end credits of the feature film, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, opening in theaters this fall. In addition, the winner will also receive an exclusive talent hold agreement with ABC and a recording contract for two singles with Walt Disney Records, one of which will be a version of the song from the music video.

The HSM faculty includes Rob Adler, a theatre actor and director; Tiana Brown, a renowned dancer with countless TV appearances under her belt; Montré Burton, a triple-threat talent in theatre, song and dance; Jennifer Malenke, a stage actor and voice coach; Chris Pinzo, a theatre, TV, film and radio performer, and theatre instructor; and Regina Williams, an actress, dancer and innovative choreographer credited as the originator of hip-hop in dance studios.

All Aboard! Mighty Ships Reveals the Secret Mechanics Behind the World’s Most Sophisticated Vessels Beginning July 22

Leaving 24-hour buffets, deck-side cocktail parties and peppy cruise activity directors to “tamer” ships, Discovery Channel climbs aboard to offer an exclusive look at some of the coolest working vessels in the world with the premiere of its new original Canadian series, Mighty Ships.

Premiering Tues., July 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel (and then following on Discovery HD on Sun., July 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), each episode of the six-part series provides unprecedented access to everything above and below deck, from the mechanics of modern sea-going to the human dramas facing seafarers. Whether it’s cargo container ships, ice-breakers or livestock carriers, Mighty Ships is as much about what happens inside the ship as the journey each vessel makes.

Building on the success of Discovery Channel’s Canadian special Mighty Ships: Queen Mary 2, this new original series provides the most exclusive access to some of the world’s most extraordinary working ships.

Shot entirely in High Definition, Mighty Ships features 5.1 surround sound and stunning visuals from aboard these vessels, as it explores the mechanics of the actual ships and the intricate relationships of those aboard.

Meet the crew and staff who navigate these ships and find out what makes their jobs so unique – and sometimes – very challenging.

Hawaii

Erupting volcanoes, beach erosion and tiger sharks hitting the shore may not be the first thoughts that come to mind when imagining a trip to Hawaii, but they are all issues experts are dealing with in the Aloha State. See how science is offering innovative solutions to these challenges in the latest installment of the hit Canadian series, MegaWorld.

Premiering Sun., July 13 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD, MegaWorld: Hawaii explores the latest developments in marine biology, geology, technology and construction in one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations.

Hosted by Kevin Brauch (da Vinci: Unlocking the Genius, Thirsty Traveller), this one hour special serves up more than stunning vistas and unique landscapes.

MegaWorld: Hawaii reveals some of the coolest and quirkiest stories coming out of the archipelago, including a look at the science behind creating aerodynamic surf boards, the art behind mapping flowing lava from the world’s most active volcano and the technology behind sailing in an advanced wave-powered boat.

Canadian Idol Top 16 Group 1

It’s that time again. The first group of the Top 16 from Canadian Idol perform tonight

Martin Kerr
Coldplay - X & Y - Fix You Fix You
1-866-943-6501

The performance sounds a little empty compared to the original. Definitely not the same passion but the vocal was solid.

Theo Tams
Colbie Caillat - Coco - Bubbly Bubbly
1-866-943-6502

Great song by Colbie Caillat and a reasonably good performance by Theo. Singing a song by someone of the opposite sex is going to reduce the comparisons but it still didn’t seem as perky as I would have expected.

Amberly Thiessen
Jason Mraz - Waiting for My Rocket to Come - You and I Both You and I Both
1-866-943-6503

Again, another song by someone of the opposite sex. In this instance though, there are some cracks in Amberly’s voice which aren’t going to do her any favours.

Adam Castelli
Bobby Darin - The Legendary Bobby Darin - If I Were a Carpenter If I were a Carpenter
1-866-943-6504

This was by far Adam’s worst vocal performance. It started off shaky, was reasonable in the middle and ended shaky again.

Marie-Pierre Bellerose
Janis Joplin - Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits - Piece of My Heart Piece of My Heart
1-866-943-6505

That was fantastic. The only criticism would be that she sounds exactly like Janis Joplin. Is impersonation worse than karaoke though?

Omar Lunan
Ronan Keating - If Tomorrow Never Comes - Single - If Tomorrow Never Comes If Tomorrow Never Comes
1-866-943-6506

Are the monitors not working tonight? The vocals are all sounding off. I really don’t like this version of what is normally quite a good song.

Mark Day
Phil Collins - Phil Collins: Hits - Against All Odds Against All Odds
1-866-943-6507

Again, what is it with the audio tonight? It really sounds as if everyone was struggling to hear the band tonight. I agree that it sounded a little over sung but I think that was definitely highlighted by the other problems.

Mookie Morris
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black: B-Sides - Valerie Valerie
1-866-943-6508

I guess they had to save the best for last. Poor sound aside, it makes no difference to Mookie’s performance tonight. He’s still a star.

So, by my calculations, we have to say goodbye to 3 from group one this week. Adam, Mark and Martin are my picks to not make the Top 10 from this group. What do you think?

Tune in to the American Film Institute’s black-tie tribute to Warren Beatty’s illustrious career in film, Sunday, July 6 on Citytv.

Actor Warren Beatty was recently celebrated by the American Film Institute when he received the 36th Annual Life Achievement Award in front of family, friends and peers. Many notable celebrities participated in the tribute, including Al Pacino, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Julie Christie, President Bill Clinton, Robert Downey Jr., Jane Fonda, Gene Hackman, Goldie Hawn, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton, Harvey Keitel, Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Towne.

The festivities included a moving tribute to the legacy left by the passing of screen titan Charlton Heston, a musical performance by bluegrass banjo pioneer Early Scruggs as well as a performance by Pras and Amerie.

With nearly a half-century of acting, producing, directing and writing under his belt, Warren Beatty joins the distinguished list of recipients of AFI’s Life Achievement Award which includes such Hollywood legends as Al Pacino, Sean Connery, George Lucas, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood.

The Comedy Network is now accepting online auditions for The Comedy Network’s testosterone-fueled production, Keys to the VIP.

Wanna-be “playas” can now upload two to five minutes of video showcasing their finest seduction skills in hopes of securing a chance to appear on Season 3 of Keys to the VIP, premiering this fall, exclusively on The Comedy Network.

Auditions close July 23.

Playas must be male and 19 years of age or older to audition.

Keys to the VIP is about the pursuit of women … and the men who think they have the game to get them.

Each episode of the half-hour series showcases the “skills” of two so-called studs in a nightclub battlefield as they compete against each other in three hilarious rounds of pick-up challenges.

The winners are chosen by the Keys’ expert panel, comprised of pick-up specialists Alen, Peachez, Sheldon, and Chris.

Dudes from all walks of life have a shot at instant fame, and a chance to win over the panel, the audience, and ultimately, the girl, by simply logging on to http://www.thecomedynetwork.ca.

CTV announced today that five sponsors have stepped into the spotlight to support Season 6 of Canadian Idol, which continues with the Top 16 performances beginning Monday, July 7 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV (go to idol.CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times). All five sponsors – Kraft, Procter & Gamble, TELUS, TD Canada Trust and Subway Restaurants – are returning sponsors, with Kraft back for its fifth straight season. The sponsorships for the new season include show integrations and an online presence.

Back for a fifth year with a major sponsorship is Kraft, with KD Cups presenting the Canadian Idol Hometown Tour.

Procter & Gamble – also a major sponsor for Season 6 – returns for its third year, and will focus on Pantene, Gillette Fusion and Gillette Venus as they take over the Backstage Beauty Zone, offering hair tips and tricks and feature in-show integrations and an online extension at idol.CTV.ca.

Returning for a third season is TELUS, with in-show and online sponsorship as Canadian Idol’s official SMS partner, which allows clients to text their votes for competitors from their TELUS phones (standard text messaging rates apply).

TD Canada Trust also returns for a third year, with plans for in-show and online presence, including the Canadian Idol photo gallery at idol.CTV.ca. In-show integration will once again focus on the “TD Canada Trust Comfort Zone,” but with a twist. It will be seen exclusively during the Top 10 phase of the competition and weekly segments will feature one of the Top 10 Idols getting comfortable in the iconic TD Canada Trust green chairs as they chat about the competition.

Finally, returning to Canadian Idol is Season 3 sponsor Subway Restaurants, appearing in-show and through online extensions at idol.CTV.ca with audition clips. Subway Restaurants branded cups will also be featured on the judges’ desk throughout the season.

With filming of four episodes of the highly anticipated new series Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… complete, CTV announced today the initial guest lineup for the groundbreaking new music television series. The series boasts an impressive international guest list which includes Sir Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, artist-director Julian Schnabel and former President Bill Clinton. Additional guests appearing this season will be announced soon. Production of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… continues this summer and fall; the series will premiere later this year on CTV and Bravo!

As previously announced, the Canada/United Kingdom co-production will air on CTV in Canada, Channel 4 in the UK and the Sundance Channel in the U.S. (broadcast schedule is yet to be announced). FremantleMedia Enterprises will handle sales of the show to the rest of the world.

Fusing the best of talk and music television, the first episode taped for this 13-part series invites viewers to enjoy an intimate conversation between host Elvis Costello and Spectacle Executive Producer Sir Elton John before they make music history by performing together for the first time on television.

“I’m hoping that future shows continue to embody the great joy, passion and celebration of music we’ve had thus far, mixed with rare poignant and powerful moments,” said Spectacle host Elvis Costello. “It’s early to say too much about Spectacle other than it has been a wonderful and surprising experience.”

“You very rarely get to hear what a great musician has to say. You’re on and off in five minutes,” said Sir Elton John. “This is an intelligent show hosted by an extremely intelligent man – with intelligent artists as guests … and to get this on tape is important. It’s very hard to do something like this … give Elvis 10 out of 10 for balls.”

“This eclectic group of international performers will not only provide memorable performances, but through the intimate environment of the show, viewers will also be exposed to a new side of some of their favourite musicians,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

“Elvis Costello plus three music legends, an art world maverick and one uniquely engaged former President of the United States produced some of the most insightful conversations about music (and a few other things), as well as a stack of extraordinary and original musical performances that were almost certainly once-in-a-lifetime moments. All in all, not a bad start,” said Executive Producer and creator Stephen Warden.

“My partners and I set out to make a program that we would want to watch. Spectacle is an unapologetically intelligent and massively entertaining show about music and contemporary culture that has no parallel in television today. Our first few episodes feature a knight, a president and the guitar player to the king,” added Executive Producer Martin Katz, referring to Sir Elton John, President Bill Clinton and James Burton, Elvis Presley’s long-time band member.

Additional musical special guests confirmed for this season include musicians Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve of The Imposters; guitarist James Burton, who played with Elvis Presley; legendary producer, pianist, writer, arranger and singer Allen Toussaint; three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist Charlie Haden; jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny, winner of 17 Grammy Awards; jazz pianist Bill Charlap; Larry Campbell and Tony Garnier of Bob Dylan’s touring band; keyboard player Kevin Hearn, of Barenaked Ladies; and violinist/vocalist Jenny Scheinman. More will be announced soon.

The series of 13 one-hour episodes of Spectacle will feature everything from intimate one-on-ones with legendary performers and notable newcomers to thematic panel discussions.

The program’s eclecticism and depth reflect its uniquely qualified host. Elvis Costello is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; a Grammy and Ivor Novello Award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) songwriter and performer comfortable in almost every genre imaginable; a musicologist of formidable breadth and knowledge; a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine; and a noted wit whose stint as guest host on The Late Show with David Letterman won rave reviews.

Consistent with Sir Elton John’s long-standing commitment to philanthropy and music, the series producers have struck an exciting association with the (Product) RED (www.joinred.com) campaign created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund (www.theglobalfund.org) to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. Select program excerpts and performances will be distributed in a variety of new media and conventional platforms, with a portion of the profits directed to the Global Fund.

The producers of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… are Stephen Warden, former music journalist and artist manager (Remy Shand) of reinvention entertainment; entertainment lawyer Jordan Jacobs (numerous Grammy and JUNO winners) of SpyBox Pictures; and film producer Martin Katz (Hotel Rwanda) of Prospero Pictures. The three, based in Toronto, formed Tri-Fi Productions to produce the series in partnership with David Furnish and Steve Hamilton-Shaw of Rocket Pictures. The series is produced in association with CTV, Sundance Channel, Channel 4 and FremantleMedia. Executive Producers are Sir Elton John, Elvis Costello, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton-Shaw, Jordan Jacobs, Martin Katz and Stephen Warden. Co-Executive Producer is Alex Coletti.

Global News Ontario presents a half-hour special feature “The Aging Journey,” a collection of stories from reporter Allison Vuchnich on the growing population of aging baby boomers and finding the necessary resources for ensuring proper care.

Premiering on Saturday, July 5th at 6:30 p.m. ET, News Hour anchor Leslie Roberts co-hosts alongside Vuchnich, highlighting these pertinent issues and much more. The special broadcast is geared to help Ontarians make informed decisions on how best to care for elderly parents, a concern that becomes increasingly relevant to more Canadians each year.

Statistics Canada project that by the year 2036, the number of seniors in our country will double to a staggering 9.8 million, as the baby boomers mature in age.

With this feature, Global News Ontario provides viewers important, in-depth information on what to look for when choosing a retirement home, how to navigate the long-term care system, as well as coping with the personal stress of how to best care for an aging family member.

Panellists Jane Meadus, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, and Donna Rubin, CEO of the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors join Roberts and Vuchnich to provide their insight into this booming demographic.