CBC's blog

Wednesday, May 6 at 8 p.m. ET on Documentary

Ten years after directing the Academy Award®-nominated Blood Ties, director Steven Cantor revisits renowned photographer Sally Mann and her family and examines the subjects of her photographic series.

In the film, Mann reflects on her personal feelings towards death as she continues to examine the boundaries of contemporary photography. Mann’s willingness to reveal her artistic process as it unfolds allows the viewer to gain exclusive entrance into her world. Spanning five years, Cantor’s film contains unbridled access to the many stages of Mann’s work.

Wednesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. ET on Documentary

An intimate portrait of a fiercely determined Cree woman who left behind a bleak existence on the streets, Donna’s Story is a moving tale of her search for a better life. Raised in foster homes, addicted to drugs and a prostitute at 13, viewers will witness Donna’s motivation to turn her life around, her work to keep others off the streets and the renewal of personal relationships with her family and children.

Tuesday, May 5 at 8 p.m. ET on Documentary

Since 1998, Venezuela has followed a resolutely revolutionary path. Leading the way is President Hugo Chavez, who provokes strong reactions from all sides. Not only does Chavez want to liberate the Venezuelan people, he wants to help the whole world rid itself of North American imperialism. Is he a freedom fighter or a dangerous madman? In the heat of revolutionary struggles, greatness and madness can be hard to tell apart. When idealism is the only guide, there is a constant risk of losing control. And threats come from every direction, even from within.

Monday, May 4 at 8 p.m. ET on Documentary

This film intimately depicts the face of terror and survival through three portraits, or ‘rooms,’ of the aftermath of the Chechen War. Finnish director Pirjo Honkasalo opens the documentary at a boys’ military school outside of St. Petersburg, Russia. He then travels to the rubble that remains of Grozny, the capital city of Chechnya. In a place of lost children—orphans of the war zone—viewers are introduced to a woman going door-to-door to help those in need. Finally, in the bordering Muslim republic of Ingusheiyah, a village sacrifices a ram in the name of Allah. The camera once again finds the young ones, who weep when asked to reflect upon what they have lost.

Sunday, May 3 at 8 p.m. ET on Documentary

Funny and sensitive, this documentary is a journey into the strange subculture of geriatric bodybuilders and the story of a son getting to know his father. The Body Builder and I chronicles filmmaker Bryan Friedman’s heartfelt and humorous journey as he attempts to reconnect with his estranged father, Bill. At the ago of 60, Bill is determined to regain his status as champion in the unconventional and surprisingly fierce world of geriatric bodybuilding in Canada.

Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m. ET on Documentary

This documentary is a story about how humans deal with change, as heard through the ears of a man going blind. On his 18th birthday, Ryan Knighton was told he would slowly go blind. Now, 15 years later, as he loses his last sliver of sight, he wants to travel to an ancient church in Germany to hear the note change in the 639-year-long organ performance of the John Cage composition “As Slow as Possible.”

Friday, May 1 at 10 p.m.  ET (1/2 hour telecast) on Documentary

Lisa was raised in the right part of town, she went to the right schools, had the right friends. But somewong the way something went terribly wrong. At age 37, Lisa is an estranged mother of one, and a crack addict who prostitutes herself to help support her drug habit. Get a glimpse into the harsh reality and chaotic lifestyle of drug addiction. This film will force you to examine all of your stereotypes about the addicted—in a sometimes-shocking way.here al

Friday, May 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Documentary

In spring 2003, award-winning filmmaker James Miller and reporter Saira Shah set out to explore the culture of hate that permeates the Middle East. Miller and Shah captured the lives of three Palestinian children growing up in the bullet-riddled streets of Gaza. They had also planned to film the lives of Israeli children but, in the midst of production, Miller was shot to death by an Israeli tank, falling victim to the very conflict he covered.

Thursday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET on Documentary

In this film, Serge Giguère observes people between the ages of 72 and 94 years old as they play instruments, paint, make model airplanes, work the land or take pleasure in antiques. Observing them in their everyday activities, he weaves together fragments of their lives to create a vibrant and colourful mosaic.

CBC New Season Shows

CBC Television today announced its 2009/2010 Arts & Entertainment and Factual prime-time programming, featuring two new comedies, a one-hour comedy-drama and two reality-based series, in addition to popular returning series.

“We look forward to another great season of entertaining, new homegrown series, as well as the return of many audience favourites,” said Kirstine Layfield, CBC’s executive director of network programming. “Plenty of surprises are in store with this all-Canadian lineup.”

Fall Premieres

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is an elimination-style challenge that teams up Canada’s top figure skaters with this country’s most daring and versatile hockey stars to compete against one another each week in a glitzy pairs figure skating performance.

THE RON JAMES SHOW showcases the talents of renowned comedian Ron James and his always entertaining, poetically charged observations on life in the modern world.

CANADA’S SUPER SPELLER, hosted by Evan Solomon, is a spelling game show/ elimination series that sees 12 young finalists vie for the crown of Canada’s Super Speller.

Winter Premieres

18 TO LIFE is the highly anticipated domestic comedy about a couple that does the unthinkable: they get married at the tender age of 18. Obviously their parents and even their friends disapprove, but they are determined that love will conquer all.

THE REPUBLIC OF DOYLE is a one-hour comedic drama about a father-son team of private investigators. Set against the rugged beauty of St. John’s Newfoundland, it’s an original, entertaining glimpse into the dynamics of the dysfunctional Doyle clan.