We support filmmakers and the power of documentaries.
Focused on real people and true stories, documentaries have the power to change our perspectives, strengthen our culture and drive social change. Rogers Group of Funds helps to bring these stories to life.
Documentary Audience Research (conducted in 2018 by Leger) found that the vast majority of respondents – 90% – agree it’s important that Canadians have access to Canadian content, and 79% would like to see more Canadian documentaries in the future. Rogers Group of Funds plays an important role in exposing young audiences to the power of documentaries, supporting emerging talent, and celebrating excellence.
Rogers Group of Funds is the lead sponsor of the Hot Docs Docs for Schools program, an initiative that uses documentaries as a tool to engage and educate kids, teaching students critical thinking and appreciation for non-fiction storytelling. In consultation with educators, Hot Docs develops detailed film education packages including lesson plans linked to provincial curriculum. It’s a fresh way for students to explore art, economics, environment, geography, history, media studies, politics, science, and world issues. Since 2006, Docs for Schools has served 110,000 Ontario students in more than 300 middle schools, and has expanded into British Columbia and Alberta in 2018, capturing the imaginations of the next generation of doc watchers – and doc makers.
But, even with a great story to tell, how can a documentary filmmaker break into the business, get funding, find an outlet or platform, and connect with an audience? We support The DOC Institute’s signature program, Breakthrough, an intensive four-month market preparation course for high-potential filmmakers making local productions, preparing them to pitch and sell their creations at Hot Docs. Beginning in 2019, Rogers Group of Funds, together with the CBC, elevated the program by sponsoring the Breakthrough Development Award, a prize awarded to two filmmakers, each receiving a $20,000 cash prize and a CBC development deal to help bring their project to life.
Rogers Group of Funds also sponsors festivals and funds major prizes. Rogers-funded prizes include “Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary” (Hot Docs), “Best Canadian Program” (Banff International Film Festival), “VIFF Best Canadian Documentary” (Vancouver International Film Festival), and “Ted Rogers Best Theatrical Documentary” (Canadian Screen Awards) and “Rogers Best Canadian Film Award” (Toronto Film Critic’s Association) – one of the country’s richest awards). Recognizing and celebrating storytelling excellence, these prizes and awards total almost $200,000 each year.