I'll Love You When You're a Star - The World of Leslie Caron
A feature-length documentary about Leslie Caron and the Golden Age of Hollywood
Leslie Caron, the beloved star of classic American cinema, is one of the last witnesses to a golden age of the 20th century. A great talent in the worlds of film, dance and theatre who continues to perform. Her recently-published memoirs Thank Heaven reveal the glamour, triumphs, and disappointments of a spectacular career and turbulent personal life.
Our film will begin in the present and will unfold as a journey that takes us back to a glorious time in Hollywood – a story seen through the prism of a living legend who reveals stories of a life lived large and with passion. It will give us a rare and privileged glimpse into the world of the beloved icons of film, dance and theatre of the 20th century - a world of contradictions, ambitions, dreams, nostalgia, and intense emotion - through one of its most luminous personalities..
Producer: Vanessa Dylyn (Canada)
Producer: Anne Schuchman (France)
Director: Larry Weinstein (Canada)
A Matter of Fact Media, Rhombus Media and Schuch Productions Co-Production
In Development with Arte
Apr 15 - Matter of Fact Media receives development funding from OMDC Film Fund for Caron film...
The Woman Who Joined the Taliban
A feature-length documentary about Beverly Giesbrecht and her quest for salvation in the form of Islamic jihad
Beverly Giesbrecht was a successful Canadian publishing executive and born-again Christian living in Vancouver, before the events of September 11th changed her life forever. Within seven months Beverly had converted to Islam and was on a path that would lead to her kidnapping and disappearance in the Taliban heartlands.
The Woman Who Joined The Taliban is a deeply personal tale of ambition and betrayal, set amidst the global war on terror. Drawing on over ten hours of exclusive video footage shot by Beverly herself, intimate family archive, and key interviews with those who were kidnapped with her, as well as close friends and key Canadian officials, this extraordinary film will tell Beverly’s story for the first time.
Executive Producers: André Singer (UK) and Vanessa Dylyn (Canada)
Director: Kai Lawrence
Writer: Barry Stevens
A Spring Films, Matter of Fact Media and Particle Films Co-Production
In Development with CBC
A feature-length documentary by world-renowned director, Werner Herzog
Volcanoes have challenged our very existence on this planet; they've come close to destroying us and they will again. Werner Herzog wants to find out why, where and how our lives are inextricably linked with the most destructive force on earth.
Using global footage and filming both from the sky and on land, Werner Herzog, with the help of Dr. Clive Oppenheimer, one of the world's leading volcanologists, will explore the complex, interconnected history of mankind's existence alongside volcanoes, both past and present.
Director: Werner Herzog
Volcanologist: Clive Oppenheimer
Producer: André Singer (UK)
Executive Producer: Lucki Stipetić (Germany)
Executive Producer: Vanessa Dylyn (Canada)
A Spring Films, Werner Herzog Films and Matter of Fact Media Co-Production
In Development with CBC's documentary
The Divided Brain
A two-part series based on the work of Dr. Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World
The Divided Brain introduces viewers to this highly original and subversive way of looking at how our minds function, based on the ideas of Dr. Iain McGilchrist, an eminent neuroscientist and clinical psychiatrist. The significance of our divided brains was explored in his universally acclaimed book, The Master and the Emissary, which is based on twenty years of neurological studies and clinical practice. He has found evidence that for two thousand years, the left hemisphere has been gaining ascendency over the right - changing the way we think about ourselves, and the world. The Divided Brain is a story of conflict, deception and the mysteries of the human mind.
Producer: Vanessa Dylyn
Director: David Malone (director of award-winning science films for BBC)
Writer: Stephen Milton
Consultant: Dr. Iain McGilchrist
Feb. 3 - Matter of Fact Media receives funding from the Super Channel Development Fund...
Apr. 15 - Matter of Fact Media receives Wellcome Trust Development Broadcast Award for science project...
Who Killed Arafat?
A forensic science mystery and tale of political intrigue
Yasser Arafat, a polarizing figure and the former chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, was pronounced dead in November 2004. The French military hospital announced the cause as a "massive haemorrhagic cerebrovascular accident." Senior Palestinian officials withheld Arafat’s medical records and buried him without an autopsy. Many theories about Arafat's death have arisen, spurred by the secrecy surrounding it and the many assassination attempts he had survived. But eight years later, traces of the deadly poison Polonium 210 was discovered on Arafat’s belongings, leading to a full-blown murder investigation.
Who Killed Arafat? is an exploration into the emerging evidence surrounding what may become one of the most infamous poisonings of all time.
Producer: Vanessa Dylyn
Director: Nadine Pequeneza
In Development with CTV's W5
The untold stories of how wars, conspiracies and rivalries shaped masterpieces
We all know the paintings in question. They have been interpreted and reinterpreted numerous times on everything from posters and tapestries to cartoons and tattoos. Andy Warhol silk screens, episodes of The Simpsons and novels such as The Da Vinci Code.
Author and world-renowned art historian Ross King reveals two perfect examples of turbulent times giving birth to works of greatness: the ceiling of the Vatican's Cappella Sistina and a wall within the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, The Last Supper. Though these masterpieces are predominantly the works of two great men - Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci - those involved in shaping the works in a wider sense include fascinating casts of heroes and villains, statesmen and warriors... sinners and saints.
But the stories behind these famous images are much less well-known, and they reveal that before the paintings became icons of Western art and mainstays of popular culture, they were produced against the odds by disgruntled artists in violent, uncertain times. Bloody Masterpieces (Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and Leonardo and The Last Supper) reveals the real stories behind the making of two of the world's most exquisite and dissected masterpieces including new revelations about their creation, from the world's most renowned experts and even the artists themselves.
Producer: Vanessa Dylyn
Nov 20 - Ross King awarded Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction...
Will Our Thoughts Belong to Us?
An HD science documentary special, about the military’s aggressive funding of neuroscience. Our film reveals the fascinating and even chilling new discoveries that may invade our minds, and the dramatic implications this will have on us all.
Science's last frontier is the human brain. Today, stakeholders with diverse, motives are scrambling to access that frontier and the sanctum of our own inner thoughts. Key among them are: the military – for use as an ultimate new weapon; corporations – to generate untold wealth and influence; and scientists – to better understand humankind. Where is cutting-edge neuroscience taking us?
Key Consultant: Dr. Jonathan Moreno —author of Mind Wars on the abuse of neuroscience by the military. Jonathan D. Moreno is a Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the U. of Pennsylvannia. He is a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee.
Producer: Vanessa Dylyn
Director: Manfred Becker
A feature film based on the book Charles Dickens and the House of Fallen Women
At the height of his fame, Charles Dickens masterminded a radical social experiment lasting twelve years – one of the greatest preoccupations of his life and yet virtually unknown until now. Based on the recent book, Charles Dickens and the House of Fallen Women, our film will reveal a vital but unknown chapter in the life of one of the world’s most beloved authors. This feature will delve deeply into the dramatic and moving relationship between women who wanted to escape their miserable lives and Dickens, the famous author who knew their secrets.
Matter of Fact Media in co-production with Tryptich Media in Toronto and with Origin Pictures and Rainmark Pictures in the UK.
Vanessa Dylyn (Matter of Fact Media)
Anna Stratton (Tryptich Media)
David Thompson (Origin Pictures, UK)
Tracey Scoffield (Rainmark Pictures, UK)
The Science of Sainthood
How the Vatican uses medical science to determine who will become a Saint
The Science of Sainthood presents astounding stories of the science behind the saint-making process in current campaigns for Sainthood - campaigns that include candidates such as first aboriginal saint Kateri Tekakwitha and Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
The series also reveals the medical science behind recent canonizations such as the newly canonized Brother André, Montreal’s miracle man, and Marguerite d’Youville, of Quebec.
Inspired by Dr. Jacalyn Duffin’s recent book, Medical Miracles: Doctors, Saints and Healing in the Modern World, we bring to life intimate accounts of spontaneous healings, and how skeptical clergy and medical professionals have worked together to separate the miraculous recoveries from the merely fortunate.
With unusual access to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints and its top medical investigators, this series opens a window into a fascinating process that has remained largely secretive for hundreds of years...until now.
Producer: Vanessa Dylyn
Writer/Director: Harvey Crossland