CineFocus Canada is a Toronto based production company producing award-winning television documentaries and series, educational videos and interactive content that enable viewers to become active in environmental and social change. We take timely issues and go beyond the “doom and gloom” to present solutions that inspire people to take action on their own ideas and to make a difference in the world. Click here to see a list of all our clients.
Our three divisions offer services to meet every client’s needs:
1. CineFocus Canada Inc. works collaboratively with clients to design custom videos and campaigns with a particular focus on Health, Social Impact, Labour initiatives, Diversity, and the Environment.
As a full-service facility with a proven track-record since 1991, we have the experience to take your project from concept to completion. Our commissioned videos take many forms from promotional videos to public service announcements and coverage at live events. If it’s not on the list below, we are sure to be able to adapt what you need to effectively achieve your goals.
- Public Service Announcements
- Television, Radio and Print Ads
- Educational and Training Videos
- Conference Videos and Event Coverage
- Promotional Videos
- Media relations and training
- Grant writing
2. CineFocus Canada Productions creates independently produced, high quality broadcast programming specializing in Arts, Biography, History and Social Issue documentaries and series.
We are dedicated to telling Canadian stories and sharing them worldwide. In Canada, our documentaries have aired on numerous national networks including CBC and Radio-Canada and CHUM Television (now Bell Media) and around the world on A&E, Oxygen, PBS, and the Discovery Channels in the United States, Europe and Latin America. For broadcasters as well as independent producers we offer these services:
- Production Management
- Rights Clearance
- Market and Industry Insight
- Financing and Tax Credit Expertise
- Stock footage and music licensing
3. CineFocus Canada Interactive is able to expand the reach of oue client videos and television content to new media platforms. Our interactive projects include apps, websites, on-line video and public exhibits. We offer content and expertise to each digital or on-line production that includes:
- On-line videos and reports
- Interactive Documentaries
- Public Exhibits and Museum Kiosks
- Social Media Marketing
- Community Outreach Campaigns
CineFocus Canada is a producer of worthwhile programs that are seen around the world, are universal in concept and timeless in scope and that can translate to multiple platforms and changing technologies.
Over the past thirty years we have created a successful business that allows us to make a difference in the world and we do it with people who share our enthusiasm and ideals.
Through our documentaries, commissioned videos and digital media projects we contribute to improving social issues and protecting the environment while motivating people to take action for causes they believe in and by celebrating our great country and the people in it.
We connect with the larger community through our documentary and new media productions, teaching and speaking engagements, and community activities.
We form strategic alliances as Creative Producers to work with the finest team of professionals who all share our vision and care as much as we do about the product and cause we are promoting.
As our client, we collaborate with you to realize your vision, are always listening, thinking and working hard to make sure that your goals are realized and that, at the end of the project, you leave a satisfied client with a successful, high quality product with an enduring shelf life.
Joan Prowse is a documentary-maker with two decades experience as a writer, producer, director and video editor. She co-founded CineFocus Canada to make thought-provoking, insightful television shows and documentaries. She’s created more than 20 hours of prime- time arts, biography and social issue documentaries and 50+ commissioned videos for government, health, environment, and labour organizations and for non-profit groups.
Throughout her career, Joan has produced programming for a slate of national and international broadcasters including CBC and Radio- Canada, CHUM (now Bell Media), Global, Discovery, Vision and APTN. Several documentaries she produced in both French and English. All have aired on educational channels across Canada.
Joan's notable credits here include the international documentary hit, Beauty and the Beach (1997), a documentary that examined women’s contentious relationship with their bathing suits and the Juno- nominated Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life (2006), the first biography made on the achievements of the groundbreaking Native American singer/songwriter and Native rights activist.
Along with her documentaries, she produced and directed the biography series Lucky Breaks that aired on A&E’s Biography Channel and produced 28 profiles of Canadian musicians, directors and actors for Global’s Northern Lights series. The pilot for her latest TV show, Green Heroes was a Rockie award nominee at the Banff World Television Festival in 2010. Green Heroes currently airs on TVO.
As a producer, director and editor of Green Heroes, Joan demonstrates her commitment to the environment along with her board position on the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival and membership in the Clean50 alumni and Al Gore’s Climate Reality Corp.
Joan is a graduate of Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts program, the Interactive Project Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, the Banff New Media Institute and the National Screen Institute's Global Marketing Program. Always interested in next platform opportunities, she is now developing an on-line channel for documentary makers and lovers at OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst incubator.
Interactive Producer/ Writer & Researcher
John Bessai has been producing, writing and directing television documentaries and videos for over twenty years. Through CineFocus Canada, the Toronto-based documentary production company he co- founded, John has produced a body of work that has garnered public attention and recognition with broadcasts and screenings in festivals and forums across the country.
John’s documentary Museum Maestros takes a look at cultural movers- and-shakers Gail and Barry Lord who have shaped the museum world on a global scale. These exceptional Torontonians travel to exotic places like Abu Dhabi and China helping to create a better understanding of the local culture through their work coordinating and developing museums.
John also directed From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane, an interactive DVD based on his award-winning television documentary, Visions from the Wilderness: The Art of Paul Kane. This groundbreaking project fuses the documentary form with interactive technology, enabling the user to gain greater insight into the mind, work and times of one of Canada’s most culturally influential and controversial artists. An interactive exhibit created out of the DVD is a permanent dual screen exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum's Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples. In addition to Paul Kane, John has produced a range of arts biographies including the Juno nominated, Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, the first-ever screen biography of the well-known activist, singer-songwriter and digital artist.
Before turning his attention full-time to his work at CineFocus Canada, John was a researcher for both CTV News and the CBC. He has a Master's Degree in Political Science from York University and a BA in History from Carleton University. John also attended Ryerson University's School of Journalism.
CineFocus Hall of Fame
CineFocus is much more than its founders. There are hundreds of people who have helped us achieve our project goals and company mission. They are in the CineFocus Hall of Fame because, without them, we wouldn’t have made it to where we are today.
Hall of Famers: We sincerely thank you.
Christine McGlade, Frank Stronach, Bob White, Stella and Charlie Patterson, Suzanne Stein, Ken Lister, Richard Gustin, David Watts, Dorothy Prowse, Alice Van Wart, Scott Brown, Manny Danelon, Brian Wynn, Lucie Dipronio, Dave MacDonald, Kat Mullaly, Mary MacNutt, Sonny Arrojado, Shanti Radcliffe, Shelley Happy, Marie France Coutu, Ben Bogart, Dave Killham, Enzo Mancuso, Stephanie Silliker, Farrah Kahn, Paul de Silva, Paul Lewis, Diane Boehme, Charlotte Engel, Derek Luis, Richard Nielsen, Anya Kozlova, Lina Cino, Justin Arjune, Amy Davis Cheron, Elaine Nicholson…
Over the years, Cinefocus has been privileged to meet and interview celebrated Canadians ranging from sports heroes to world leaders and everything in between! Our over 200 interviews include stars from the fields of entertainment, art, business, and the humanities. Featured below are some of the musicians we’ve met and the stories they’ve told us.
Steven Page/Barenaked Ladies, K-os, John Kay (Steppenwolf), Sam Roberts, Ron Sexsmith, Susan Aglukark, Jann Arden, Randy Bachman, Natalie McMaster, Blue Rodeo, Tom Jackson, Randy and Tal Bachman, Bernie Finkelstein (Canadian Music Promoter), Jane Sibbery, Haydain Neale, Gene Simmons. Buffy Sainte-Marie, Chubby Checker, Jimmy Rankin (The Rankins), Gord Downie, Sarah Harmer, Bruce Cockburn