ABOUT

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:

  • Research
  • Pre-Production
  • Scriptwriting
  • Casting
  • Production Management
  • Directing
  • Rights Clearance
  • Editing
  • 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.

Many of our projects have been produced in both official languages and reflect the diversity of the people of Canada. This has given us the experience of working closely with a broad cross-section of people, in front of the camera and behind the scenes, including the LGBTQ+ community, newcomers to Canada, and those living with physical, mental and social challenges.

We are also deeply respectful of First Nations teachings, having collaborated on past projects together, to bring their voices and insight directly to the content we create.

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, at the end of the project, you leave a satisfied client with a successful, high quality product with an enduring shelf life.

Joan Prowse
Producer/Director/
Writer/Editor

Joan Prowse is a documentary film-maker, television producer/director and digital content creator. She co-founded CineFocus to tell thought-provoking, Canadian stories and deliver them on new and accessible platforms.

As a company director and creative producer, Joan has been directly involved in all aspects of the development, production and distribution of more than 25 hours of prime-time arts, biography and social issue documentaries and television series. She’s successfully pre-licensed or sold this original programming to Canadian networks across the country and to international broadcasters on all four continents.

Joan’s notable credits include the international documentary hit, Beauty and the Beach, a documentary that examined women’s contentious relationship with their bathing suits and the Juno- nominated Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, 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 TV series Green Heroes was a nominee at the Banff World Television Festival and was produced as a multi-platform production in association with TVO and the Bell Fund. Green Heroes aired for nine years on TVO and streamed on Amazon Prime.

Joan is an alumnus of Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts program, the Canadian Film Centre, the Banff New Media Institute, OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst, and the National Screen Institute. Currently she is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada and Banff Spark’s Women’s Accelerator Program.

Most recently, she travelled to Melbourne as part of the Canadian delegation in the spotlight at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), adding to the list of international markets and festivals she’s been selected to attend.

Outside of CineFocus, Joan taught documentary and dramatic scriptwriting in the department of Media Studies at Niagara College for seven years, was co-producer for the development of the Telefilm supported feature film, Rebel Girl, with Norflick Productions and was development co-ordinator for three pilot comedy series with writer Howard Busgang for Global TV. She began her television career working with Daniel Richler for three seasons on TVO’s literary series, Imprint.

Joan’s commitment to the environment and her community is demonstrated by her board position on the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival from 2010-2017 and as a Climate Reality Leader trained by Al Gore in 2015. Currently, she is the elected chair of the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association representing her community in downtown Toronto.

John Bessai
Producer/Writer/Director/Content Consultant

John Bessai is an avid researcher and writer, film producer, and the director of documentaries and videos publishing a body of work that is broadcast on television and selected for film festivals and forums internationally.

John’s most recent endeavour, as a producer, interactive producer, writer and director, is the series Green Heroes, broadcasting on public television network TVO. Green Heroes is a cross-platform web channel and television series, developed at the Banff New Media Institute, that shares the extraordinary stories of environmentalists.

As writer and director of the documentary, Museum Maestros, John focused on the inside stories of two Canadian counter-cultural figures who have been shaping the museum world on a global scale.

John also developed, wrote and directed From Field to Studio: The Art of Paul Kane, an interactive DVD based on the award-winning television documentary, Visions from the Wilderness: The Art of Paul Kane successfully fusing documentary form with interactive technology resulting in an interactive exhibit and permanent screen exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. He has produced a range of work including the Juno nominated biography, Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, and the film Arbor Alma.

John, as an invited presenter and public speaker, attends industry events, museums, and universities such as HotDocs, Toronto, Stark Museum, Texas, Musee des Beaux Arts, Montreal, Media Ecology Association, Toronto, Trent University, Peterborough, Niagara College,Welland, The Story Arts Centre, Centennial College, Toronto, Banff TV Festival, Alberta and MIPtv, Cannes.

John holds a Master's Degree in Political Science, a Bachelor’s Degree in History, and is currently completing a PhD at Trent University.

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, Martha Ladly, 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, Amos Key Jr., Ian MacLaren, Caroline King…

Notable Interviews

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

  • Randy
    Randy Bachman

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  • Buffy
    Buffy Sainte-Marie

    Broadcasters: APTN, Bravo!, SCN, Knowledge Network and FNX (PBS) Director Joan Prowse (Beauty and the Beach) had unprecedented access and takes viewers on a journey to concert halls, Native reserves, and Buffy’s home in Hawaii, aptly mixing current footage and archival material including a 1964 concert appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, a compelling early […]

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