TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Calling all gleeks: TVO celebrates high school show choirs and the transformative power of music in the new one-hour documentary, Unsung: Behind the Glee. Commissioned by TVO and produced by Shaftesbury, Unsung chronicles the journey of two rival Toronto high school glee clubs as they gear up for a musical showdown at the annual Show Choir Canada National Championship. On Tuesday November 26 at 6 pm, TVO presents a public screening of Unsung at Toronto's Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in advance of its world television premiere Wednesday December 4 at 9 pm on TVO.
"This documentary is about the real-life challenges facing students and coaches as they prepare for a championship," says Jane Jankovic, TVO's commissioning editor. "Their stories go beyond the drama and entertainment inherent in a competition. Unsung is really about the power of optimism and the rewards of just going for it."
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Moze Mossanen (Love Lies Bleeding, Romeos & Juliets) and produced by Jeff Spriet (Nothing But Net), Unsung follows students from SPLASH of the Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA) and the Wexford Gleeks of Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. With the schools having one previous win each at the Show Choir Canada Nationals, both choirs are out for nothing less than a second victory at the third annual championship.
Filmed in the month leading up to the national competition held this past April in Toronto, Unsung charts the compelling struggles and triumphs of the performers. From a cancer survivor to a gifted dancer dealing with depression to a boy recovering from bullying, the students describe how show choir has enabled them to cope with their challenges and motivate them to reach new creative heights. Interviews with choir coaches and choreographers offer deeper insight into the students' unique stories, as well as a look at the mentor figures shaping and empowering the kids along their journey toward a much-hoped for win.
The advance public screening will be hosted by TVO's Ian Brown and is the third installment in the TVO Doc Studio Screening Series, for which Toronto Life is the exclusive media partner. The evening includes a Q&A discussion with director Moze Mossanen, artistic choir directors Paul Aikins of ESA and Ann Merriam of Wexford. Look also for a special live performance by glee club students from both schools. Tickets to this fundraising event are $10 and can be purchased at tvo.org/docstudioscreeningseries.
TVO Doc Studio Screening Series - Unsung: Behind the Glee
Tuesday November 26
Screening and live performance: 6 - 7:30 pm
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. West, Toronto
To purchase tickets, visit tvo.org/docstudioscreeningseries
Proceeds from the event will help TVO, Ontario's public educational media organization and a registered charity, nurture and support documentary filmmakers.
"Toronto Life is proud to partner with TVO in the TVO Doc Studio Screening series," says publisher David Hamilton. "As the go-to source for navigating culture and life in Toronto, Toronto Life is committed to
supporting events that enable Torontonians to better understand and engage in the life of their city."
Unsung: Behind the Glee makes its broadcast premiere on TVO Wednesday December 4 at 9 pm. It will be repeated the same evening at midnight, Thursday December 5 at 7 pm, Sunday December 8 at 9 pm, and Friday December 27 at 8 pm and 11 pm. Unsung will also be available at docstudio.tvo.org and on the Doc Studio App for iPad the day following its broadcast premiere.
TVO champions documentaries on air and through Doc Studio, an online showcase for documentary filmmakers and their work and a learning community supporting point-of-view filmmaking. A leader in Canadian point-of-view documentaries, TVO devotes more than half of its primetime schedule to documentaries.
Unsung: Behind the Glee is produced with the financial participation of the Shaw Rocket Fund and Canada Media Fund, and the assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.