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Canadian Film Encyclopedia

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Year: 1962
Language: English
Format: 16mm Black & White
Runtime: 57 min Production Company: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

This innovative documentary television series was designed and produced by Douglas Leiterman and Patrick Watson and employed both direct cinema and traditional documentary techniques. The films, directed by some of Canada’s most prominent documentary filmmakers of the period – including Leiterman, Allan King, Beryl Fox and Peter Pearson – typically focused on topical themes of social and political importance, such as Fox’s The Single Woman and the Double Standard (1964) and The Mills of the Gods: Viet Nam (1965), King’s Joshua, a Nigerian Portrait (1963) and Leiterman and Fox’s The Chief (1964), a portrait of John Diefenbaker.

Initially Document did not have a regular time slot. It aired at different times on different days until 1965, when it became a monthly replacement for the popular current affairs show This Hour Has Seven Days, which was also the brainchild of Leiterman and Watson. After Seven Days was taken off the air amid a great deal of controversy in May, 1966, Document was shelved for a year and then brought back under executive producer Richard Nielsen as a replacement series for The Way It Is.

By: Peter Morris, Andrew McIntosh