Toronto. July 23, 2019. Chris McIvor, President and Executive Producer of Frank Digital, is pleased to announce that Humboldt: The New Season, the restorative documentary about how the families and the community pull together and heal in the year after the tragedy, co-written and co-directed by award-winning Kevin Eastwood (After The Sirens, The Death Debate, Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH) and Lucas Frison (Talent, Fragments of Penny, Modern Mimes) will premiere on CBC Docs POV on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 9 p.m. ET (9:30 NT) on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service.
Humboldt: The New Season filmed over 11 months beginning in August 2018, as training for the new hockey season began.
When a devastating highway accident in April 2018 thrust Humboldt, Saskatchewan into the international spotlight, voices from across Canada and from around the world responded with condolences, vigils, and tributes. As the shock subsided and the world stepped back to let the community grieve, the directors of Humboldt: The New Season stayed with the families for 11 months, beginning in August 2018, as training for the new hockey season began, and the families and players gradually adapted to their new reality, including the trial and sentencing of the truck driver, with surprising and touching results.
Humboldt: The New Season follows five of the survivors: Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter as they return to play for the 2018-2019 Humboldt hockey season with a different coaching staff and new teammates; Tyler Smith, Kaleb Dahlgren, and Layne Matechuk who continue their recovery while trying to pursue their love for hockey in new avenues; the late Logan Boulet’s parents who carry on their son’s legacy by spreading the message of organ donation, something Logan helped raise unprecedented awareness about across Canada; and Mark Cross’ parents as they see their son’s memory live on through the York Lions hockey program where he was a former player (and where Kaleb was recruited). This is a story of healing without ever forgetting or letting go.
“To the rest of the world, Assistant Coach Mark Cross was one of the people who died on April 6, 2018 in the Humboldt Broncos accident. To me, he was a lifelong best friend. With this documentary, I wanted to honour Mark and the 28 people he worked with on the team. We filmed with the Broncos and a number of families for one year following the accident, and their resiliency has shown me that the memory of the lives lost will never fade,” said Lucas Frison.
“I learned so much from everyone we met making this film: about healing, about resilience, and about finding peace – and meaning – in the aftermath of immense loss. It was profoundly humbling,” added Kevin Eastwood. “This is a story that had a lot of media attention. In the early days, we’d have just set up our camera when suddenly other news outlets would show up and set up their cameras on either side of us. Whenever that happened, we’d turn our camera in the opposite direction. After a while, that became our focus – to keep looking in the direction others weren’t.”
Humboldt: The New Season is produced by McIvor (Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier, Play Fair, Fostering Hope) and Libby Lea (Predator’s Last Stand, Fostering Hope) of Frank Digital and Lucas Frison and Élise Beaudry-Ferland (Talent) of Prairie Cat Productions. Jeff Peeler (Still Standing, Baroness Von Sketch Show) serves as Consulting Producer.
Appearing in the film:
Derek Patter – Bronco (current season)/crash survivor
Brayden Camrud – Bronco (current season)/crash survivor
Kaleb Dahlgren – former Bronco/crash survivor/York Lion
Nathan Oystrick – new coach & GM
Christina Haugan – wife of deceased coach, Darcy Haugan
Carol & Lyle Brons – parents of deceased athletic therapist, Dayna Brons
Tyler Smith – Bronco (current season)/crash survivor
Layne Matechuk – former Bronco/crash survivor
Kevin and Shelley Matechuk – Layne’s parents
Nancy & Paul Jefferson – Tyler’s billet parents
Celeste & Kurt Leicht – parents of Jacob Leicht (deceased player)
Bernie & Toby Boulet – parents of Logan Boulet (deceased player who became an organ donor)
Laurie & Scott Thomas – parents of Evan Thomas (deceased player)
Marilyn & Brad Cross – parents of deceased assistant coach, Mark Cross
Russ Herrington – coach of York Lions
Cinematography by Brad Crawford (Echoes in the Ice, Flashkick, Loss of Contact), edited by Joni Church (Sorry for Your Loss, The Prairie Diner), music composed by Anita Lubosch (Mardi Gras: Feast before Fast, Fit First, When the Children Left), and three songs from acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter, Sierra Noble.
CBC has broadcast rights in Canada. Theatrical distribution in Canada and international sales are handled by Jhod Cardinal of Upstream Flix.
ABOUT KEVIN EASTWOOD
Kevin is an award-winning filmmaker who works in both documentary and drama. Most recently he directed After the Sirens, a documentary for CBC about the epidemic of PTSD amongst paramedics that was nominated for a 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Program. He also directed The Death Debate, a behind-the-scenes look at the landmark Supreme Court of Canada case on physician assisted-dying, as well as seasons 1 and 3 of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH, an award-winning documentary series about Canada’s third-busiest emergency room. His credits as a producer include the documentary features Vancouver: No Fixed Address, Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World and Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson; the CBC television series The Romeo Section; and the movies Preggoland, Fido and The Delicate Art of Parking.
ABOUT LUCAS FRISON
Lucas Frison is a 2014 graduate of the University of Regina with a BFA in Film Production. After finishing film school, he founded Prairie Cat Productions and directed and produced the short film Fragments of Penny. In 2015 he started work on the comedy feature film Talent, which was a selection of the 2016/2017 Telefilm Talent to Watch program. Talent was released in 2018 and saw festival play in Dublin, Montreal, Red Deer, Regina, and Rome. Lucas has also been a cooperating artist for All Nation’s Healin’ Thru Artz and William Derby School where he taught film production units to youth.
ABOUT CHRIS McIVOR
Chris is a content producer and business leader who works with ad agencies, non-profits, businesses, unions, and others to help tell stories that create change. Chris believes in the stories he tells and the importance of those stories. From exhibits inside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to documentaries exploring social topics, and commercial campaigns about child protection and safe workplaces to name a few these projects are not just “work” for Chris, but a lifestyle. Having traveled extensively in several third world and war-torn countries has helped form who he is as a person and what he believes FRANK Digital, as a company, should represent. Beginning his almost thirty-year career as an editor, adding director of photography skills, and eventually moving to directing and producing, Chris feels his hands-on approach through these many positions helps him understand the full production workflow as a producer. Never in a rush to jump to the next position, Chris’s steady growth has allowed him to master many skills over his career. His work has garnered many accolades including a Clio Award, two IABC Gold Quill Awards, four Summit Awards, a New York Festivals Gold Award, WorldFest Houston Special Jury Award, and several Signature awards.
ABOUT FRANK DIGITAL
FRANK’s focus, whether we are producing a short television commercial, a documentary, or a television series is to produce thought provoking socially responsible content. We want to create change by working to produce the most compelling, inspiring and digital productions. FRANK has an affinity for working with organizations that do good in the world and encourage their audience to achieve great things as citizens. Here is a little-known fact. Frank Digital produces the longest-running cooking series in Canada – Great Tastes – which is broadcast weekly on CTV and is currently in its 30th season of production. We have also created several one-off documentaries and television series. Shows such as Play Fair, WindCity, Indictment, Fostering Hope, and Predator’s Last Stand have all been produced by us. Our long-form content follows our commitment to producing socially conscious stories and is an important and growing segment of our business. We have worked with CBC, Rogers, Sportsnet, CTV, Bell Media, NBC Universal, Discovery, Smithsonian, Disney Channel, SuperChannel and NFB on long-form production or post-production work.
ABOUT PRAIRIE CAT PRODUCTIONS
Prairie Cat Productions is an independent production company based in Regina, Saskatchewan. Founded by Lucas Frison, the company is focused on producing stories that celebrate life on the Canadian prairies. Lucas teamed with producer Élise Beaudry-Ferland in 2016 to bring Prairie Cat’s first feature film to life, Talent. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Talent became one of 18 projects awarded funding through Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund’s Talent to Watch program. The film focuses on the story of Kaylee, an avid hockey fan who is awful at the sport, but organizes a world record attempt to raise money for her school. Talent is available today on iTunes, Google Play, Sony, Amazon, and Hulu. You can learn more about us, our work and our own Guinness World Record during the shooting of Talent at www.prairiecatproductions.com.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.