Merit Motion Pictures hopes everyone had a happy holiday! As we prepare to start a new year, we’d love to share a few accomplishments from this last year that we are particularly proud of, especially while working under the constraints of a pandemic. 

2021 – A Year We’re Proud Of

In 2021, MMP was honoured to have two co-productions with CAPA/Films a Cinq premiere in the US on Earth Day in 2021.  Four years in the making, the two-part documentary Kingdom of the Polar Bears aired on National Geographic Channels worldwide, Disney +, France 3 and CBC. Directed by Alexis Barbier-Bouvier, Kingdom of the Polar Bears tells the tale of a mother polar bear as she introduces her two newborn cubs to their icy world for the first time providing some surprising evidence for how these animals are adapting to the change. Directed by Su Rynard, Reef Rescue premiered on NOVA, was nominated for Best Science Documentary by the International Science & Media Festival in Silbersalz and won Best Conservation Program at the Jackson Media Awards (the Emmy for Natural History) in 2020. Merit Entertainment Inc. partnered with Canadian Geographic Education on the creation of an ambitious curriculum along with an interactive tool for teachers across Canada

MMP and Edgeland Films were honoured to have Jeff McKay’s feature film, Call of the Forest, screened worldwide in Jackson Wild’s 2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase. Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s book, To Speak for the Trees, is now available in paperback.

2022 – A Year We’re Excited For

Filming polar bears during a pandemic was quite the feat and Mount Everest, even more so. Nevertheless, the Everest Dark team did a wonderful job completing shooting and returning home safely. This documentary follows the story of world-renowned mountaineer Mingma Tsiri Sherpa as he leads a team charged with removing dead bodies frozen in the snow and returning them to their families. Executive produced by Merit Jensen Carr and Ina Fichman of Intuitive Pictures and co-produced and co-written by Mike Bodnarchuk with director Jereme Watt in association with the documentary Channel, Terra Mater Factual Studios and Northern Banner Releasing, Everest Dark will premiere in fall 2022. Keep an eye out for news and airdates by following the production on social media.

The cowgirl vet returns to Animal Planet in the new year with a new season on January 21, 2022. We finished shooting Dr. Keri: Prairie Vet and we’re excited to share an exciting new season that will feature old and new faces as Keri moves her practice to Thompson, Manitoba. The first episode follows Keri to her husband Calvin’s farm as she performs preg checks and tests bull semen. 

Another project we’re excited to announce is Great Lakes Untamed, a three-part series featuring one of our planet’s most important, beautiful and forgotten ecosystems that will air on TVO, ARTE, Terra Mater and the Smithsonian Channels. Directed by Jeff Morales and Nick de Pencier, show run and co-produced by Ted Oakes of Oak Island Films in association with Two Wise Monkeys, this series will explore the wildlife, plants and people who live within this incredibly complex ecosystem that provides one-quarter of the world’s freshwater. The series will launch in North America in fall 2022 on TVO and Smithsonian Channel accompanied by a robust education and outreach program in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and Swim Drink Fish.

Staff News

First off, we’re especially proud of MMP President Merit Jensen Carr who was elected to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s College of Fellows in November. She also joined the Canadian Creative Accelerator – an initiative that aims to increase the scope and global reach of Canadian media through an intensive, hands-on learning curriculum and networking opportunities with U.S. producers, financiers, distributors and talent.

At the office, we welcomed Adrian Madden and Brodie Young to the MMP team. We were also joined by two CreComm interns from Red River College Polytechnic, Ethan Ani and Drew Mittermayr, for their work placements. Both of them brought unique skills to the table and helped enrich our workplace. We hope to see Ethan and Drew again!

Last but not least, a year’s effort has come to fruition. Through the hardworking endeavours of our team and web developer Steve Suderman, our website has a fresh new face. This new website is now capable of providing a virtual screening platform. Check out this test screening event to see what it’s all about. In the future, we are aiming to provide more options for screening shows through our website.

That’s all for 2021! We hope everyone has a wonderful new year.

January 7, 2022