AJAs 2016 Finalists
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|Slug/Label||Newfoundland at Armageddon|
|Date Aired or Published||June 17, 2016|
|Media outlet where first aired or published:||The Telegram|
|Name of Program:|
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Short explanation of the story and how it developed:July 1, 2016 was the 100th anniversary of the battle at Beaumont Hamel, forever etched on the hearts of Newfoundlanders as the event that nearly wiped out an entire generation of soldiers. The local arts community was clearly inspired, and there was no shortage of commemorative events, from an opera to books to visual art exhibits. This documentary, "Newfoundland at Armageddon," stood out to me for a few reasons. Not only was it a project by filmmaker Barbara Doran, who is arguably one of the most important and successful Newfoundland and Labrador filmmakers, it wasn't simply a commemorative piece of work. Instead of telling the story of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment passively, Doran and her co-producer had recruited descendants of soldiers who had fought in the battle, trained them in their ancestors' roles and led them in a recreation of the event. It had all the markings of an interesting arts/history feature, and the potential to be very poignant in a way other memorial events did not. I was thrilled to speak to Doran and hear about the production of the documentary, but I knew the story would only work if I could speak to one of the participants and get some history on their connected soldier. Tony Renouf was fantastic, and was able to share enough details about his grandfather to add colour and emotion to the story. I know Doran from covering other films in the past, and we've developed a good relationship. I try to keep up to date on her projects, and The Telegram is often the first to publish news about her films. Many of her films go on to win awards, and "Newfoundland at Armageddon" is no exception (it was just nominated for a Canadian Screen Award).
Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:Regular newsroom resources only; no extra resources were required.