- 1973-2019 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
• 1 film reel, colour interpositive with optical sound ; 16mm (ca. 1075 feet/30 mins)
• 6 film reels, colour interpositive, silent ; 16mm (ca. 4255 feet/2 hours)
• 1 reel, colour internegative, silent ; 16mm (ca. 800 feet/22 mins)
• 33 reels, colour print with optical sound ; 16mm (ca. 30,000 feet/13 hours)
• 8 reels, colour print, silent ; 16mm (ca. 6200 feet/8 hours)
• 22 reels colour dupe negative, silent ; 16mm (ca. 16,000 feet/8 hours)
• 2 reels colour original negative, silent ; 16mm (ca. 1800 feet/1 hour)
• 2 reels colour dupe negative, silent ; super 16mm (ca. 3000 feet/1.5 hours)
• 2 reels colour camera negative, silent ; 35mm (ca. 1125 feet/30 mins)
• 7 reels colour original negative, silent ; 16mm (ca. 5500 feet/3 hours)
• 16 reels optical soundtrack ; 16mm (ca. 13500 feet/6 hours)
• 2 reels full coat magnetic soundtrack ; 16mm (ca. 1800 feet/1 hour)
• 4 open reel videos : 1 in., 7 in. reel (ca. 1 hour)
• 13 open reel videos : 1 in. 9 in. reel (ca. 8 hours)
• 9 open reel videos : 1. In., 10.5 in. reel (ca. 6 hours)
• 49 ¾ in. U-matic video cassettes (ca. 40 hours)
• 43 VHS cassettes (ca. 68 hours)
• 688 video cassettes: Betacam SP (ca. 561 hours)
• 82 video cassettes: Digital Betacam (ca. 143 hours)
• 8 video cassettes: Betacam (ca. 3 hours)
• 2 video cassettes: Betacam SX (ca. 2 hours)
• 24 video cassettes: HDCAM SR (ca. 21 hours)
• 662 video cassettes: HDCAM (ca. 579 hours)
• 47 Professional Discs: XDCAM, 23GB (ca. 35 hours)
• 454 Professional Discs: XDCAM, 50GB (ca. 670 hours)
• 4 video cassettes: DVCPRO HD (ca. 1.5 hours)
• 1457 DVDs (ca. 2087 hrs)
• 8 audio cassettes (ca. 9 hours)
• 34 DA8 audio cassettes (ca. 32.5 hours)
• 24 DAT audio cassettes (ca. 32 hours)
• 1 DDS audio cassette (ca. 2 hours)
• 1 MiniDisc audio cassette (ca. 1 hour)
• 4 micro-cassettes (ca. 4 hours)
• 17 open reels, audio, ¼ in., 5 in. reel (ca. 4 hours)
• 22 open reels, audio, ¼ in., 7 in. reel (ca. 10 hours)
• 22 open reels, audio, ¼ in., 10.5 in. reel (ca. 14 hours)
• 8 open reels, audio, ½ in., 10.5 in. reel (ca. 2.5 hours)
• 4 open reels, audio, 1 in., 10.5 in. reel (ca. 2 hours)
• 14 open reels, audio, 2 in., 7 in. reel (ca. 30 mins)
• 7 open reels, audio, 2 in., 10.5 in. reel (ca. 7 hours)
• 9 open reels, audio, 2 in., 14 in. reel (ca. 10 hours)
• 81 CDs (ca. 102 hours)
• 31 prints : col. Polaroid, 3.5x4.25 in.
• 2 prints : b&w ; 2x2.75 in.
• 6 prints : col. ; 2x2.75 in.
• 7 prints : col. ; 3.5x5 in.
• 1 print, b&w ; 4x6 in.
• 1508 prints, col. ; 4x6 in.
• 111 prints, b&w ; 5x7 in.
• 113 prints, col. ; 5x7 in.
• 2 prints : col. 4x10 in.
• 166 prints : b&w ; 8x10 in.
• 45 prints : col. 8x10 in.
• 7 prints : b&w ; 8x12 in.
• 13 prints : col. 8x12 in.
• 6 prints : b&w ; 11x14 in.
• 1 negative : b&w ; 3.25x4 in.
• 455 negatives : b&w ; 35mm
• 1343 negatives : col. ; 35mm
• 374 transparencies : col. ; 2.25x3.25 in.
• 4 transparencies : b&w ; 4x6 in.
• 3301 transparencies : col. 35mm, mounted
• 18 transparencies : col. 120mm
• 16 contact sheets : b&w ; 8x 10 in.
• 4 contact sheets : col. ; 8x10 in.
• 4 contact sheets : b&w ; 8.5x11 in.
• 11 contact sheets : col. 10.5x10.5 in.
• 6 contact sheets : b&w ; 11x14 in.
• 15 contact sheets : col. ; 11x14 in.
• 20 CDs ; digital photographs
• 125 DVDs ; digital photographs
• 17.5m textual material (1433 folders)
• 5 books
• 19 DVDs
• 22 floppy disks ; 3.5 in.
• 5 floppy disks, 3.75 in. zip disks
• 14 CDs
• 1 floppy disk ; 3.5 in.
• 7 floppy disks ; 5.25 in.
• 5 CDs
• 1 poster : col. ; 19.5x26.6 in.
• 1 poster : b&w ; 13x39 in.
• 3 x-rays : b&w ; 14x48 in.
• 3 posters : col. 11x17 in.
• 1 poster : col. ; 22x28 in.
• 2 banner stands : col. ; 36x78 in.
• 2 baseball caps
• 3 jackets
• 4 t-shirts
• 3 sweaters
• 5 shirts
• 1 pair dress pants
• 2 injection needles & syringes
• 1 flag ; 23x32 in.
Name of creator
Kensington Communications is a production company founded in 1980 in Toronto’s Kensington Market that has produced documentary and factual films, television shows, and multimedia projects for more than 40 years. Kensington has produced documentaries and series for the CBC and NFB, and its productions have been broadcast internationally on Discovery Channel, TLC, BBC, ZDF Arte, and other networks.
Early productions in the 1980s focused on social issues such as blended families (Stepdancing, 1986), youth suicide (Childhood’s End, 1981), and addiction (Out of the Past, 1989).
Many of Kensington’s productions have featured Earth’s natural environment and human activities that threaten it: Fragile Harvest (1986, the Nature of Things), Sacred Rhythm (1990), Sacred Balance with David Suzuki (2002), and Port Hope: A Question of Power (2005, The Nature of Things).
Kensington also has a history of producing iconic music documentaries. One Warm Line: The Legacy of Stan Rogers (1990), Mariposa: Under a Stormy Sky (1990), My Beat: The Life & Times of Bruce Cockburn (2001), and the City Sonic App (2009) all highlight Canadian music and musicians.
Kensington Communications worked with Bruce Cockburn over decades from the 1980s to the 2010s to produce short documentaries and advertisements for USC (formerly known as the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada) about their work in Nepal.
Kensington produced two successful crime series that focused on the role of forensics in solving real crimes – Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science, and 72 Hours: True Crime.
Recent TV productions include The Shadow Of Gold (2019), Risk Factor (2017), The Equalizer (2016), and three seasons of the popular international TV series Museum Secrets, which goes behind the scenes at great museums of the world.
Kensington Communications has also been a leader in using multimedia websites to enhance documentary and television content. River of Sand, Sacred Balance, Diamond Road, Raw Opium, and Museum Secrets all included website content. Museum Secrets included a tie-in app called Scopify to help visitors navigate the Royal Ontario Museum, and the documentary Risk Factor was accompanied by the Risk Navigator app.
Name of creator
ROBERT LANG is an internationally recognized, award-winning filmmaker and television producer whose work has covered many documentary topics, from music programs and interactive media to science and social documentaries.
Lang founded the production company Kensington Communications in 1980, and in that role he has been responsible for hundreds of television programs, including: 3 seasons of 72 Hours: True Crime; the acclaimed four-part television series The Sacred Balance with David Suzuki; 5 seasons of the true crime series Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science; the Gemini Award-winning 3-part series Diamond Road; the 5-part series Shameless Idealists; and 3 seasons of the hit documentary program Museum Secrets.
He has worked as a director on many music productions with artists such as Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois, Jackie Richardson, Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure.
Among his many award-winning documentaries and TV specials are the Gemini-winning Separate Lives, One Warm Line: the Legacy of Stan Rogers, Diamond Road, and The Equalizer (Canadian Screen Award).
Lang has produced many interactive digital projects over the years, from River of Sand interactive website (1998), to The Sacred Balance online (2003), Diamond Road interactive documentary (2007), Museum Secrets Interactive (2011), ScopifyROM, a mobile app to enhance the museum experience at the Royal Ontario Museum (2013) and Risk Navigator mobile app (2017).
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This fonds consists of 38 series corresponding to documentary films and television series, the majority of which were produced by Kensington Communications. For most productions, many different elements are represented: source tapes, audio, edits, rough cuts, fine cuts, and distribution versions for various broadcasters and international audiences.
The fonds also contains textual records relating to Kensington’s productions. Most textual records relate to productions filmed after 2000. Textual records may include research, funding applications, agreements with broadcasters, cast and crew contracts, scripts and transcripts, call sheets, schedules, insurance, budgets, mock-ups, correspondence, and other documents related to production.
Several series also include photographs and graphic material related to documentaries and tv series such as promotional photographs and photographs taken during filming.
For productions that have associated websites or mobile apps, the relevant series may contain planning documents, correspondence, mock-ups, budgets, site content, videos, and other records relating to the creation of apps or websites. However, this fonds does not contain archived versions of the websites and apps themselves.
A few of the series in this fonds represent Kensington productions that were unproduced or did not proceed past a pilot.
- Childhood’s End (1981)
- Vaclav Vaca: Fantastic Visions (1982)
- Joe David: Spirit of the Mask (1982)
- Kanan (1982)
- A Great Tree Has Fallen (1982)
- USC Films & Promos: Bangladesh From the River, Moving the Banyan Tree/Sur Le Chemin de Tahkuragaon (1984), Path to Nepal (1987)
- Fragile Harvest (short version: Seeds) (1986)
- Stepdancing (1986)
- Out of the Past (short version: On the Run) (1989)
- One Warm Line: The Legacy of Stan Rogers (1990)
- Sacred Rhythm/Rythme du Monde (1990) Jenfilms
- Mariposa: Under a Stormy Sky (1990)
- Earth Journal with Richard Leakey (1991)
- The Biggest Little Ticket (1993)
- "Parliamentary Hearings for Designing Foods" (1994, unproduced)
- Pacific Rim: A Park and Its People (1995)
- A Place in the World (1996)
- Separate Lives (1996)
- Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science (1997-2002) (Textual and graphic files only – see Creative Anarchy Fonds for Exhibit A videos)
- My Beat: The Life & Times of Bruce Cockburn (2001)
- Sacred Balance/ Mystérieuse Planète (2002)
- Almost Home: A Sayisi Dene Journey (working title Full Circle) (2003)
- 72 Hours: True Crime (2003-2007)
- Was Justice Denied? (2005, unproduced)
- Port Hope: A Question of Power (2005)
- Flap! (2006, unproduced)
- Diamond Road (2007)
- Life in the Crisis Zone (Unproduced, 2008)
- Return to Nepal (2008)
- City Sonic App (2009)
- Raw Opium (2010)
- Museum Secrets (2010-2014)
- Shameless Idealists (2012)
- National Secrets (unproduced, 2015)
- The Drop: Why Young People Don’t Vote (2015)
- Risk Factor (2017)
- The Equalizer Shorts (2017)
- The Shadow of Gold (2019)
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Preservation concerns may limit access. Please consult an archivist.
Conditions governing reproduction
Media Commons does not own copyright of collection materials. Consult rights holder for reproduction(s).
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Dates of creation revision deletion
Created Aug. 15, 2022 by Al Stanton-Hagan
Kensington Communications “About Us” - https://kensingtontv.com/index.php/about-us/
Kensington Communications “Awards” - https://kensingtontv.com/index.php/awards/
Information from donor
Kensington Communications “Remembering Joe David: Spirit of the Mask” - https://kensingtontv.com/index.php/2014/01/27/joe-david-artist-portrait/
The Biggest Little Ticket on IMDB - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7926186/
A Place in the World on NFB - https://www.nfb.ca/film/place_in_the_world/
Kensington Communications “Almost Home” - https://kensingtontv.com/index.php/2003/09/20/almost-home/