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Shaftesbury Films was founded by Canadian Film Centre alumnus Christina Jennings 1987. The initial goal was to produce feature films with strong Canadian content and identity; their first feature, Camilla, was produced in 1992 and followed by Swann and Painted Angels. In 1996, Jennings recruited Jonathan Barker, a former IMAX Corp. executive. Due to the scarcity of funding for feature filmmaking in Canada, Shaftesbury quickly moved into television, producing their first ‘movie of the week’ (External Affairs, based on Timothy Findlay’s The Stillborn Lover) in 1998. After establishing their commitment to adapting prestigious Canadian literary works by such authors as Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, and Mordecai Richler, Shaftesbury expanded to produce a broad range of television programming for children and adults. In 1998, Shaftesbury established a large format division (SK Films) in partnership with IMAX founder Robert Kerr. The company distributed Bugs!, Journey to Mecca, and Gold Fever, among other films. Also in 1998, Jennings and Barker further diversified their company by launching a feature-film distribution arm in partnership with Oasis Pictures. In 2008, Barker left Shaftesbury Films; he and Kerr now have sole control of SK Films.
Shaftesbury has accumulated a host of awards over its twenty-three year history, including Geminis, International Emmys, Canadian Screenwriting Awards and Directors Guild of Canada Awards. Jennings was awarded the Crystal Award for Oustanding Achievement by the Women in Film and Television organization in 2006.
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Shaftesbury website http://www.shaftesbury.ca/#corporateinfo
Binning, Cheryl. “Shaftesbury Films: planning for the future.” Take One (Summer 2000). http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Shaftesbury+Films%3a+planning+for+the+futu...
Izzo, Kim. “The Producer.” Zoomer (Winter 2009): 122.
MacDonald, Gayle. “Shaftesbury Films co-CEOs go separate ways.” The Globe and Mail (March 19, 2008): R.3.
Waldi, Paul. “Shaftesbury chiefs go to court in battle for control.” The Globe and Mail (January 10, 2008), R.1.