Monday, March 16, 2009

Rita's Latest Show !!!



Canadian Documentary Premiere on OMNI.1

Portuguese language version – Saturday, March 21st at 10PM ET
English language version – Sunday, March 22nd at 8:30PM ET

Toronto, ON (March 9, 2009) - Rogers OMNI is proud to present the world television premiere of the thought-provoking docu-drama Not A Drop to help mark International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The 60 minute documentary launches to Portuguese speaking audiences on OMNI.1, Saturday, March 21st at 10:00p.m. English language viewers are invited to tune to OMNI.1 on Sunday, March 22nd at 8:30 p.m.

From veteran broadcaster Rita Shelton Deverell, Not A Drop is set in a fictionalized University Diversity Journalism Class and based on real events. Dramatic scenes for Not A Drop were shot on the Centennial@Wallace soundstage.

“OMNI is pleased to air Not a Drop in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” says Madeline Ziniak, national vice president of OMNI. “Rita’s production brings to light a serious clash between environmental and native community issues, set against a backdrop of perspectives drawn from her experience in Aboriginal and faith-based television and work with grassroots community organizations.”

When students of diverse backgrounds -- Japanese-Chinese (Hiromi Okuyama); Caucasian (Alexandra Pope), and Afro-Canadian (Jeremy McDonald) -- claim they are already “diverse enough,” their professor, a Black, former U.S. southerner (played by Stefanie Samuels) and an Aboriginal Activist (Pamela Matthews of One Dead Indian) take up the challenge and assign the class to report on the Walpole Island First Nation, located in what the locals in Windsor, Sarnia, and Detroit call “Chemical Valley.”

“"The people of the Walpole Island First Nation feel they represent all those communities who have not yet been able to say ‘No’ to the toxic living conditions some industries create,” says Rita Deverell, producer/director of Not a Drop. “My message with Not a Drop is that while we as journalists can be serious whistle blowers, taking action isn’t always part of the story – and I am deeply grateful to OMNI for their support in helping focus attention on this particular story, in hopes that real life action will be taken.”

The result of Not a Drop is that its characters – as well as its viewers – are provided with a first-hand learning experience about the deeply troubling issues of so-called “disposable peoples” in North America.

Not A Drop was exclusively funded through OMNI's Independent Producers Initiative, a $32.5 million independent production fund that to date has supported over 200 new documentary programmes. Interested producers can access funding criteria at OMNI Television’s web site .
About Rogers OMNI
Rogers OMNI is a free, over-the-air multilingual/multicultural television system made up of five regional broadcasters serving nine major markets across Canada: in BC (Vancouver and Victoria); Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton), and in Ontario (Ottawa-Gatineau, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area) via flagship stations OMNI.1 and OMNI.2. All Rogers OMNI stations share the collective mandate to reflect Canada’s diversity through the airing of inclusive and accessible programming, and are part of Rogers Media Inc., a division of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI and NYSE: RCI) which is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. In addition to specializing in Canadian multilingual/multicultural programming, OMNI carries well-known American and International series and films – including a station-wide schedule of East Asian Super Cinema and South Asian Bollywood Freetime Movies.

About Rita Shelton Deverell
Producer/Director of Not a Drop, Rita Shelton Deverell is the first Storyteller-in-Residence at the School of Communications, Media and Design at Centennial College. She’s a veteran broadcaster (CBC, Vision TV & APTN), theatre artist, Journalism Professor, who has been honoured for her work with the Order of Canada. Other honours she has received include: Maclean's Honour Roll of Outstanding Canadians; Canadian Black Achievement Award; Media Watch's Dodi Robb Award and inductee, Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

To secure a screening copy of Not A Drop, photos for print or to interview anyone associated with its production please contact:

OMNI Media Contact:
Sandy Zwyer – Programme Information Coordinator, 416-260-3590
Koreen Ott – Director, Marketing and Public Relations, 416-764-3250