Realscreen » Archive » Production Begins on Documentary Exploring Canada’s Role in the Manhattan Project


CBC’s Documentary Channel has commissioned a feature documentary on Canada’s role in the Manhattan Project, which led to the invention of the atomic bomb.

Atomic reaction is directed by Northwest Territories Dene filmmaker Mason Mantla (Willowherb) and editor and filmmaker Michèle Hozer (Coated with sugar), with Yellowknife Dene CBC radio host Lawrence Nayally (pictured) serving as the on-camera storyteller.

The documentary is produced under the Atomic Reaction Films banner, with David Hatch and Canadian music veteran Bernie Finkelstein serving as executive producers alongside documentarian Shelley Saywell. It was commissioned by Jordana Ross, head of production for Documentary Channel.

Manufacturing on Atomic reaction just started with two units, one led by Mantla in Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, and the other led by Hozer in Port Hope, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec .

The doc examines “100 years of Canadian nuclear history,” according to a statement from Hatch. It connects the events leading up to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan to a Dene prophecy from the 1800s and explores the history of Canadian research into the development of the atomic bomb.

Archival photos and video will be used in the documentary, along with interviews and animation provided by multidisciplinary artist Kurt Swinghammer, with award-winning composer Jonathan Goldsmith providing the score.

Funding for Atomic reaction was donated by the Canada Media Fund, the Rogers Documentary Fund and the Ontario Creates Film Fund.

(By Victoria Ahearn of Playback Daily)


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