Political turns to documentary

Jon Mann is working on his second documentary (Submitted)
Jon Mann is working on his second documentary (Submitted)

Fredericton native and young filmmaker Jon Mann is finishing up his second documentary. The issue? The widely criticized attempted sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec. Canadian journalist, Chantal Hébert said it was the most underreported Canadian political story of 2010.

“This story is way too important for it to just be swept under the rug,” says Mann.

The currently untitled film will chronicle how the people of New Brunswick came together to oppose the deal and stop the Liberal government from selling their power utility. Mann says social media played a big part in the story, including a Facebook group with 32 thousand members against the proposed sale.

“It’s not so much about whether the deal was a good deal or not, because I have no idea. I don’t know the politics and the business behind it. It was more so about the social movement that happened in New Brunswick and how people were able to rise up and people-power and democracy.”

Mann said New Brunswickers should be able to pat themselves on the back because of what they did.

The 24-year-old filmmaker studied the issue for six months and interviewed over 45 people since last September. Mann interviewed lawyers, engineers, energy sector workers, students, journalists and politicians for his film. Unlike many documentaries, the film won’t show one side of the issue.

“It’s going to be completely balanced,” says Mann.

Raj Patel, author of New York Times bestseller The Value of Nothing, is narrating the film.

The documentary will premiere in the upcoming year. Mann said he has 88 hours of interviews to go through and he’s just starting to edit.

“The entire production will probably be a solid two years … it’s a big one.”

The Acadia graduate studied screenwriting at the New York Film academy in 2012. His first documentary Drink ‘Em Dry premiered at Harvard University the same year. He lives in Halifax and works for Clean Nova Scotia, but one day wants to live off filmmaking.

“If I were able to work on film full-time, it would feel like retirement because it doesn’t feel like work at all, “says Mann. “It’s the best job in the world.”

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