Prior to forming Strongwall Productions with William Armstrong, the other partners - James Wallen, Marta Nielsen, and Gina Binetti - worked together on a number of documentary films that lay the groundwork of social conscience that is the trademark of their new company. This collaboration began with the hugely successful WWII documentary series, No Price Too High, which aired on Bravo!, CBC, WNED and the Knowledge Network. This collaboration continued on the WWI series, Far From Home, produced in co-operation with the NFB and which aired on CBC and History Channel. Far From Home garnered James a Writer's Guild award nomination in documentary writing for the episode, The Battle of Vimy Ridge. The three partners once again teamed up for Conquering Niagara, chronicling the hardships endured by a workforce consisting of poor Irish immigrants and runaway slaves in building the Welland Canal. Conquering Niagara aired on TVO and CBC's "Country Canada."
This talented threesome also teamed up to make Shattered Dreams, a one hour documentary for Global Television that followed the crusade of Ian Brewster, a black youth worker in Toronto, to explore the reasons he thinks his community is on the verge of a crisis involving violence, criminality and despair. Shattered Dreams has been honoured with screenings at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival in Nigeria and the San Diego Black Film Festival. It was nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award for best POV Documentary and won the National Film Board of Canada Kathleen Shannon Award, given to an independent filmmaker whose production provided an opportunity for people outside the dominant culture to have a voice.
James was the writer and Gina the editor on producer/director Joel Gordon's documentary film, Embracing the Kink, that chronicled the climb of the brilliant play Da Kink in my Hair from a lowly Toronto fringe theatre production to a weekly sitcom on television. This film aired on Global Television, won the Golden Sheaf Award and was nominated for a 2008 Gemini award.
Strongwall Productions is a full service film and television production company, offering a full turn-key approach, from script development to production and post. At Strongwall we believe in the power of story to engage, entertain and enlighten. Whether fact-based or dramatic creation, our stories are driven by characters our audience is compelled to follow. We admire stories of determination, perseverance and hope. At Strongwall, we believe in stories with a strong social conscience that need to be told and in an audience that needs to see them.