Stories By Contrast

Neutral Zone [Trailer] by TSNCanada on YouTube.

I hold fast to the idea that a great story will compel all to watch – even if shot on an iPhone. Gears and gadgetry certainly add to your documentary, but remember you must frame a house before you can add the siding.

TSN’s latest documentary Neutral Zone did use more than a smart device to shoot it, but it holds fast to the idea that great stories create great content. Canadian director Josh Shiaman journey’s to Isreal’s only Olympic sized rink and delves into a program which brings Arabic and Jewish children together on the ice.

Contrast is one of my favourite techniques in story telling. The trailer is short, but the imagery is stunning. A father helping his son put on his equipment with a rifle slung over his back. A shot of a dressing room followed immediately by one of a tank. An Israeli soldier then a peaceful looking tree standing alone.

I believe the kids these days are calling it juxtaposition… though I’m going to stick with contrast as I can type it with ease.

This is a project I’d direct in a heartbeat if given the chance – not taking away from Shiaman’s job whatsoever. Josh is a Canada Screen Award winner. But it is definitely something up my alley.

A strong story, that if told right, will sell itself. I can’t wait for it to debut.


Below is the full press release from TSN.


TSN travels to northern Israel’s Canada-Israel Hockey School to examine whether hockey can be used as an instrument of peace in the TSN original documentary NEUTRAL ZONE. The 30-minute documentary premieres in prime time on Tuesday, June 25 at 9pm ET on TSN and wraps up a night of NHL specials on the network.

NEUTRAL ZONE is hosted by Sports Illustrated journalist and TSN THE REPORTERS WITH DAVE HODGE reporter Michael Farber, and is directed by Canadian Screen Award-winning TSN Senior Feature Producer Josh Shiaman.

NEUTRAL ZONE explores the relationships forged at the Canada-Israel Hockey School, which houses Israel’s only Olympic-sized rink. The school’s young hockey players hail from the mostly Arab area of the Golan Heights and the predominantly Jewish town of Metula – communities located in a region with strained relations and fortified borders. With the region sitting at the nexus of current world events amid rising geopolitical tensions, NEUTRAL ZONE examines whether teaching Arab and Jewish children how to play hockey together can help promote tolerance on and off the ice.

TSN airs a slate of NHL specials leading up to the premiere of NEUTRAL ZONE on Tuesday, June 25 at 9pm et, with BOB MCKENZIE’S NHL DRAFT RANKING kicking off the night at 7:30pm ET, followed by NHL MOCK DRAFT SPECIAL at 8 pm ET, and the NHL DRAFT RETROSPECTIVE: 2003 at 8:30 pm ET.

The broadcast schedule for NEUTRAL ZONE is as follows:

– Tuesday, June 25 at 9pm ET on TSN
– Sunday, June 30 at 12:30am ET on TSN
– Sunday, June 30 at 11:30am ET on TSN2
– Wednesday, July 3 at 5:30pm ET on TSN2

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