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The National Film Board of Canada and Red Bull Media House present True North. A nine-part docuseries that looks inside the rise of Toronto basketball


May 9, 2018 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Red Bull Media House present True North, a nine-part docuseries that provides an intimate look at the rise of the Toronto hoop dream through the stories of five young athletes, inspired by the wave of professional talent coming from their city.  Director Ryan Sidhoo captures the raw emotion of navigating today’s youth basketball machine through the eyes of the city’s players, coaches and families at the centre of it.

“At its core, the story of basketball in Canada is an underdog tale and now the sport is shaping our identity on the world stage – that’s a big deal,” said Ryan Sidhoo, Director and Creator, True North.  “However, what truly excited me about the project was having the opportunity to go beyond this headline and explore the personal and emotional side of the story in real time.”

The series follows contemporary coming-of-age stories as they unfold in an evolving city, sharing a unique Canadian experience that’s rooted in generational immigration.  True North was produced by NFB’s Shirley Vercruysse and is distributed in partnership with Red Bull Media House.

“As the first online docuseries by the NFB, True North is an exciting project for the whole team,” said Shirley Vercruysse, Producer, True North. “The format and the coordinated online distribution with Red Bull Media House are innovative approaches for the NFB, and a great opportunity for us to reach new audiences.”


As of May 9th 2018 all nine episodes of True North can be viewed on NFB YouTube /NFB.ca and Red Bull TV


DeMar DeRozan, Steve Nash, Cory Joseph, Jamal Murray, Jamaal Magloire, Damon Stoudamire, Phil Dixon, Michael Meeks, Devoe Joseph and Schea Cotton


  • Elijah Fisher (Grassroots AAU): At 6’3”, Elijah is the #1 ranked twelve-year-old in North America. His parents keep him balanced amidst the social media hype.
  • Keone Davis (King Nation AAU): What he lacks in size, he makes up for in heart. Keone has a strong connection with his mother.
  • Jalen Celestine (King Nation AAU): Son of Curtis Celestine, who played collegiately at Marist University in New York. Jalen hopes to go to prep school in the states.
  • Malachi Ndur (King Nation AAU): Son of former NHL player Rumun Ndur.  Malachi is a small-town kid that has been thrust into the fast-paced youth basketball world.
  • Cordell Veira (Toronto Basketball Academy): In his senior year, Cordell hopes to land his first NCAA Division 1 offer while carrying the weight of family redemption.


  • Coach Ro Russel (Grassroots AAU): A trailblazer in Canada’s AAU Basketball scene, Ro Russell has coached the likes of NBA champions Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph. His next project is developing Elijah Fisher into an elite talent.
  • Coach Vidal Massiah (Northern Kings AAU): Former Team Canada Captain, Coach Vidal Massiah hopes his brand of tough love prepares his players for life on and off the court.
  • Coach Adeel Sahibzada (Toronto Basketball Academy): Founder of the underdog program – Toronto Basketball Academy – Adeel is looking to send a player to a NCAA Division 1 program without the financial backing other big programs have.


Twitter: @thenfb & @RedBullCanada
Instagram@ONF_NFB & @RedBullCanada
Facebook: NFB & Red Bull
Hashtag: #TrueNorthDoc

For more information about True North, please visit  www.nfb.ca and www.redbull.tv/truenorth

About the NFB:

The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 20 Canadian Screen Awards, 18 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access NFB works, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for mobile devices.

About Red Bull Media House:

Red Bull Media House is an award-winning, globally distributed multi-platform media company on a mission to inspire with ‘beyond the ordinary’ stories – both direct-to-consumer and through partnerships. With a focus on sports, culture and lifestyle content, Red Bull Media House offers a wide range of premium media products across TV, mobile, digital, audio, and print. Red Bull Media House produces and licenses a broad selection of global live broadcast events, compelling and inspirational local storytelling with original short and long-form programming as well as feature films from around the world.


Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: True North

Photos: Photo Credit:  Yasin Osman/Red Bull Content Pool
Trailers: 30 second and 60 second

Associated Links

Red Bull Media House


Media Relations

For the Red Bull Media House
Jill Kenney

For the NFB

Jennifer Mair
NFB Publicist – Toronto
Cell: 416-436-0105
E-mail: j.mair@nfb.ca
Twitter: @NFB_Jennifer

Katja De Bock
NFB Publicist – Vancouver
Tel.: 604-666-8585 | Cell: 778-628-4890
E-mail: k.debock@nfb.ca | Twitter: @NFB_Katja

Lily Robert
Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
Tel.: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261
E-mail: l.robert@nfb.ca