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Calgary High School Students Produce First Episode of TV series about Robots

Funded by TELUS Optik Local and in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education, Botz will premiere in September for free on demand on TELUS Optik TV.

Calgary, Canada, August 10, 2016 --( Starcastle Projects, in collaboration with Certain Films and Mobovivo, has completed an industry led television learning experience with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). With the generous support of TELUS Optik Local and mentored by industry experts, a large team of student interns from Calgary high schools participated in a six-month workshop, a hands on learning program in which they produced the first episode of a TV series which will premiere in September for free on demand on TELUS Optik TV. Upon completion of the program, the students earned work experience credits in Career and Technology studies.

The back story of the series involves teens and boomers collaborating to produce a high quality TV program about robots. This first episode features robots auditioned from around the world, moments of robots interacting with kids at home and at school, and rich dynamic portrayals of robots in action. Even though Artificial Intelligence is in its infancy, the episode explores the emergence of a world in which robots may have the capabilities to think and feel as humans do.

As result of the success of the workshop, the CBE has invited Starcastle and its partners to lead a second season of the project in 2016/17, and has proposed continuing the project annually for five years.

“The workshop placed students in key production roles, which included their writing, directing, editing and problem solving on several BOTZ/CBE sets. This series explores the emerging relationships that exist between humans and robots, a trending subject of interest to students,” says Julie Barton, Fine Arts Specialist for CBE. “Student participants were deeply invested in this project as it was truly their work and a reflection of their capacities as contributors to the creative industries. A new learning community has been created in film, TV and media as a result of this initiative and there is an intention to scale the possibilities throughout the Calgary Board of Education.”

“I’m delighted with the results of this inaugural workshop, in which, under the direction of experienced industry professionals, an incredibly talented and passionate group of high school students produced a TV episode that will broadcast on TELUS Optik Local,” says Kathy Fedori, Executive Producer at Starcastle Projects. “We’re very excited about the upcoming second season of the workshop and continuing to work with these students and others on the remaining episodes, webisodes and social media engagement for this ground-breaking TV show.”

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