PMA Productions Inc.
PMA Productions Inc. was founded by Kenneth Hirsch in 2003 with the objective of working with Canada’s most talented creators in the production of first quality film, television, and digital media programming. While the company’s primary focus is high-impact documentaries and documentary series, the company also develops and produces select animated projects, shorts and feature films. Located in Montreal, PMA Productions works closely with its writers and directors to produce entertaining and provocative programming for audiences in Canada and abroad. It has gained a nation-wide reputation for the consistently high quality and prestigious nature of its productions.
Most recently, PMA has completed production on Extraordinary Canadians, an innovative twelve-part biography series pairing Canada’s eminent writers with great Canadians who have shaped our thinking. Adapted from the book series published by Penguin Group (Canada), each programme presents a personal take on the life of a distinguished Canadian from the perspective of a celebrated contemporary writer. The series launches this fall 2011 in five languages on City TV, the Biography Channel, and Omni Television, and features such luminaries as Adrienne Clarkson on Norman Bethune, Nino Ricci on Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and Mark Kingwell on Glenn Gould.
In 2010, PMA released the feature documentary Outbreak: Anatomy of a Plague by award-winning filmmaker Jefferson Lewis to critical acclaim and tremendous press coverage. A PMA/NFB/Radio-Canada/Discovery Television co-production, and adapted from Plague, the national bestseller by Michael Bliss, Outbreak juxtaposes a 21st century scenario against the cautionary history of Montreal’s 1885 smallpox epidemic to evoke a modern city under siege from a deadly virus.
Other PMA releases include the animated shorts Moose of La Mancha and The Three Wishes by celebrated Canadian filmmaker Sheldon Cohen, Vengeance by Lanan Adcock, and The Day Before Yesterday directed by Patricia Chica. Currently in development are documentaries The Science of Risk, Lolita Diaries, Hidden Costs, The Juice, Dinner Club and Only Human, as well as Extraordinary Canadians: Season 2.
Prior to founding PMA Productions Inc., Kenneth spent ten years at the National Film Board of Canada. Some of his credits as producer of documentaries include the Gemini award nominated Shylock (1999), directed by Pierre Lasry; the three-part television series War at Sea I and II (1995) and Web of War (1995), directed by Brian McKenna; and Berlin-festival selected Anatomy of Desire (1995), directed by Jean-Francois Monette and Outbreak: Anatomy of a Plague (2010), directed by Jefferson Lewis. As PMA’s executive producer, Kenneth handles relationships between financial and creative partners and works closely with key creatives to oversee production quality for all of PMA’s projects. Kenneth also co-directed Extraordinary Canadians Episode 4: Rudy Wiebe on Big Bear, and directed Extraordinary Canadians Episode 12: John Ralston Saul on Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. He is a graduate of Harvard University.
Michael Levine is a retired partner of the law firm of Goodmans LLP, Toronto. He concentrated his work on the legal aspects of the entertainment industry, primarily the financing, production and distribution of theatre, film, television, books and multimedia. He is currently the Executive Vice-Chairman of The Historica-Dominion Institute, Chairman of Westwood Creative Artists, (Canada’s largest literary agency, representing over 400 authors), Director of Roy Thomson Hall/Massey Hall, Director of the Institute of Canadian Citizenship, Chairman of Bravo!FACT, Director of the National Screen Institute and Executive Producer of various fiction and non-fiction films and television properties, many of which tell Canadian stories including The Terry Fox Story, Republic of Doyle, Sir John A Macdonald, A Fair Country by John Ralston Saul, The Land That Devours Ships, The Struggle for Democracy, The Danger Tree, The Heritage Minutes for The CRB Foundation and Historica, A Soldier’s Peace with Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, Peter C. Newman’s Canadian Revolution, Canadians: Biographies of a Nation, Empire of the Bay, Sir Wilfred Laurier, Titans, Mordecai Richler: A Celebration, Mordecai Richler’s St. Urbain’s Horseman. He is a graduate in Honours Political Science and Economics, and Law from the University of Toronto, worked for the Government of Canada in East Africa and then returned to join the law firm of Rosenfeld, Schwartz, in which firm he became Managing Partner in November, 1973 and remained until that firm merged with Goodmans’ predecessor in May, 1982.