Toronto agency The Hive is used to telling stories in 30-second increments, but has taken a step into the documentary world with an ambitious new project sponsored by Cadbury Canada.
The Hive partnered with Toronto’s Frantic Films and Alexandre Trudeau and Booker Sim, partners at Montreal-based JuJu Films, to create a 45-minute documentary called Wheels of Change.
The film focuses on The Bicycle Factory, a Cadbury initiative launched last year with the goal of providing young people in the cocoa-producing communities of Ghana with potentially life-changing bicycles that help them travel to school, get food and retrieve water. The film chronicles the impact the first of these bicycles had on young people’s lives.
“There are so many programs out there that are doing good things, but you never really see where the money goes, what actually happens, who benefits,” said Simon Creet, creative director for The Hive. “It was really important to us to find a way to show what a bike can actually do.”
Roughly 20,000 DVD copies of Wheels of Change were distributed to attendees at Free the Children’s We Day event at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Sept. 30, while the documentary received a network TV airing on CTV on Saturday.
Aside from a couple of brief mentions, Cadbury has no overt presence in Wheels of Change, said Creet. However, a 30-second TV spot thanking Canadians for their contribution to The Bicycle Factory and showing the first delivery of bicycles did air on the TV broadcast and is featured on the DVD.
“It’s a real exercise in restraint,” said Creet with a laugh.