Premieres in Calgary, Toronto and on TVO. Toronto journalist and filmmaker Michelle Shephard questions what stories get told and

National Film Board

Michelle Shephard’s heart-wrenching and provocative look at journalism, TVO Original The Perfect Story, is launching this fall with screenings in Calgary (September 24) and Toronto (October 5) ahead of a world broadcast premiere on TVO,, YouTube and smart TV services on October 18. is also streaming the film for free starting November 1.

Co-produced by Frequent Flyer Films and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), this feature documentary offers a gripping and intimate look at the ethical and moral challenges sparked by the friendship between foreign correspondent Shephard and a young Somali refugee. By revealing the boundaries of journalism and filmmaking, the documentary questions what stories are told, why, and who gets to tell them.

Michelle Shephard is the recipient of three National Newspaper Awards, earned over two decades of foreign reporting at the Toronto Star, as well as the Michener Award, one of the highest honours in Canadian journalism. Her filmmaking credits include the Emmy-nominated feature Guantanamo’s Child and The Way Out. She was also the creative content producer on the award-winning NFB co-production Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd.

World premiere in Calgary

The Perfect Story will have its world premiere on Saturday, September 24, at 4:45 p.m. at the Calgary International Film Festival, with director Michelle Shephard in attendance for a live Q&A.

Toronto premiere-in person and online

The film will open Hot Docs’ Doc Soup series, with an in-person screening on Wednesday, October 5, at 6:30 p.m. at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, followed by a special curated panel led by guest host Adrienne Arsenault, CBC News’ chief correspondent and host of The National, and featuring Michelle Shephard, film subject and associate producer Sahal Abdulle, and Toronto immigration lawyer Hadayt Nazami. A second screening and Q&A with Michelle Shephard and Sahal Abdulle will take place on Thursday, October 6, at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are now available to Doc Soup subscribers as well as the general public.

Doc Soup subscribers will also be able to view The Perfect Story online from Thursday, October 6, to Sunday, October 9, on the portal.

World broadcast premiere and streaming

TVO Original The Perfect Story will premiere on TVO on Tuesday, October 18, at 9 p.m. ET and stream for free on, the TVO Docs YouTube channel, TVO’s OTT apps and the TVO Today mobile app. The Perfect Story will also stream free to all Canadians on starting November 1.

More about The Perfect Story

The Perfect Story by Michelle Shephard (74 min.)

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.