Sarah Polley is setting up her feature documentary debut, The Stories We Tell, one of four projects backed under the inaugural Canadian Film Centre-National Film Board of Canada Feature Documentary Program. The program launches in January 2009.

The other filmmakers are veteran Canadian documentary filmmaker John Walker, Shelley Saywell, and Yung Chang, whose 2007 feature documentary, Up The Yangtze won numerous accolades.

The six-month immersive initiative was designed for experienced filmmakers looking to further a theatrical documentary concept. Participants will work with advisors, guest lecturers and other industry mentors with the aim of creating cinematic documentaries that advance the genre while earning commercial and critical success.

Polley's The Stories We Tell will explore the nature of memory and storytelling; Saywell's Ghost Dance will be a spiritual and musical quest to find the meaning of an ancient aboriginal prophecy concerning the ecological balance of the earth; Walker's Seven Wonders will follow seven of the world's master drummers and teachers who gather on a nature reserve in Canada to pass on their secrets to forty students from around the world; Chang's The Fruit Hunters explores nature, obsession, commerce and adventure in the fruit underworld.

In a statement, CFC executive director Slawko Klymkiw said it was a dream of the CFC to enter documentary production; NFB chief Tom Perlmutter said he expects to see some of the documentary projects at festivals in Toronto and beyond.