Telefilm Canada has announced investments in 14 English-language features including new feature documentaries from Deepa Mehta and Kevin McMahon.

Mehta is co-directing Forgotten Women with brother Dilip Mehta, a renowned photographer, on this expose of the destitution, exploitation, and virtual slavery of millions of Hindu widows living in India today. David Hamilton and Noemi Weis produce for Hamilton-Mehta Productions.

McMahon, who is the focus of a career retrospective at the upcoming Hot Docs festival in Toronto, will write and direct Waterlife, an exploration of North America's Great Lakes, the largest single source of fresh water in the world. Mark Achbar and Betsy Carson of Big Picture Media Corporation are the executive producers. Michael McMahon and Kristina McLaughlin are producing for Primitive Entertainment.

Some of the projects were previously announced such as David Cronenberg's picture Eastern Promsises, which is in post, and Sam Dunn and Scot MacFadyen's Global Metal, a follow-up to the 2005 documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey.

Among the other new projects are:

Almost Heaven
Production company: New Dawn Productions
Producers: Shel Piercy & Cynthia Chapman
Screenwriters: Richard Beattie and Shel Piercy
Director: Shel Piercy
Distributor: Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution
The story of Mark, a charismatic, alcohol-fuelled director of a television fishing show, struggling to stay sober while forced to work with a temperamental star who happens to be his ex-wife.

The Bend
Producers: Melissa Malkin, Jennifer Kierans, Debra Kouri
Writer/director: Jennifer Kierans
Distributor: Filmoption
On the anniversary of his brother's death, a young man attempts to recreate that tragic prom night to find out what went wrong.

Down To The Dirt
Production company: Newfound Films
Producer: Anna Petras
Screenwriters: Justin Simms, Sherry White
Director: Justin Simms
Based on the novel by Joel Hynes, the story traces a young man's voyage from loneliness and obsessive love via vandalism, booze, drugs, abortion, lies, dead cats and poetry to ultimate self-acceptance and a positive future.

Fiercelight: When Spirit Meets Action
Production company: Fiercelight Films/National Film Board of Canada
Producers: Cherliyn Hawrysh, Gerry Flahive
Writer/director: Velcrow Ripper
Ripper, the director of the well-reviewed documentary ScaredSacred, travels the world searching for individuals who are awakening the world to the power of spirit meeting action.

Real Time
Production company: Lucky Andy Productions
Producers: Ari Lantos, Julia Rosenberg, Paula Devonshire
Writer/director: Randall Cole
Distributor: Maple Pictures
A comic drama about a compulsive gambler who is given one hour to live by the man hired to kill him.

Telefilm Canada's principal public sector film financier, recently celebrated its 40 anniversary.