The second season of Omnifilm Entertainment's Jade Fever is slated to air February 23rd, at 10 pm on Discovery Canada.
Jade Fever is an unscripted Canadian series following the adventures of the Bunce family mining business in Jade City, BC, as they gamble in search of million dollar boulders of jade. Jade City is one of the most visited tourist stops in that area of BC and most people don't realize our province has 75% of the world's jade deposits.
(Robin Bunce, Guy Marital, Alan Qiao looking at jade at Wolverine 2. Photo: Michael Hall)
Season 1 saw the Bunces as they mine, cut, polish and sell jade. Employing most of the people in town – if they strike it rich, everyone wins; if they fail, a whole town falls flat on its face. Chinese-born Investor Alan Qiao is the go- between for the Bunce’s and their foreign investors. The season ended as the crew uncovers a bolder big enough to entice Chinese investors to fund another season.
"During its first season, Jade Fever was the #1 program among P2 and A25-54 on Canadian Entertainment Specialty in the Tuesday 8 - 9pm slot," says Series Producer David Gullason. "It continued to sit amongst the top 30 programs across all Canadian Entertainment Specialty networks, including non-Canadian hit shows. We're excited to say that we've been nominated by the CSA's for Best Factual Program/Series, for Season 1."
In Season 2, equipment breakdowns on the long march to the Wolverine mine, one of two claims in an Alpine landscape, put Claudia’s crew behind until Josh, bursting with newfound maturity, steps up. At camp, lead operator Guy finds nothing and Robin loses faith in Wolverine. But after prospecting prodigy Justin fruitlessly combs through the surrounding mine sites and Claudia’s business ventures in Jade City tank, they turn back to Wolverine. With time running out they unearth an unproven boulder that could save the season, but an early winter and a serious car accident threaten to derail everything.
(Camera operator Dan Milligan shoots how Michael Bodnarchuk loses boot in mud, observed by Torey Bartnik, Moses Altmann and Alan Qiao. Photo: Michael Hall)
The story is not scripted, emphasizes director Jereme Watt, who felt welcomed by the Bunce family, consisting of the matriarch Claudia Bunce, who helms the mining operation, her husband Robin Bunce, the mine manager, and their youngest son Joshua Bunce.
"Sometimes you’ll encounter characters that don’t want to be part of the series at all like Robin and Claudia’s son Justin," says Watt. "Here was an interesting young man who would prospect on the surrounding property and come back with the location of jade boulders buried under brush and moss."
Though Justin was initially uncomfortable about being on-camera, Watt assured him he wouldn’t ask him to do anything outside of what he would normally do, or put words in his mouth. Eventually, Justin allowed the team to document how he was searching for jade which ended up changing the entire mining strategy of the family in Season 2.
The second season (16 x 30 min) was executive produced by Series Producer David Gullason, Omnifilm Partner and Executive Producer Gabriela Schonbach and Omnifilm President Michael Chechik, with Jeffrey Kinnon as Creative Producer and Chris Bizzocchi and Al Flett as Series Editors.
By Katja De Bock
Photography courtesy of Omnifilm Entertainment
For further news about Western Canada's screen-based media: