(2020 – TVO Original, 60’)
Margin of Error

A new artificial intelligence or “AI” method is shaking up the landscape of traditional polling. For decades, polls have relied on phone calls and surveys as the dominant way to predict elections. However, recent high profile failures such as Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election have instilled doubt in the public eye about polling’s methods and its reliability. The challenge is whether an AI can overcome those weaknesses and more effectively forecast public opinion. With the 2019 Canadian federal election as its backdrop, TVO Original Margin of Error puts “Polly”, the algorithm of a small Ottawa-based startup, to the test. Can this AI draw on social media data to predict the vote in the next election more accurately than the pollsters? 

Premiered on TVO October 17th, 2020. 

For International distribution, contact Kazz Basma at kazz@sidewaysfilm.com


Image Gallery

Press Release



Key Creative Bios

15 sec Trailer

30 sec Trailer

1 min Trailer



(2024) (TVO Original, 6×30) Political Blind Date The series follows the meaningful and nostalgic journey back to people's youth as they attempt to reconnect with key people from [...]

Political Blind Date

(2017 - present) (TVO, 24x30) – This hit original documentary series and format seeks to see what happens when you send two politicians from opposite ends of the spectrum out on “blind dates” based around an issue they disagree on.

Intervention Canada

(2011 - present) – (A&E and Blue Ant Media, 67x1) Based on the Emmy Award winning A&E series Intervention, this documentary series seeks to intervene and help those trapped in a deadly cycle of addiction.

Margin of Error

(2020 – TVO, 60’) feature documentary in post-production that follows Ottawa-based company Advanced Symbolics, Inc. which uses an artificial intelligence algorithm they call “Polly” to scrape social media platforms and predict election outcomes more accurately than traditional pollsters.

Cracked Not Broken

(2007 – HBO, 52’) this feature documentary is a searing portrait of a crack addicted prostitute from the “right side of town”.

Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop

(2006- Sundance Channel, 80’ and 52’) feature documentary for Sundance Channel, tackles the subject of the assault of big box corporate America on independent business, through the eyes of Emmy Award winning former NBC foreign correspondent Hanson Hosein and his journalist wife Heather Hughes.

Pure Intentions

(2012 - CBC/Doc Channel, 70’) – feature documentary which looks at the challenges encountered by a high profile first world philanthropist as he tries to deal with the reality of post apartheid education in South Africa.

Black Nation

(2009 – SVT and The Swedish Film Institute, 80’ and 52’) theatrical feature documentary takes a hard look at the state of black manhood in America, through the prism of the streets of Detroit past and present and that city’s controversial Church of the Black Madonna.