The Canada Feature Film Fund’s Development Program is available to production companies looking to finance the development stage of their feature film projects.
2013-2014: Changes to Program Based on Client Feedback
The Development Program was revamped in 2012-2013 as part of Telefilm Canada’s ongoing Program Redesign initiative. After completing the first fiscal cycle of the new program, during which time we continued to listen to client feedback, Telefilm is set to begin the second year with a few adjustments and improvements.
The feedback received from our consultations, as well as from a client survey, enabled us to identify key areas requiring improvement and clarification. Many thanks to clients who provided constructive feedback.
Satisfactory Results in 2012-2013
Telefilm was pleased to see that the allocation of program resources to development remained at a level comparable to previous years, both nationally and regionally:
- 283 companies across Canada were eligible for development support in 2012-2013.
- 181 companies submitted an application in 2012-2013.
- 116 companies received development support.
- The objective of a balanced portfolio was achieved. Among the 281 projects supported in 2012-2013, all genres and budget levels, as well as all regions, are represented.
- Development funding totaled more than $7.5 million in 2012-2013. This is an increase over the previous fiscal.
- As per Telefilm’s mandate, approximately two thirds of the funds went to English-language projects, and one third to French-language projects.
A Success Story – Mentorships and Support to Targeted Groups
The mentorship component of the Program proved successful. This component is one through which individuals belonging to a targeted group (Aboriginal communities, official-language minority communities and new talent) partner in an arrangement with an eligible applicant, who becomes their mentor and helps shepherd the project.
- 11% of program funds went to mentorships, ensuring the presence of new talent and diverse voices in our funding portfolio.
Concerns Raised by our Clientele
Key concerns were raised by our clients during a series of meetings that we held in January and February of 2013. The concerns were:
- Can the funding tiers be better adapted to accommodate lower-budget film producers?
- Producer eligibility and copyright is a concern
- The “decision rounds” approach created delays for receiving an answer from Telefilm. Is it possible to reduce the turnaround time for issuing a decision?
- Is it possible to have access to the details of my company’s track record, in particular the score it was awarded?
- Can there be greater flexibility to the mentorship components?
- Will the Regional Feature Film Executives be more involved in the decision-making process?
Telefilm’s Response to Client Concerns
In response to the feedback provided by our clients, Telefilm has made the following adjustments to the Program for 2013-2014:
- A new funding tier has been created for lower-budget eligible film producers (lower budget defines as less than $2.5 million)
- Clients and stakeholders indicated that, at this time, copyright is still the industry-standard as an indicator of a producer’s involvement and ownership in a project. The 20% rule will remain.
- Decisions will be rendered within 6-8 weeks. In addition, an opening and closing date were established for 2013-2014, namely May 7 for the Program’s opening and November 7 for its closing (or until exhaustion of funds).
- As for access to track records, production companies will have access to the score awarded to their company through eTelefilm. Our clients will be notified as soon as this feature becomes available. Moreover, Telefilm is modifying its decision-making methodology to ensure it effectively compares lower budget films with lower budget films, and higher budget films with higher budget films.
- With regards to funding for the targeted groups, adjustments were made this year to encourage the participation of under-represented groups.
1. In 2013-2014, Telefilm will allow for two mentorships per application, from the following three groups: Aboriginal producers; Francophone producers working outside Quebec; and Anglophone producers working in Quebec. A total of four mentorships per application will be allowed.
2. The New Talent mentorship will remain at one per application, given the high level of applications for that segment last year.
- The Regional Feature Film Directors will be more involved in the decision-making process.