Development program

This program supports Canadian production companies looking to finance the development stage of their feature film project(s).

Who can apply

Canadian production companies in search of financing for the development stage of their feature film project(s).

Overview of the program

  • Eligible applicants may submit their project or portfolio of projects at any time during the program’s opening period.
  • Eligible applicants under the Automatic and Selective Streams will be notified of their status and eligible amount through the Newsfeed of their Dialogue account. New clients should contact their regional representative.
  • Automatic Stream:
    • financing will be attributed automatically based on the total score of the applicant’s track record
    • open to clients who have an established record and wish to submit one or more eligible projects
  • Selective Stream:
    • will take place in parallel with the automatic round to reach a balanced portfolio of projects
    • open to clients who are eligible to apply, but have yet to achieve a score sufficient to be eligible for automatic financing and to clients who have produced a feature film that premiered at a qualifying festival in the last five years
  • Indigenous Stream:
    • will take place in parallel with the Automatic and Selective streams
    • open exclusively to Indigenous companies and projects
    • projects will be assessed by Telefilm’s Lead, Indigenous Initiatives and subsequently by an external jury having Indigenous representation
  • Stream for Racialized Persons
    • will take place in the fall
    • open exclusively to companies majority-owned and controlled by individuals who self-identify as Racialized Persons
    • projects submitted under this stream must be written and produced by a Screenwriter and a Producer who both self-identify as Racialized Persons
    • projects will be assessed by an external jury having representation from Racialized Persons

Overview of eligibility requirements

Program eligibility

To review your eligibility, consult the NEWS section in your main company Dialogue profile.

For new eligibility requests, let us know about your productions and accomplishments, using this Eligibility request form.  Contact us if you have any questions (contact information at the bottom of the page).

Please note that the deadline to submit an eligibility request to the racialized stream is Friday October 16th.

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be a Canadian controlled corporation with its head office in Canada and carry out its activities in Canada
  • operate as a feature film production company
  • key members of the development team must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents

Additional criteria for automatic and selective financing:

  • have produced at least one Canadian fiction feature film or documentary with a theatrical release in the last five years
  • have a track record score which makes them eligible for a total allocation amount equal to or greater than $30,000

Additional criteria for selective financing:

  • have produced at least one Canadian fiction or documentary feature film  that was theatrically released or premiered at a qualifying festival in the last five years

In alignment with its objective to support the diversity of voices in the audiovisual industry, Telefilm will, for projects of equal quality, prioritize those whose key creatives (director and/or screenwriter and/or producer) reflect the diversity of Canada from across the provinces and territories of the country and in terms of gender and cultural diversity.

Additional criteria for the Indigenous stream:

  • have produced an eligible short or feature film, one hour of TV or a film funded by Telefilm as part of the Talent to Watch Program distributed in theaters or on one or more digital platforms in Canada over the past five years
  • be majority-owned and controlled by Indigenous persons
  • the project(s) must be written by a writer and developed with a producer who are both Indigenous and have a story consultant or a script editor who is independent from the producer

Additional criteria for the Stream for Racialized Persons

  • have produced an eligible short or feature film, one hour of TV or a film funded by Telefilm as part of the Talent to Watch Program distributed in theaters or on one or more digital platforms in Canada over the past five years
  • be majority-owned and controlled by individuals who self-identify as Racialized Persons
  • the project(s) must be written by a screenwriter and developed by a producer who both self-identify as Racialized Persons and have a story consultant or a script editor who is independent from the producer

Please consult the Guidelines below for specific eligibility requirements.

Latest updates

August 6, 2020

Changes to the Program / New version of the guidelines

  • Creation of the Stream for Racialized Persons
  • Expansion of the eligibility criteria to the Selective Stream to allow flexibility to applicant companies
  • Increased number of projects per company that can be funded in the selective stream to up to two at $15,000 per title
  • In order to be eligible to the Automatic Stream, Applicants’ track record score which makes them eligible for a total allocation amount equal to or greater than $30,000
  • Removal of targeted groups funding
August 6, 2020

Updated documents

New versions of the Development Program guidelines, essential information guide, list of required documents, list of qualifying festivals, declarations, eligibility request form, budget and eligible costs and scoring grid have been updated.

August 1st, 2019

Changes to the Program / New version of the guidelines

  • Creation of the Indigenous stream in replacement of the Indigenous targeted group
  • All rounds will take place at the same time
  • Eligibility for selective, automatic and Indigenous streams does not guarantee entitlement to funds, which are limited
  • The creative and financial control and rights to the projects originating for the targeted group of new talent must reside solely with the producer who is a member of the targeted group

Program applications must be submitted online.

Key dates

Opening date
October 5, 2020

Development Stream for Racialized Persons

Closing date
October 30, 2020, 9 pm EST

Development Stream for Racialized Persons

Deadline to submit an eligibility request
October 16, 2020
Development Stream for Racialized Persons

For any question relative to the Stream for Racialized Persons:

Antoinette Duré

Phone : 438-469-1169
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

For any question relative to the Indigenous Stream:

Lead, Indigenous Initiatives

Adam Garnet Jones

Phone : 647-475-4904
Toll free : 1-800-463-4607

Coordinator, Program Administration

Randall Jason Fox

Phone : 778-309-1772
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

For any other question/inquiry:

Atlantic and Quebec

Raluca Tuturman

Phone : 438 469-1190
Toll free :  1-800-567-0890

Carmela Sciortino

Phone : 438-469-1257
Toll free :  1-800-567-0890

Ontario and Nunavut

Lucie Meynial

Phone : 647-475-4870
Toll free :  1-800-567-0890

Risa Veffer

Phone : 647-475-4899
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Western

Randall Jason Fox

Phone : 778-309-1772
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Judith MacInnes

Phone : 778.309.1777
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Partner