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
  • Existing clients can now access the funding amounts available to them, should they be eligible, directly online
  • Automatic financing:
    • for the most part, financing will be attributed automatically based on the total score of the applicant
    • open to clients who have an established record and wish to submit one or more eligible projects
    • in addition, eligible clients may also submit projects from four targeted groups, namely women, members of official language minority communities and emerging talent. However, decisions to support targeted group projects are on a selective basis
  • Selective financing:
    • will take place in parallel to 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
  • Indigenous Stream:
    In the aim of increasing the diversity of the projects it supports, Telefilm will set aside funding for projects by Canadian filmmakers from Indigenous communities.

    • will take place in parallel to the other streams
    • open to Indigenous companies and projects only
    • projects will be assessed by Telefilm’s Indigenous Liaison and subsequently by an external jury having Indigenous representation who will then submit its recommendations to Telefilm

Overview of eligibility requirements

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

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 held in majority by an Indigenous shareholder
  • not be eligible to the automatic or selective streams
  • the project(s) must be written in English, French or an Indigenous language by an Indigenous writer and developed with an Indigenous producer 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

September 24, 2019

Opening and closing dates of the program were revised

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
July 4, 2017

Changes to the Program

  • The Program is now open to creators who have previously produced a theatrically released documentary and to production companies who have produced a film under the Micro-Budget Production Program.
  • In addition, production companies submitting women-led projects (projects written in French, English or Indigenous by a female writer and developed with a female producer) now have access to additional funds.
  • Please note that production companies wishing to submit projects under the women’s targeted group, Telefilm will favour those whose portfolio submitted under the Automatic stream already demonstrates gender diversity with respect to the screenwriter.
July 4, 2017

New support available for creators from British Columbia

Thanks to a joint initiative with Creative BC, production companies from British Columbia who receive less than $30,000 in development funding from Telefilm may receive for a top-up amount from Creative BC to reach $30,000 in total funding available to the producer. Funds are available on a first come, first served basis until the fund is depleted.

June 28, 2017

Updated documents

New versions of the Development Program guidelines, FAQ, list of required documents, final cost report and standard template are now available.

Program applications must be submitted online.

Key dates

No key dates for the moment. Come back later!

Contact persons


Antoinette Duré

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


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


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

If you are applying to the Indigenous stream, or have questions about the Indigenous jury process, please contact the Content analyst and Indigenous liaison below.

Content analyst and Indigenous liaison

Adam Garnet Jones

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