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).

Intent and Guiding Principles 

  • The guiding principles of the Program are:  

    • To support the development of feature films that will speak to Canadian and international audiences, and that will bring both cultural impact and audience engagement. Telefilm seeks to fund films that will proceed to production and build and contribute to our Canadian cultural legacy.  
    • To support teams with a strong sensibility and perspective who will bring original voices and approaches and will advance cinematic expression.  
    • To support emerging and established teams in advancing their artistic career through ambitious and impactful films.  
    • To support greater equity and representation in storytelling, that reflects gender parity and representation from various communities including Indigenous, Black and People of Colour as well as members of LGBTQ2+ communities and People with Disabilities from all regions of the country.  
    • To support Indigenous content that is produced by creators who are Indigenous and/or have engaged in meaningful research, collaboration, and cooperation with Indigenous communities impacted by their projects.  
    • To support creative teams who are from underrepresented communities and/or who have engaged in meaningful research, collaboration, and cooperation with underrepresented communities, where films are dealing with the experiences of those communities. 
    • To give voice to creative teams from Official Language Minority Communities and those situated outside the main production centers of Toronto and Montreal. 
    • To provide predictability and flexibility for companies with a strong performance.   

    Resources within the Canada Feature Film Fund are allocated on a linguistic basis which maintains approximately one-third of funding for French-language projects. 

Overview of the Program

  • The program is composed of four streams: the Prequalified Stream, the Selective Stream, the Indigenous Stream and the Stream for Black and People of Colour 
  • Eligible applicants may submit their project or portfolio of projects at any time during the program’s opening period. 
  • Eligible applicants under the Prequalified Automatic and Selective Streams Stream will be notified of their eligibility status and eligible amount through the Newsfeed of their Dialogue accountby email in advance of the opening of the programNew clients should contact their regional representative. 
  • All streams open in parallel. Applicants may only apply to one stream. 
 
PREQUALIFIED Stream:
  • open to 125 companies based on their performance ratio for films in their filmography which were financed by Telefilm (in production or post-production) and which have had a theatrical release in the last six years 
  • comprises three financing tiers of $75K, $50K and $25K, respectively. 
  •  
Selective Stream:
  • Open to clients who have produced a feature film that was theatrically released or premiered at a qualifying festival in the last six years 
  • The maximum funding under this stream is $25,000 
  •  
Indigenous Stream:
  • open exclusively to companies majority-owned and controlled by Indigenous Persons 
  • the maximum funding under this stream is $25,000 
  • projects are assessed by an advisory committee having Indigenous representation 
    •  
STREAM FOR BLACK AND PEOPLE OF COLOUR:
  • open exclusively to companies majority-owned and controlled by individuals who self-identify as Black or People of Colour 
  • the maximum funding under this stream is $25,000 
  • projects are assessed by an advisory committee having representation from Black and People of Colour 

Eligibility Overview

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 under the Prequalified Stream 

The applicant must: 

  • have produced at least one Canadian fiction or documentary feature film financed by Telefilm in production or post-production that was theatrically released in Canada in the last six years; and 
  • have a total performance ratio ranking among the highest, taking in account regional access 

Additional criteria for applicants under the Selective Stream: 

The applicant must have produced at least: 

  • one Canadian fiction or documentary feature film that was theatrically released or premiered at a qualifying festival in the last six years; or 
  • one Canadian fiction or documentary feature film funded by Telefilm as part of the Talent to Watch Program that has been distributed in theatres or on one or more digital platforms in Canada over the past six years 

Additional criteria under the Indigenous stream: 

  • the applicant must be majority-owned and controlled by Indigenous persons 
  • the applicant must 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 six years 
  • the project(s) must be written by a writer and developed with a producer who are both Indigenous  

Additional criteria under the Stream for Black and People of Colour 

  • the applicant must be majority-owned and controlled by individuals who self-identify as Black or People of Colour 
  • the applicant must 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 six years 
  • the project(s) must be written by a screenwriter and developed by a producer who both self-identify as Black or People of Colour 

Please consult the Guidelines below for specific eligibility requirements. 

Enrolment for setting up an administrator:

Once an Organization has been created in Dialogue, any Member of the Organization can submit an application on behalf of the Organizations or work on existing applications related to the Organization.

A task to designate an Administrator is automatically sent to the Member of the account when the project statusis moved to recommended.

If you do not receive the Administrator Task, please email enr@telefilm.ca.

If you have any questions about the enrolment process please contact enr@telefilm.ca.

Latest updates

June 17, 2021

PROGRAM CHANGES HIGHLIGHTS

  • track record score has been replaced by a performance ratio, which is calculated as the gross revenue / production budget ratio for a company’s eligible filmography.   
  • A new Prequalified Stream has been created in replacement of the Automatic Stream 
  • The Stream for Racialized Persons is now called the “Stream for Black and People of Colour” 
  • The eligibility criteria to the Selective Stream are expanded for applicant companies which are majority-owned and controlled by members of an official language minority community 
  • The maximum project funding is increased to $25,000 for projects submitted under the Selective Stream, the Indigenous Stream, and the Stream for Black and People of Colour 
June 17, 2021

Updated documents

New versions of the Development Program guidelines, essential information guide, list of qualifying festivals are now available. 

Program applications must be submitted online.

Key dates

Filmography Verification Period
June 23 - July 16, 2021*
All Telefilm clients are encouraged to review their filmography to ensure that it’s accurate. Requests received after this date will not be considered in the calculations for this fiscal year’s allocations. 
Opening date
August 23, 2021

All streams 

Closing date
September 15, 2021, 11:59 pm

All streams 

For any question relative to the Stream for Black and People of Colour:

Antoinette Duré

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

For any question relative to the Indigenous Stream:

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, Nunavut & West

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

Farran Clements

Phone : 647-475-4861
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Partner