Telefilm Canada launches the second edition of the Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program

Montréal, May 21, 2009 – Telefilm Canada, in partnership with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), is launching the second edition of its Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program. Aboriginal writers, writer-directors and producers are thus invited to submit their first application between now and June 29, 2009. Writers and producers who were selected during the program’s first year, in 2008, have until November 27, 2009 to submit an application for development assistance for the subsequent stage of their project.

This initiative solidly backs up Telefilm’s commitment to allocate a total of $1.2 million over three years to set up a professional development program for Aboriginal filmmakers. During the program’s first year, the writers and producers of the 11 selected projects received development funding, took part in a four-day immersion in Toronto, and benefited from professional guidance based on their training needs. “Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program enabled us to spread our wings,” stated Rachel-Alouki Labbé of Alouki Films, “and we now feel that we have staked our place in the world of Canadian story-telling.” Added Laura J. Milliken, President of Big Soul Productions Inc., “The two-pronged approach involving industry mentorship and project funding is what makes FASP a truly unique and invaluable opportunity for Canadian Aboriginal producers, writers and directors. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the program.” Both Alouki Films and Big Soul Productions Inc. benefited from the program in 2008.

“We are confident that this program will help bring greater diversity to our screens,” stated Wayne Clarkson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, “and that outstanding, untold stories will soon excite the imagination of all Canadians.”

This initiative was developed in association with the APTN, which will contribute $750,000 to the program over three years. “This initiative provides an exceptional training opportunity for the Aboriginal Film Production Community and APTN is extremely proud to be associated and to partner with Telefilm in this tremendous program,” said Jean LaRose, APTN’s CEO.

Launched in 2008, the Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program aims to encourage and support Aboriginal filmmakers to develop original script material that will be attractive to producers, financiers and other film industry representatives in the marketplace. The program provides solid support to Aboriginal writers and producers, at all stages of a film’s development. As such, participants whose project has been selected benefit from a combination of training, professional development and personalized mentorship activities, and also receive a development advance.

Developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry
Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry. Telefilm provides financial support to the private sector to create distinctively Canadian productions that appeal to domestic and international audiences. The Corporation also administers the funding programs of the Canada Feature Film Fund, the Canadian Television Fund and the Canada New Media Fund.

About APTN
September 1, 2009 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the first national Aboriginal television network in the world with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples to share with all Canadians and viewers around the world. APTN is available in approximately 10 million Canadian households and commercial establishments with cable, direct-to-home satellite (DTH), telco-delivered and fixed wireless television service providers. APTN does not receive government funding for operations but generates revenue through subscriber fees, advertising sales and strategic partnerships. APTN broadcasts programming with 56% offered in English, 16% in French and 28% in Aboriginal languages. For a program schedule or for more information, please contact APTN at 204-947-9331 Ext. 358 or toll free at 1-888-330-APTN (2786), or visit the website at www.aptn.ca.

Complete program details, including submission conditions pertaining to projects in their first or second year, are available at www.telefilm.ca.

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Media inquiries:

Telefilm Canada
(Anglophone media)
Alejandra Sosa
sosaa@telefilm.ca
416 973 6436 #2505
or 1 800 463 4607
Téléfilm Canada
(Médias francophones)
Élise Proulx
elise.proulx@videotron.ca
450 732 0788
APTN
Sylvia Kolopenuk
skolopenuk@aptn.ca
204 947 9331 # 339