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Telefilm Canada becomes a partner of the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund 

20 October 2022

Telefilm Canada is pleased to join the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (AIFF) as a partner to support Indigenous audiovisual productions and increase new training and mentorship opportunities for Indigenous creators in the Arctic regions (including Canada). 

“Telefilm is committed to amplifying the voices of Indigenous creators and supporting their storytelling on the impacts of climate change on the natural world. This new, circumpolar partnership with the AIFF will be instrumental in helping us achieve this,” said Francesca Accinelli, Interim Executive Director and CEO, Telefilm Canada. “Our screen-based industry needs increased access to relevant, timely research on sustainability, as well as more enhanced training and mentorship programs – and this collaboration will support both. With the AIFF, Telefilm is investing in the future of the industry, one that is more equitable, sustainable, and accountable.” 

“Telefilm’s investment in AIFF comes in a time where humanity is facing some of the most challenging times in our history,” said Anne Lajla Utsi, Managing Director, International Sámi Film Institute. “We all need to take action to turn the course. To reconnect with nature, and fight against climate change, loss of land and Indigenous way of lives. The Arctic is homeland to many Indigenous peoples, and we are deeply connected to our land and cultures. The partnership with Telefilm is crucial and it means that AIFF can start supporting Indigenous filmmakers and training in the circumpolar Arctic.” 

Today’s announcement follows a signing ceremony in Toronto attended by representatives from the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund, Canada Media Fund, the Department of Canadian Heritage, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Indigenous Screen Office, Inuit Art Foundation, International Sámi Film Institute and Nunavut Film Development Corporation.  

This partnership is aligned with Telefilm’s corporate priority to increase synergy opportunities with new and existing funding sources to diversify financial contributions for the industry. 

Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (AIFF) 

The Arctic Indigenous Film Fund is an international collaboration established in 2018 by its global partners, the International Sami Film Institute, Nunavut Film Development Corporation, Greenland Film Makers, Archy, Russia and the Canada Media Fund. 

The overall goal of AIFF is to support high-quality film and TV productions and co-productions with Indigenous peoples in Arctic regions and create new financing models that facilitate audiovisual production by Indigenous peoples in the Arctic. AIFF creates a platform for Indigenous filmmakers from across the Arctic to collaborate. The aim is to enhance Indigenous communities and create new business opportunities in remote Arctic areas. 

AIFF will also actively work to give young Indigenous people in the Arctic opportunities to work in the media and digital business in their own communities.  

The establishment of an Arctic Indigenous Film fund comes at an important time; with the Arctic being the focus of much global attention due to the effects of climate change. The increased interest by the global business community in the Circumpolar region, requires that the voices of the Indigenous peoples in the Arctic are heard. Indigenous cinema represents a celebration of Indigenous artistic expression, strengthens the rights of Indigenous peoples living in the Arctic and creates new business opportunities for Northern producers.  

The main activities of the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund are to support development of high-quality Indigenous film/TV productions, support production of high quality Indigenous film/TV productions, encourage and create new platforms for Arctic co-productions, and help produce culturally-relevant film and TV series. The fund is also building a network between film institutions, companies, producers and Universities, thereby strengthening business and competitive advantages; organizing film and TV education for young Indigenous talents; and leading common projects and programs with partners. 

About Telefilm Canada  

As a Partner of Choice, Telefilm Canada is a Crown corporation dedicated to the success of Canada’s audiovisual industry, fostering access and excellence by delivering programs that support cultural resonance and audience engagement. With a lens of equity, inclusivity and sustainability, Telefilm bolsters dynamic companies and a range of creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual coproduction treaties to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund raises private donations which principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at  


Media contact:   

Joyce Richards  
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market  
Telefilm Canada  

AIFF contact: 

Anne Lajla Utsi 

Liisa Holmberg