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Telefilm Canada holds Annual Public Assembly in Vancouver under the theme Celebrating 50 years of talent

30 November 2016

  • Telefilm highlights recently announced measures to achieve gender parity in production financing by 2020
  • Focus on emerging talent through the Talent Fund-supported Micro-Budget Production Program: 15 first projects funded in 2015-2016, and 55 funded since the Program’s launch
  • Spotlight on Western Canadian talent: Suzanne Crocker (All the Time in the World), Ann Marie Fleming (Window Horses), Kevan Funk (Hello Destroyer), Connor Gaston (The Devout), Guy Maddin (The Forbidden Room), Nettie Wild (Koneline: Our Land Beautiful) 

Vancouver, November 30, 2016—Telefilm Canada held its Annual Public Assembly this morning at the Vancouver International Film Centre’s Vancity Theatre. The Assembly was held under the theme Celebrating 50 years of talent—a reference to Telefilm’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2017. The Assembly was attended by members of the general public and Canada’s audiovisual industry.

At the Assembly, Telefilm released its similarly titled 2015-2016 annual report, Celebrating 50 years of talent. 

“Telefilm’s 50th anniversary in 2017—and Canada’s 150th—provide us with wonderful opportunities to celebrate our country’s outstanding audiovisual industry and the many talented creators who have shaped and enriched it over the years,” said Michel Roy, Chair of Telefilm’s Board. “Telefilm is proud to support and promote this vital cultural industry for nearly five decades, in particular emerging filmmakers, whose diverse voices and stories have enthralled audiences around the world.”

Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, added: “Over the next year, and the years ahead, we will continue our efforts, in collaboration with the industry, to foster more diversity and representation. We are committed to ensuring that unique Canadian voices, both new and established, continue to be heard. We will ensure that our programs evolve so they are always better adapted to the industry’s reality and needs. We’ll work toward all these goals by being creative and by acting boldly.” 

Corporate highlights

  • In 2015-2016, Telefilm Canada supported the production of 110 feature films, the marketing of 105 feature films and the development of 258 projects, and helped to promote Canadian talent at 42 festivals and 102 events and initiatives across the country and at 34 festivals, markets and events around the world—for a total investment of $95.7 million.
  • 2015-2016 marked Telefilm’s 40th anniversary in coproduction management. In 2015, total production budgets for 53 film and television treaty coproduction projects amounted to $447 million and involved 15 partner countries. In 2016, Canada and Ireland signed a new coproduction treaty.
  • In November 2016, Telefilm Canada announced that it is aiming to achieve, by 2020, a balanced production portfolio (at all budget levels) that reflects gender parity in each of the key roles of director, writer and producer.
  • The Talent Fund, a private donation fund, has raised more than $15 million to date to ensure, notably, that emerging Canadian talent is increasingly visible around the world. The Fund now finances over 75% of the Micro-Budget Production Program.
  • To date, the Micro-Budget Production Program has funded 55 debut projects by promising emerging filmmakers. A number of recipients have achieved critical success: Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy (The Editor), Connor Gaston (The Devout), Amy Jo Johnson (The Space Between), Julie Lambert (Un film de chasse de filles), Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf), Christian Sparkes (Cast No Shadow), Kyle Thomas (The Valley Below), as well as Indigenous filmmakers Sonia Bonspille Boileau (Le Dep) and Adam Garnet Jones (Fire Song).
  • In 2015-2016, Telefilm allocated a large portion of its production funding to first and second feature films, with 46% of production funding devoted to first- or second-time filmmakers, which corresponds to 67% of titles funded.
  • Telefilm’s parliamentary appropriation will increase by $22 million over the next five years. In consultation with the Department of Canadian Heritage, and in line with Telefilm’s strategic priorities, new money will be used for coproduction and national and international promotion.
  • To better promote Canadian films and talent, Telefilm will now support an additional 34 international festivals that serve as major springboards for emerging filmmakers.
  • Telefilm’s public and private partners strongly supported the promotion of Canadian talent. Partners include the Canada Media Fund; Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, for the Talent Fund; the Rogers Group of Funds, for the Theatrical Documentary Program (38 projects over the last 10 years); the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television; festivals; consulates; provincial organizations; and private-sector companies such as Birks, which again paid tribute to Canadian women in film at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Telefilm launched, with the industry, the Canada First audience-focused strategy—a national promotional campaign developed to drive consumer awareness for Canada’s screen production.
  • Telefilm continued to provide the industry with leading-edge market intelligence and strategic research. In November 2016, Telefilm released a new study, Understanding and engaging with audiences, which identifies two groups of Canadian viewers—“Curious” and “Belonging”—as primary targets to promote homegrown content and who together represent 50% of content viewers in the country.
  • Telefilm launched a new export assistance pilot program for fiscal 2016-2017. The program aims to support foreign companies acquiring Canadian films, with the objective of increasing the visibility of Canadian talent and productions internationally.
  • Telefilm’s management-expense ratio stood at 5.2% for a second consecutive year. Over the last five fiscal years, Telefilm has transferred $9.4 million in administrative budgetary savings to program funding.
  • Client satisfaction levels reached 87%—well above the organization’s target rate of 80%.
  • In 2015-2016, Telefilm and the Canada Media Fund marked the 10th anniversary of their partnership.

Industry success stories

  • For the first time, two Canadian coproductions—Brooklyn and Room—were nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 2016. The star of Room, Brie Larson, won the Oscar and Golden Globe for best actress. Canadian talent was behind 21 Oscar nominations.
  • Brooklyn earned a total of $6 million at the Canadian box office, while the animated feature Snowtime! (La Guerre des tuques 3D) took in a total of $3 million. Furthermore, five features also took in more than $1 million at the Canadian box office in 2015: Ego Trip, Le mirage, The Passion of Augustine (La passion d’Augustine), Paul à Québec and Room.
  • Emerging Canadian talent shone brightly in 2015-2016. Among them: Stephen Dunn, whose Closet Monster won Best Canadian Feature Film at TIFF as well as Best Atlantic Director and Best Atlantic Screenwriter at the Atlantic Film Festival (2015); the directors of Turbo Kid—François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell—took home Best Director at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (2015); Anne Émond, whose second film, Les êtres chers, screened at the prestigious festivals of Locarno, Namur and Göteborg (2015); and Stella Meghie, whose debut feature, Jean of the Joneses, was just nominated for an Independent Spirit Award (2016).
  • In 2015-2016, Canadian talent excelled around the world, with films selected at 83 international festivals and winning 37 prizes.
  • Telefilm’s Success Index rose by 8% over the previous fiscal year, driven, among other things, by strong international sales of Canadian films, selections and prizes at international festivals, and significant growth (31%) in both foreign and private investment in Canadian production. 

About Telefilm Canada’s Annual Public Assembly

Telefilm will shortly post online the speeches delivered at its Annual Public Assembly as well as answers to questions received from attendees. Check out the Speeches section on Telefilm’s Website. 

About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Celebrating 50 years in 2017, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2013, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at


Media enquiries:
Douglas Chow, Head, Public Relations, Telefilm Canada
(514) 283-0838 ext. 2048 or 1-800-567-0890