CMF invests $4.4 million in Aboriginal TV series

Nine of the 12 projects to receive industry funding are for APTN, the aboriginal TV network that languishes high up the TV dial.
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A host of TV series for APTN, the Aboriginal TV network that languishes high up the TV dial, have received a cash injection from the Canada Media Fund.

The industry fund gave in all $4.4 million to a dozen projects, 10 of which were triggered by APTN.

These include the animated series The Deerskins from indie producer Jerryco Communications, about an upwardly mobile Mohawk family, which received $390,778.

And indie producer Sweetgrass & Sage received $400,000 for a six-episode APTN documentary series Chaos & Courage, about Aboriginal women firefighters, police officers and other first responders.

Much of the CMF funding went to helping underwrite APTN documentaries, including three Children’s & Youth productions and nine documentaries, all of which have a digital extension.

These include Sex Spirit Strength, from Tracey Deer’s Mohawk Princess Pictures, which received $132,000, and Coming Home, from Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn’s Kingullit Productions, based in Nunavut.

The CMF funding is crucial to seeing the TV programming go before the cameras as Aboriginal producers remain challenged in tapping broadcast and production financing, according to a recent report.

Also receiving CMF funding is Wookey Films’ Camp Misty series, NCS Productions’ Dene A Journey, and Nunavut-based Arnait Video Productions’ Sol series.

Besides the APTN series, the CMF also backed series by the Nunavut Independent Television Network, and Super Channel.