Telefilm’s Success Index score falls year-over-year

The tool, which measures results for the Canadian movies Telefilm supports, shows a 2012 score well below the high set in 2011.

Telefilm Canada has reported a steep fall in its Success Index, which measures year-over-year results for Canadian movies supported by the federal agency, and the strength of the Canadian film industry overall.

As its 2012-2013 annual report was released Monday, Telefilm reported that the total success index for 2012 was 97, well down from 129 in 2011, the first year measured after a benchmark of 100 was set in 2010.

Not having a box office winner last year comparable to Starbuck, and Barney’s Version in 2011, impacted Telefilm as its Success Index is 60% weighted to Canadian box office receipts and international sales, with 30% weighting for cultural criteria like critical reception at international festivals and events.

The 2012 commercial sub-index came to 60, according to Telefilm, against a 90 tally in 2012.

Canadian films last year continued to fare well with critics and festival and award show juries, as the cultural index in both 2011 and 2012 came to 29.

Telefilm said the 2012 results were comparable to those in 2010, as it declared the commercial results for the past year as “exceptional.”

In the second year since introducing and implementing its new corporate plans, Telefilm Canada experienced mixed results overall.

The annual report indicates its funding programs registered a marginal increase of $96.9 million, a slight uptick from 2011-2012′s $95.8 million total.

At the same time, Telefilm’s investment in 72 feature films last year was off from 75 films backed in 2012 and its film marketing funding support fell from $13.6 million in 2011-2012 to $13.2 million in 2012-2013.

Funding was higher for script development ($9.2 million compared to $7.9 million in 2011-2012) and there was an increase in certified film and TV copro treaties, from 47 (with 16 partnering countries) in 2011-2012 to 59 (with 14 partnering countries) in 2012-2013.

The real hit occurred in the international recognition department, with Telefilm Canada suffering a whopping decrease in films that won international prizes and mentions for Canadian talent: 60 compared with 133 in 2011-2012.

However, the funding did enable Telefilm Canada to promote and market 94 Canadian films at 39 international festivals, 44 Canadian film festivals and 83 industry events.

Telefilm Canada lauded improvements to its numerous initiatives: its Development Program, claiming it now provides greater autonomy and flexibility for its clients; its Promotion Program and it accelerated decision turnaround times and the Micro-Budget Production Program, which has enabled emerging talent leveraging digital technologies.

The organization also revealed that several cost efficiencies allowed for a $2.5 million transfer from admin budget to program funding, and a 5% decrease in operating and admin expenses from 2011-2012 combined with a financing recovery increase of $1 million also contributed to the bottom line.

Telefilm has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and is headquartered in Montreal.