Telefilm to up Indigenous funding to $4M

The funding body is quadrupling the allowance for feature film production and marketing financing for Indigenous content.

shutterstock_Canada diverseTelefilm is to quadruple its annual funding to Indigenous projects, raising the total to $4 million, up from approximately $1 million in previous years.

The increased funding allowance, which becomes available as of April 1, 2017, is for feature film production and marketing financing.

Telefilm is in the midst of a nationwide consultation process about how best to address the evolving needs of Indigenous creators. “The talks are very positive,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s executive director, in a statement.

The announcement comes on the heels of a CMF-commissioned report that argued the Canadian media sector should establish an Indigenous Screen Office, modeled on the one in Australia. In order for the office to be effective, the report indicated it would require entities including Telefilm, CMF, NFB, APTN, CBC and other industry stakeholders to formulate a mandate for further cultivating and promoting Indigenous features, short films, television and digital media content.

The next steps will see Telefilm meeting with filmmakers involved in the NATIVe program at Berlin International Film Festival, which runs from Feb. 9 to 18.

In this most recent announcement, Telefilm also confirmed its intention to hire staff from Indigenous communities, as well as to have Indigenous representation on project-recommendation juries.

The initiative is part of Telefilm’s goal to build, by 2020, a more representative feature film portfolio that “better reflects gender, diversity and Canada’s Indigenous communities.”