CRTC certifies Telefilm Canada’s $5 million private donation fund

The regulatory blessing opens the way for major carriers to contribute to the proposed $5 million Canadian content investment fund as a condition of license.

The CRTC has found a way for domestic broadcasters to put more dollars into Canadian feature films as a condition of license.

Telefilm Canada announced the regulator has certified its new private donation fund as an independent production fund, similar to the Bell Fund and The Harold Greenberg Fund.

Vertically-integrated Canadian cable and satellite TV operators are already obliged to contribute a percentage of revenues to the Canadian Media Fund.

But they can also direct up to 20% of their contribution to other independent production funds, other than the CMF.

And Telefilm is hoping its private donation fund to support in part feature film production and promotion may also receive tangible benefits dollars to follow industry acquisition deals.

“The CRTC’s decision effectively allows Canadian broadcasters to play an even bigger role in fostering the creation of Canadian content as well in the marketing and promotion of homegrown stories,” Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada executive director said in a statement on news of the CRTC certification.

Canadian indie film distributors have long urged the CRTC to compel domestic broadcasters to mirror their European counterparts like the BBC, Channel Four and Canal Plus and pay handsome license fees to get local movies made and sold worldwide, either voluntarily or as a condition of license.