Eight digital projects get ideaBoost from Canadian Film Centre

The advanced training centre is breaking new ground by accelerating high-risk entertainment content plays from the idea stage, with the help of voting by the internet community.

There nothing new in digital producers taking to funding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to get their creative projects off the ground, whether apps or other technology plays.

But Ana Serrano, chief digital officer at the Canadian Film Centre, insists funding platforms aren’t accelerating the development of entertainment content at the creation stage.

“It’s high risk to accelerate content plays. There’s backing for technology tools, health care tools and green energy,” she told Playback.

“But if you talk about entertainment plays, they don’t want to touch it,” Serrano said of funding platforms, angel investors and other backers of early-stage digital content.

That’s where ideaBoost, the Canadian Film Centre’s latest development model for digital content, comes in.

ideaBoost gets behind start-ups from the initial creation and concept stage, and provides $15,000 in seed financing and intensive mentorship to accelerate the development of the product.

The digital projects also get access to industry services, including use of William F. White’s viral vans to produce live action content.

There’s one condition: as digital producers apply to become part of ideaBoost with their potential content play, they must follow Kickstarter or Indiegogo in asking a target audience online to back their concept.

They don’t require financing from online backers, just their likes and tweets to validate a project with an audience “boost” possibly to turn into a future market.

“No one is doing this,” Serrano insisted as she explained the idea to socialize an idea to get a boost into the marketplace.

Monday night in Toronto, the Canadian Film Centre unveiled eight projects as part of a diversified slate of content plays that will be accelerated through the development stage as part of the ideaBoost program.

They range from the Buffer Film Festival for online video streaming, and The Ghost Town Project, which brings ghosts back to life, to Your Task Shoot Things, a collective of artists, and Ramen Party, an interactive storybook app.

Here audience engagement is critical to initially getting into ideaBoost, and then moving the content along to production and distribution.

“We ask the internet public to tell us which companies to back,” Serrano said, before adding audiences are treated as collaborators and no longer as passive consumers of content.

The main backers of ideaBoost include Corus Entertainment, Google Canada and Shaw Media, announced Monday.


The eight finalists for the first round of the accelerator program are as follows:

  • AsapSCIENCE, Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown
  • Buffer Film Festival, ApprenticeA Productions (Corey Vidal, Corrado Coia, Saskia Vanell, Samantha Fall)
  • The Ghost Town Project, Intuitive Pictures (Ina Fichman, Marc Beaudet, Theresa Kowall-Shipp)
  • Loud on Planet X, Pop Sandbox (Alex Jansen, Jason Gilmore)
  • The Path, Smokebomb Entertainment (Jay Bennett, Veronica Heringer, Steph Ouaknine)
  • Ramen Party, Lilch.ca (Lillian Chan, John Poon)
  • Rollers of the Realm, Phantom Compass (Tony Walsh, Thomas Detko, Ericka Evans, David Evans)
  • Your Task Shoot Things, Yamantaka/Sonic Titan (Aylwin Lo, Alaska B, Angle Loft)

Check out this video to see more about the projects.