Bell Media ends BravoFACT, MuchFACT

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The decision to cancel the programs comes after the CRTC in May deleted the condition of licence requiring Bell Media to contribute to the funds.

It’s the end of a funding era in Canada this week, as Bell Media shut down short-film fund BravoFACT and the music-video fund MuchFACT.

The discontinuation of the funding programs comes after the CRTC approved Bell Media’s request to delete various conditions of licence this spring, including the condition of licence requiring Bell Media to contribute to BravoFACT and MuchFACT.

The company did not elaborate on specific reasons behind the shutdown, issuing only a statement that the programs “are no longer aligned with our programming and platforms and have been discontinued as they previously existed.”

The closure of the funds was not unanticipated; Bell Media released a statement in the spring saying it had not yet decided how to proceed once the CoL were deleted. “Bell Media was granted flexibility by the CRTC in making contributions to MuchFACT and BravoFACT no longer conditions of license for its Much, Gusto, and Bravo specialty channels. We are currently reviewing both programs and no decisions have been made regarding their future at this time.”

The move, however, strikes a blow to the many first-time filmmakers and others who sought and planned to seek funding from the short-film and music video financier. Together, the programs have contributed $131 million to short films and music videos in Canada, with BravoFACT contributing approximately $30 million to short films since 1995, while MuchFACT, founded in 1984, contributed a total of around $100 million. The company said it is “committed to continuing to work with its industry partners on developing new methods for growing and supporting the wealth of emerging talent in Canada.”

The announcement comes on the heels of the news that Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund has ceased to operate its production equity-investment program and will instead direct all of its resources to its development programs. As well, the Bell Fund, which operates independently, announced it would launch four new pilot programs in response to the CRTC’s overhaul of the framework for Certified Independent Productions Funds (CIPFs) last year.

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