Applications open for Edmonton Screen Media Fund

The fund, run by the Edmonton Screen Industries Office, will provide loans and investments to screen media projects and ventures situated in the Edmonton metro region.

The Edmonton Screen Industries Office (ESIO) has launched applications for the Edmonton Screen Media Fund, a $4 million fund aimed at supporting screen media projects and ventures through loans and investments.

While the fund covers film and television production in the region, it also branches into video game development and augmented and virtual reality technology. Projects and ventures selected for the fund are granted up to 15% of their total budget, with a cap set at $250,000.

Companies outside of Edmonton can apply for funding, but projects must be situated in the region and employ local workers. The fund is intended to help the Edmonton metro region “establish itself as a major player in screen media,” according to ESIO CEO Josh Miller.

Edmonton City Council approved the creation of the Edmonton Screen Media Fund in 2018. The money was leftover from the Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund, which launched in 2012 with $10 million, but ended with $3.9 million still unused.

Alberta’s provincial government released its budget in October, laying out its plan to transition from its $45 million Screen-Based Production Grant program to a tax credit system. The budget sparked confusion for film and TV industry stakeholders, as it suggested that $15 million would be allocated for the 2020/21 fiscal year.

The government has since clarified that industry will receive the full $45 million in 20/21, but due to oversubscription of the grant, most of the funds have already been allocated. However, doubts remain for many members of the industry over whether funds will be reduced over the next three years, due to a lack of clarity from the government about where funds have already been allocated.

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