CMF names first recipients for Pilot Program

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The Pilot Program for Racialized Communities was one of seven programs that unveiled funding, totaling $49.3 million across 112 projects.

The Canada Media Fund has invested close to $50 million toward 112 projects in its latest round of funding.

The organization has allocated $49.3 million across seven programs, including the Pilot Program for Racialized Communities, which was launched earlier this year to support production companies that are majority-owned by racialized individuals.

The program saw 20 projects (13 English and seven French) receive a total of $10.4 million in the inaugural production funding round. The selected projects include previously announced docuseries BLK: An Origin Story ($455,287) from Hungry Eyes Media and Black Lives: A Canadian History ($550,000) from Studio 112.

Among the other projects supported in the program are dramas Calorie ($600,000) from Montreal’s Compass Productions and Polarized ($471,990) from Manitoba’s Lady Lady Pictures, and documentaries Bam Bam: The Story of Sister Nancy ($535,120) from Toronto’s OYA Media Group and The Cartoons That Shaped Us ($550,000) from Fathom Film Group.

The selections for English and French-language projects were determined by two juries. The English-language jury included Carla Beauvais, Ravida Din, Rinaldo Walcott, Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Zaira Zarza and Mila Zuo, while the French-language jury included Feven Ghebremariam, Mara Gourd-Mercado, Gentille Menguizani Assih and and Stanley Péan.

CMF has also invested $7.7 million in production funding to 18 projects through the Indigenous Program.

Among the projects selected are additional seasons of docuseries Merchants of the Wild ($550,000) from Little Bear Big Wolf Pictures, Amplify ($550,000), produced by Shane Belcourt, and GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land ($550,000) from Rezolution Productions. Other projects include animated children’s series Piqqusivut ($750,000) from Montreal’s Isuma Productions and docuseries They Have to Hear Us ($550,000) from Zacharias Kunuk’s Igloolik, Nunavut-based Kingulliit Productions.

The selections were also determined by a jury, which included Ryan Cooper, Rachel-Alouki Labbe, Doreen Manuel, Jordan Molaro, Danielle Rochette and Philippe Sioui Durand.

The English POV program, which supports one-off documentary productions for the English-language market, invested $5.7 million across 17 projects. Among them are two projects from Montreal’s Rezolution Pictures, Born to be Wild ($400,000) and Spirit of the Mask ($400,000), Modern Whore ($216,283) from Toronto’s Clique Pictures and Resident Orca ($400,000) from B.C.’s Everyday Films.

The Francophone Minority Program, which supports programs for French-language communities outside of Quebec, invested $7.5 million to 30 projects. Among them are the dramas La dynamique ($190,605) from Carte Blanche Films and Padre ($783,710) from Les Productions Rivard and Manitoba-based children’s program La brigade ($750,000).

CMF’s Innovation & Experimentation Program, which supports immersive digital media and software, invested $7.4 million across 10 projects. Four of the projects picked up more than a million in funding, including extended reality program The LiViCi Series ($1,250,000) from B.C.’s Shocap Entertainment, multiplayer game Broken Edge ($1,273,600) from Montreal’s Studio Trébuchet, augmented reality game Sky Haven ($1,146,263) from B.C.’s Hololabs Studio and audience data app Viewer Centric Premium ($1,051,913) from B.C’s Magnify Digital.

The Commercial Projects Program, which supports immersive digital media with a high probability of commercial success, invested more than $6.5 million to seven projects, including multiplayer game Checkmate Showdown ($1,500,000) from Montreal’s ManaVoid Entertainment, as well as role-playing games HANGRY ($1,052,812) from Toronto’s Game Pill and Dungeons of Mystralia ($1,250,000) from Montreal’s Jeux Borealys.

Rounding out the funding is the Prototyping Program, which supports the development of interactive media and software, with an investment of $4.1 million to 20 projects, including the game Légendes de la Table Ronde ($250,000) from Montreal’s Artifice Studio and narrative strategy game Encampment ($195,675) from B.C.’s Silverstring Media.

A full list of funded programs are available on the CMF’s database here.

Image of Merchants of the Wild courtesy of Blue Ant Media