Production Program FAQ
- Applications are due Monday July 26, 2021 at 11:59pm PST. Incomplete applications or applications received after this date and time cannot be reviewed.
No application fee is required to apply.
Applications will be accepted from:
- Scripted feature length films (minimum 75 minutes).
- Documentary one-offs (minimum 25 minutes).
- Documentary or Factual Series (minimum 25 minutes per episode).
No! We will have two intake periods. One now, and another one in the spring of 2022, to align with national and federal funding deadlines. Potential applicants should consider which intake period best suits the needs and timeline of their project, and consider waiting until the next intake if the project is not quite ready.
No. Based on industry feedback and due to the unique needs and budget required to support the production of scripted series in a meaningful way, scripted series are not eligible to apply to this program.
Creative BC currently does and will continue to look at ways to support scripted series, especially in early development (before a broadcaster is required) and through supports for market attendance to meet and attract broadcasters. Should a significant amount of additional funding be made available, this position would be reviewed.
All genre of feature length projects are welcome! This includes (but is not limited to) drama, comedy or animation, but can also be horror, thriller, or for children and youth.
This program is specific to production phase funding and activities commonly associated with that, such as hiring cast and crew to shoot, equipment rentals, locations, sound design or music, editing, post production activities including VFX, colour correction, titling, translations or subtitles, and the creation of marketing materials.
While not required, applicants are encouraged to use the Telefilm Canada or Canada Media Fund production budget templates when putting together their production budgets and consult with available union and guild standard rate sheets to estimate costs.
No, you do not need an incorporated company at the time of application. Individuals can apply. Should an applicant be successful, they will need to incorporate before contracting can occur.
If applying as an individual, the applicant MUST own the underlying copyright and ownership in the project. It cannot be owned or optioned to a production company.
Further, the intention must be that should the application be successful, the primary applicant will remain the copyright owner of the project and majority shareholder in the production company set up. If ownership changes, that may impact the ability to move to contract, and the commitment may expire.
Keep in mind that if you are an independent writer or director, viability and readiness to begin production is a key evaluation criteria. So, if you do not yet have a team assembled to realize the project, the project may have a more difficult time during the evaluation process.
No other confirmed financing sources or market triggers are required at the time of application.
For successful recipients, locked financing will be a condition of contracting. Successful applicants will need to lock financing, or at least show additional confirmed financing, within 6 months in order to move forward to contracting. If no additional financing is secured, then the commitment will expire.
Also keep in mind that viability and readiness to begin production is a key evaluation criteria, so while it’s not required to apply, other confirmed financing or market partners attached will factor positively in the decision process. During the review, Creative BC may request further proof of confirmed financing or market partners indicated in the application.
Inter-provincial or international co-productions are eligible to apply, provided they meet minimum thresholds of ownership and creative control.
In the case of an inter-provincial co-production, that is a minimum of 51% ownership/control by the BC co-producer. In the case of an international co-production, that is the minimum ownership/ control determined by the governing treaty between the two countries (usually at minimum 20% ownership). If you are unsure, contact the Project Manager to discuss your situation.
Yes, Creative BC wishes to encourage greater diversity in all levels of production, and that includes intended audience. Therefore, completed productions can be intended to release in languages other than English. If this is the case, subtitles in both official languages should be an intended cost.
Further, weight will be given in the evaluation criteria for projects that are intended to be released in other languages, notably French or Indigenous languages.
Make sure you are clear in your application and distribution plan materials what language(s) your project will be available in.
For ease of review, at this time we can only support applications submitted in English, including scripts.
At the time of application projects need to be intended for theatrical release, television broadcast or VOD streaming services in Canada, within 24 months of completion.
If the only distribution plan is to release in a foreign country, the project will not be considered eligible.
This is in line with the key aims for this program, which are to support both the production of B.C. owned and controlled IP, and to support commercially viable and culturally relevant projects which will resonate with Canadian audiences.
That being said, foreign investments and distribution commitments help form a robust financing plan and speak to the viability of a project, so they are not discouraged, and will be considered in the evaluation process. They just cannot be the only source.
To apply as an emerging filmmaker, you cannot have more than one professional credit in the key role you are applying as - director, writer and/or producer.
Some examples of eligible emerging applicants:
- You do not have any previous experience.
- You could have some experience in the industry, working in other roles, but want to make the transition to lead a project for the first time.
- You could have had success with a first project and be looking at getting your second project off the ground.
- You could have multiple credits as a director, but be applying with your first or second project as a producer.
The spirit and intent of the emerging filmmaker definition is to find new and diverse voices, and provide support to people who, for the most part, have not benefited from the mainstream funding landscape.
For the purposes of this program, a professional credit means a writer, director or producer credit on a project that:
- Is completed outside of film school or an industry training opportunity;
- Was financed using mainstream funding sources (such as Telefilm Canada, the CMF, broadcaster or online subscription services licensing etc.); and
- Subsequently either played on a broadcaster or online subscription service, was released theatrically, or toured extensively through major film festivals.
For the purposes of this program the following projects do NOT count as a professional credit:
- Projects that were primarily self-financed (credit, loans, crowdfunding sources etc.).
Review your past projects with this in mind to determine if you are eligible – count only longer form completed projects that were financed by 3rd parties and had some sort of broadcast or distribution success. If there might be a question according to your IMDB listing or website, please indicate in your application which credits count as professional, and which ones don’t (adding a line in your short bio is a great place to do this). This will greatly speed up the review period.
Applicants will be required to declare their status during the application process.
In the case of a company applicant, a majority of the company’s ownership / controlling shares must be held by individuals who are emerging or from one of our targeted equity groups.
To apply as an emerging applicant, you must declare that you do not have more than one professional credit according to our guidelines.
To apply as an applicant from an equity group, you must self declare within one or more of our key equity groups when completing the key personnel form.
If Creative BC has questions about your declaration, they will reach out during the review process for more information.
The intent of the targeted funding is to support work owned and controlled from emerging and underrepresented groups.
Therefore at least 65% (or two-thirds) of the key creative team (anyone in the roles of writer, director or producer) must be considered emerging or underrepresented.
Further, real creative and financial control of the project must rest with the primary applicant.
Ensure that key personnel statements are submitted for each key creative team member (including the primary applicant!) and check the appropriate declaration questions.
If Creative BC has questions about your declarations, they will reach out during the review process for more information.
The intent of the targeted funding is to support work owned and controlled from emerging and equity seeking groups.
If the primary applicant does not qualify, then the project will not be considered eligible for the targeted funding.
That being said, Creative BC wishes to encourage greater representation at all levels of a project team. Weight will be given in the evaluation criteria for projects that include diverse members in any of the 3 key creative roles, even outside the targeted funding.
Ensure that key personnel statements are submitted for each key creative team member and check the appropriate declaration questions so that this weight can be taken into consideration.
Creative BC recognizes that a number of different groups in Canada have faced historical barriers to media funding access, and their voices and stories are critical to a vibrant and dynamic industry. For the purposes of this program, the 5 different groups that fall under equity are:
- People of Colour.
- People with disabilities
Applicants from within these equity seeking groups can be emerging or experienced.
Yes, we need an overview of how you intend to spend the requested money; an intended cash budget with line items. At the time of application, we only require your budget top sheet. If we have questions during the review process, we may ask for a full budget.
While not required, we encourage people to use the Telefilm Canada or Canada Media Fund budget templates. Links are available on our website.
Your cash budget should match the financing plan you indicate in your application form. (So, if you indicate $500,000 in expenses, you need to include $500,000 of intending funding sources, whether confirmed or not).
It depends. Creative BC does not stipulate requirements about where the project shoots or completes its work.
However, a minimum of 75% of the production expenditures must be incurred in B.C., and paid to B.C. resident individuals and/or B.C. owned and controlled companies for services rendered in B.C.. This is in line with requirements of accessing the Film Incentive B.C. tax credit.
Practically speaking, this would be very difficult to achieve if the majority of shooting and post-production was not planning to happen here. Make sure your intended costs meet this eligibility requirement.
There are exceptions for documentaries, and inter-provincial or international co-productions. If this impacts you, contact us to discuss before submitting.
A creative package is a creative overview of the project, sometimes referred to as a pitch deck. Every package will look a bit different, although a more visually dynamic document is often useful. This does not need to be custom developed for this application.
Generally, it should cover the following:
- An outline of what the project is.
- Introduce the project characters or subjects.
- Share the visual look and feel (note if its inspiration or actual footage).
- Speak to what is unique about the project.
- Where and how it will be shot.
- A director’s vision or personal statement, outlining their motivations, connections or intentions with the project.
A Community Engagement Plan is an opportunity for applicants to talk about their process of working with under-represented communities impacted by the production of their project. Appropriate engagement will depend on the content of the film, the knowledge of the team, and the territories and communities involved.
This is a tool to help answer questions during the review period about the filmmaker’s approach to under-represented communities and potentially sensitive content. In most cases, decision makers want to see evidence that the applicant has considered the potential impact of their production and that they have a plan to work in ways that are collaborative and respectful of impacted communities.
Plans will vary depending on the needs of the project and the communities involved, but can include:
Involving community members in their creative team.
Having counsellors on set.
Hiring local crew.
Entering into written agreements with communities.
One useful tool in developing this plan is the On-Screen Protocols and Pathways, developed by the Indigenous Screen Office.
If you are not sure if your application requires a Community Engagement Plan, reach out to the Project Manager.
This is an opportunity for the applicant to outline their intended audience and how they plan to reach them. This will be dependent on the unique needs of each project, but can include:
- An overview of the target audience(s) for this project.
- What makes this project impactful, current and why it needs to be told now.
- Why this project will appeal to the target audience.
- Distribution strategy, including either confirmed or intended broadcast or distribution partners.
- Festival release plans (if applicable).
- Marketing and outreach strategy to reach the target audience(s).
If a broadcast or distribution partner is already attached, they should be feeding into or leading this plan.
No, Creative BC is unable to provide feedback on your project in advance of applying. However, we are happy to answer any questions you might have about the application process and eligibility.