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T.V. fund increases (Canada Television and Cable Production Fund).


Sheila Copps, minister of Canadian Heritage, announced increases to production funding available for independent cable and television productions.

Telefilm Canada and the Cable Production Fund will split the $100 million available under the Canada Television and Cable Production Fund. This will double their existing funding.

A new board will also be created to help administer these new funds. Guidelines have yet to be established to govern how the money will be administered.

For Aboriginal producers the increased funding should create more opportunities for Aboriginal programming and development.

"There's more money in the whole system," said Rudy Buttingnol, from TVOntario, "which will be good for everyone, including Aboriginal producers."

But some Aboriginal producers are not so sure, since, for the time being, current guidelines will determine the distribution of funds.

Accessing funding for film and television production in Canada has always been a problem for Canadian producers. In the United States, the majority of shows we see are produced by studios. Film projects can take several years from conception to release. And these films are expensive.

In Canada, however, films tend to be produced by smaller, independent production companies. Canadian producers try to raise production money by pre-selling release and broadcast rights. They then approach a public funding agency, such as Telefilm Canada, for the rest of the production money.

The funding agencies have very strict guidelines concerning how they allocate funds. Aboriginal producers are often shut out of this money, because they either don't fit the genre criteria, don't have high enough budgets, or can't get a broadcaster's fee.

"It's great that there's another resource [for funds]," said Greg Coyes, an Edmonton independent film and video producer. "But what part of the [production] process can it be applied to?"

Jerry Giberson, director of operations for Television Northern Canada (TVNC), shares Coyes' concerns.

"I think we have to see the way the fund is going to operate," he said. "But I'm not encouraged by the fact that the existing rules still apply."

"In terms of Aboriginal producers, they're free to apply to the cable fund," said Laura Battiston, senior business analyst for the CTCPT, "but it's very difficult for [them] to meet the guidelines."

"We're working with [Canadian Heritage], with how we're going to assist Aboriginal producers," she continued.

TVNC is also talking to Canadian Heritage to ensure that Aboriginal productions will be acknowledged under this new fund.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Kenneth Williams
Publication:Wind Speaker
Date:Oct 1, 1996
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