Docs

Directors Guild of Canada slams Telefilm cuts

DGC president Sturla Gunnarsson (pictured) has called the Canadian federal agency's decision to slash CDN$500,000 from its Theatrical Documentary Program "the wrong message to send."
April 13, 2012

Following Canadian federal audiovisual agency Telefilm Canada’s decision to slash its funds for theatrical documentary production from CDN$1 million to $500,000, the president of the Director’s Guild of Canada has warned that the move is “the wrong message to send.”

The decision is part of a plan to reduce costs by $2.7 million for 2012 after the Canadian government introduced austerity measures that will see  $10.6 million cut from the agency’s coffers over three years. Telefilm will also reduce development financing by $700,000, and promotion and training programs by $500,000.

“Canada is celebrated for its achievements in documentary film making,” said DGC president and award-winning filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson. “This single drastic cut to a program that has been a major success feels like the wrong message to send.”

“We sympathize with Telefilm Canada’s financing predicament,” added Gerry Barr, DGC’s national CEO and executive director. “But support for documentary filmmaking is hard to come by in Canada and this program has been a key part of the package. It’s difficult to imagine that boundary breaking documentaries can continue to be made with funds solely through donations and private sector partnerships.”

Since 2007, the Telefilm Canada/Rogers Group of Funds’ Theatrical Documentary Program has supported Canadian docs such as Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home, Neil Diamond’s Reel Injun, and Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault’s La nuit, ells dansent.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

Menu

Search