Telefilm updates theatrical doc program as Rogers Group of Funds pulls out of partnership

After more than a decade, Rogers Group of Funds will no longer be a funding partner on the program for feature-length documentary projects.
October 29, 2019

Telefilm has unveiled a number of updates to its Theatrical Documentary Program for next year.

Most notably, Rogers Group of Funds, which has contributed to the program since 2007, is no longer a partner on the program.

At the same time, in the upcoming year Telefilm’s financial participation will increase to CA$150,000 (US$114,599), up from $125,000, per project, for a maximum of 49% of the Canadian budget.

The film funder also announced that it has added an Indigenous stream. In order to be eligible, at least 51% of the project’s copyright must be held by a production company whose majority shareholder is Indigenous. In addition, two of the three key members of the creative team (producer, director or screenwriter) must be Indigenous.

Previously, Rogers Group of Funds contributed up to $125,000 per project in production financing for English-language projects and $62,500 to French-language projects. Meanwhile, at the post-production stage, Rogers Group of Funds combined with Telefilm to cover up to $75,000 of costs per project.

A spokesperson for Rogers Group of Funds told Playback Daily that “the partnership is currently on hold,” and that Rogers Group of Funds will be “announcing new initiatives in the near future that support documentaries and factual content.” During its 12-year partnership with Telefilm, Rogers Group of Funds contributed $4 million to theatrical documentary films, according to the spokesperson.

The Theatrical Documentary Program has been an important source of production and post-production financing for more than a decade. Last year, the fund distributed $1.6 million across 16 projects, including Tasha Hubbard’s ni?pawistama?sowin: We Will Stand Up (pictured). The year before, the program supported 18 doc projects to the tune of around $2.5 million.

The 2019-2020 budget for the Theatrical Documentary Program is $1.1 million.

The submission window for this year’s program opens Nov. 25 and closes Dec. 9.

This story originally appeared in Playback Daily.

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