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Telefilm ups Canuck pic, TV funding

Much of increase comes from beefed-up feature film fund

MONTREAL — Canuck funding agency Telefilm Canada doled out C$208.3 million ($132 million) this past year, up 17% from the previous year.

Much of the increase in Telefilm financing came thanks to the beefed-up feature film fund, which had its budget significantly boosted by the federal government. Telefilm handed out $39 million from its feature film fund during the year, with cash going for production, distribution, marketing and development.

Telefilm cash devoted solely to film production doubled to $23.6 million, with the Montreal-based agency financing 37 projects in production, 106 in development and 82 in distribution and marketing.

New standard

Telefilm was given more cash for film by the federal Heritage Dept. with the intent of increasing the box office of Canadian films by 5% by 2006. Telefilm now gives out much of its film money based on the previous box office performance of the producers rather than via a selective jury process.

Telefilm also doled out $68 million through its Canadian Television Fund program and another $6.4 million under the Canadian New Media Fund.

Overall, in film and television, Telefilm supported 401 projects in production and 555 in development. The government agency allotted 65% of its resources to English-language projects, 34% to French projects and 1% to Aboriginal-language projects. Quebec received 41% of the Telefilm funding, followed by Ontario with 31%, the Western region with 19% and the Atlantic region with 9%.

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