Canada’s screen industry revs hit record high

TORONTO — Canada’s film and TV production industry took in a record C$5.49 billion ($5.5 billion) from April 1, 2010, to Mar. 31, 2011 — up 8.9% on the previous fiscal year.

A 96-page annual economic report published Wednesday by the Canadian Media Production Assn. in collaboration with its sister org in Quebec and the Dept. of Canadian Heritage, revealed a dramatic 24.3% rise to $1.87 billion in foreign language location and service production during the fiscal period — despite the fact the loonie appreciated 5% against the U.S. dollar.

Roughly 90% of all foreign production in Canada originated from U.S. producers, while British Columbia accounted for 73% of Canada’s foreign production volume.

Canadian TV production rose 1.9% to $2.08 billion. A 10.3% ($115 million) increase in broadcaster in-house spending and higher volume of English-language TV production offset declines in the numbers of movies of the week and kid and docu genres. Ontario remained the top TV production province, nabbing 47% of the national volume.

The number of Canadian films dropped from 107 to 96 (Quebec accounting for 40% of those). An 11% decline in domestic theatrical production to $308 million contributed to an overall drop in Canadian independent production by 1.4% to $2.39 billion.

Canadian independent production, foreign shoots and broadcaster in-house production sustained 128,000 full-time jobs in 2010/11.

For the first time this year, the CMPA’s annual economic report includes a chapter on convergent interactive digital media production. The full report is available at http://www.cftpa.ca.

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