Telefilm, Corus Ink Deal on Family

Fund will contribute financing for two features a year

BANFF — Family films are getting a boost from Canada, with the announcement Tuesday at the Banff Media Festival that federal government film and TV funder Telefilm Canada and Canuck media and entertainment conglom Corus Entertainment are launching a fund to increase production of aud-driven English-language live-action theatrical family pics.

The fund will contribute financing for two features — Canuck-made or international treaty co-pros — per year that apply to the fund with a developed script, comprehensive plan for market viability and budget between
$3.5 million and $5 million.

Applications will be jointly evaluated by Telefilm and Corus. Selected projects will receive financial investment, broadcast commitment from Corus and marketing support from its portfolio of networks; Corus owns youth-focused multimedia brands YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), Nelvana and Kids Can Press, as well as HBO Canada, Movie Central and other nets.

“We’re pleased to announce this private-public partnership with an industry leader like Corus Entertainment, a media company that connects with its audiences by offering compelling content delivered on multiple platforms to millions of people around the world,” said Telefilm Canada exec director Carolle Brabant.

Canada has long been a major player in kid’s small-screen entertainment, from animation powerhouse Nelvana, founded in 1971 and now owned by Corus, to Halifax-headquartered DHX Media, which acquired major global kids entertainment player Cookie Jar Group (formerly known as CINAR) last year.
Veteran Canuck prodcos like Breakthrough and Shaftesbury have also found global success in kids TV.

The new Telefilm-Corus funding program offers producers an entry point into the family film genre, which Corus vice-prexy John MacDonald calls an “underserved niche” in the Canadian industry. “We are excited to be teaming up with Telefilm Canada on this one-of-a-kind program to fuel the growing demand for great family films in both the theatrical market and for broadcast,” he said.

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