Telefilm shells out last of grant money

More than $21 mil allocated to 48 projects

TORONTO — Telefilm Canada has allocated the last of its nearly $80 million film, TV and multimedia 1998 production fund, shelling out more than $21 million to 48 projects.

The grants come with strings. Telefilm funding can be only 50% of the total project budget (the average is about 30% of the total) and the producer and the majority of the key production posts must be held by Canadians.

In addition, Telefilm attempts to distribute the funds, which are drawn from five separate arts funding agencies, equally between English- and French-lingo productions.

Flood of applicants

Competition for the money has become more heated than ever and this year saw a record number of applications, according to Telefilm spokeswoman Suzan Ayscough.

“The industry’s booming,” she said, noting that applications for the 1999 funding are running ahead of the current year.

The winners of the largest 1998 awards included:

  • “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” a drama series produced by Jonathan Goodwill for the Canadian Broadcasting Co., $2.75 million;

  • “Omerta: La Loi du Silence III,” a drama series produced by Claude Bonin for Radio Canada, $2.2 million;

  • “Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang,” a drama produced by Greg Dummett and Christina Jennings, to be distributed by Cineplex Odeon Films Canada and broadcast on CBC, $1.5 million.

  • “Sex and Chocolate,” a feature pic produced by Sharon McGowan and Peggy Thompson to be distributed by Montion Intl. Inc., $1.32 million;

  • “Homme Invisible a la Fenetre,” a drama produced by Jean-Roch Marcotte, to be distributed by Lions Gate Film, $1.25 million.