Local Canuck B.O. up 7% for year

13 films broke the C$1 million mark in '06

TORONTO — Homegrown box office receipts totaled C$44 million ($39 million) last year, up 7% from the previous year’s figure, according to Canadian cultural agency Telefilm Canada, which released its 2005-06 annual report Thursday.

The figure makes up 5.3% of the feature film B.O., a figure Telefilm noted surpasses its five-year target of 5%.

During the year, 13 Canadian films broke the C$1 million ($888,000) mark, including “C.R.A.Z.Y.,” “Aurore,” “White Noise” and “Horloge biologique.” That number is down from 16 the year before, however.

Telefilm noted its English- and French-language film industries remain “grossly out of balance,” with homegrown, primarily French-language films taking 26.6% of the domestic box office in French Canada compared to homegrown fare in English Canada, whose share slipped from 1.6% to just 1.1%.

During the year Telefilm rolled out a new business model for the Canadian Television Fund, created a pilot program for feature-length theatrical documentaries and set up a series of consultations with various industry stakeholders.

A survey of industryites revealed the body remains too bureaucratic for some. Industryites continue to have an issue with Telefilm’s deadlines as well as with the relevance and fairness of selection criteria it uses to distribute funding. Participants also complained there is not enough transparency in the decision-making process.

The challenge going forward, according to Telefilm exec director Wayne Clark, is to reach “an increasingly connected public who has access to sources of entertainment as numerous as they are innovative.”

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