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Toronto: Canada’s Breaking Barriers Fund Awards Financing to Three Films

On Friday, the first full day of the Toronto Intl. Film Festival’s industry confab, Canadian producers received good news on the financing front.

The CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund, a new, three-year CAN$7.5 million fund ($6.2 million) geared targeting underrepresented Canadian creators with at least one feature and industry cred, tapped the next three pics receiving a boost.

Marie Clements’ Afghanistan-set escape drama “Red Snow,” Danishka Esterhazy’s boarding-school-set sci-fi chiller “Level 16,” and Deanne Foley and Rosemary House’s “An Audience of Chairs,” which adapts Joan Clark’s award-winning 2005 novel of the same name, are all also supported by Telefilm Canada, as well as other government and private financing.

“Chairs” recently wrapped production in Newfoundland and Sudbury, Ontario; producers on the project are Jill Knox-Gosse and Lynne Wilson (Wreckhouse Prods.) and Eric Jordan and Paul Stephens (The Film Works). “Level 16,” produced by Markham Street Films’ Judy Holm, Michael McNamara and Sarah Jackson, lenses this fall. “Red Snow,” which starts lensing this winter, is produced by Lael McCall (Principia Prods.) and Michelle Morris (Lily Pictures), with co-producers Jonathan Tammuz (Stephen-Tammuz Prods.) and Pablo Saravanja and Jay Bulckaert (Artless Collective), and Carol Whiteman (WIDC) serving as exec producer.

Vancouver director Mina Shum’s “Meditation Park,” pictured above, which world preems in Contemporary World Cinema on Monday and co-stars Sandra Oh, received Barriers funding in February.

At an event marking the 20th anniversary of the Canada-South Africa co-production treaty, the Canadian Media Fund and South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation inked an agreement to establish an incentive to boost audiovisual co-productions in drama, documentary or kids genres.

Total funding available through the incentive is CAN$120,000 ($98,000). Further details will be announced in the coming months.

“This co-development incentive is a valuable initiative that will augment the existing audio-visual co-production treaty between South Africa and Canada,” said NFVF CEO Zamantungwa Mkosi. “The incentive signifies the importance of partnerships and collaborations in our efforts to ensure that South Africa is recognized as a valuable player internationally.”

“In the past 20 years, we’ve seen content produced between Canadian and South African creators hit international markets with great commercial success and critical acclaim,”  said CMF president and CEO Valerie Creighton. “We are very pleased to have found in the NFVF a strong international partner with which we can foster our mutual objective of increasing co-production opportunities.” More than 20 official projects have been produced under the treaty, including 2010 Toronto festival Gala feature “The Bang Bang Club.”


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