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Telefilm renews theatrical doc. pilot program

Montreal, Telefilm Canada, together with partners CBC Television, The Rogers Group of Funds and the National Film Board of Canada, is pleased to announce the one-year renewal of the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program, with funds in excess of $2 million, for the production and completion of feature-length documentaries intended for Canadian theatrical release.

The continuation of this program is a direct response to discussions with the Canada Feature Film Fund industry Working Groups and documentary filmmaking communities, and addresses the needs of each market.

Originally set up in 2005-2006 as a one-year pilot program, the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program financed the development and production of seven English- and French-language documentaries, as well as the completion of six English- and French-language documentary projects from across Canada.

“We are pleased to be paving the way towards a more permanent solution where financial resources are earmarked specifically for this genre,” states Wayne Clarkson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “Until that time, the renewal of the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program is a ringing endorsement for the documentary community. We welcome the participation of the National Film Board of Canada, for the Pilot Program’s second year, in this unique private-public partnership.”

“As Canada’s public producer and a long-time champion of theatrical documentaries, the National Film Board of Canada is excited to join the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program,” said Claude Joli-CÅ“ur, Acting Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson. “The Pilot Program is an exciting way for us to work together to strengthen the Canadian documentary industry and bring more signature docs to the screen. The NFB has a proven track record in high-profile co-productions, and we look forward to connecting with independent producers who share our passion for groundbreaking, socially engaged cinema.”

The Rogers Group of Funds is also enthusiastic about the renewed partnership: “Rogers is pleased to again support this initiative as it builds upon our long-standing commitment to documentary film production in Canada," said Robin Mirsky, Executive Director. ”We were so impressed with the quality of last year’s proposals that the decision to re-commit was an easy one."

CBC Television is once again on board and committed to supporting the documentary community. “We’re pleased to be a part of this exciting initiative,” said Richard Stursberg, Executive Vice-President, CBC Television. “As the country’s number one platform for documentaries, CBC Television is proud to support a program that brings a measure of financial stability to filmmakers working in the genre. And, by bringing documentaries to a wider audience through theatrical release we can expose even more Canadians to the outstanding and important work being done by this country’s documentarians.”

Eligibility criteria, guidelines and application forms for the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program will be available in June 2007.