The CBC has announced a new film fund to help underrepresented Canadian creators. The Breaking Barriers Film Fund will offer “critical resources to filmmakers struggling to make their unique voices heard,” the public broadcaster said Wednesday.
The fund will help finance either 10 or 20 per cent of the proposed budget for English-language features.
The funds will be available to films written or directed by “Canadian women, indigenous persons, visible minorities and persons with a disability who have had at least one feature-length film showcased at a recognized film festival.”
The CBC says it will make an initial investment of at least $7.5 million in the fund over the next three years.
To qualify for the fund, projects must be in a fictional genre, have an existing first draft script and not yet be in production.
Fund recipients will be chosen solely on creative merit.
“This new model will offer vital resources to writers and directors who have historically been at a disadvantage in accessing financing, and will ensure their films are promoted to much broader audiences in Canada through distribution on CBC’s television and digital platforms,” Heather Conway, executive vice-president of English services said in a statement.
Carolle Brabant, executive director of Telefilm Canada, called it an “important step.”
“Telefilm is committed to financially supporting features chosen by the CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund,” Brabant said. “As two national cultural agencies, both organizations must take a leadership role in addressing diversity in our industry. CBC’s Breaking Barriers Film Fund complements our own objective, to have by 2024, a feature film portfolio that better reflects Canada’s diverse population.”