Art and Entertainment

Actress and director Sarah Polley, center, watches Senate proceedings on Parliament Hill in
Ottawa, Thursday, April 10, 2008. Polley and others in the entertainment industry have
called on the Canadian Senate to stop censorship (AP).

Canadian Filmmakers Seek Funding Alternatives

May 21, 2008 11:36 AM
by Colleen Brondou
Increased competition for government funding and tighter government restrictions drive Canadian filmmakers to look elsewhere for funding.

30-Second Summary

As government financing continues to shrink at home, Canadian filmmakers are looking around the globe for more foreign funding. In the face of increasing mandates from the government, filmmakers also want more flexibility in how they can use those funds.

“I can understand (Telefilm Canada’s) mandate,” says Ben Mazzotta, a Toronto-based filmmaker. “They’re using taxpayer dollars. But ultimately I want to tell a story that goes beyond borders and could play everywhere.”

Telefilm Canada is the government’s movie financing agency. At the core of the organization’s mission statement is the intent to promote films “that reflect Canadian society.”

Two years ago, in an effort to usher more Canadian filmmakers into the industry, Telefilm Canada announced new funding guidelines that would make more films eligible for financial support.

But a recently proposed federal amendment would refuse tax credits to films that the federal government says are “contrary to public policy.” Uwe Boll, a German film director now living and working in Canada, likened the amendment to what he sees as the climate of censorship that took hold in the United States following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “It’s the same kind of direction that Canada is going in and this is the dangerous thing,” he said.

Headline Link: ‘Canadian filmmakers look overseas for financing’

Opinion & Analysis: More funding, more control

Key Player: Telefilm Canada

Related Topic: Censorship in the American film industry

Reference: Web Guide to Movies


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