WGC Response to CRTC Decision Makes News
September 6, 2016
The CRTC's recent decision in the review of “Certified Independent Production Funds” (CIPFs) caused a wave of negative response in the creative community. The decision included the misguided notion that facilitating "the hiring by production companies of non-Canadian actors or creators" for Canadian content productions could result in greater international success. The WGC, its executive director, Maureen Parker, and some of its talented members have been in the news as a result, sharing the screenwriters' point of view. Here is some of the press to date.
CRTC Gets the Facts Wrong
September 1, 2016
Mistakes get made, but most are not newsworthy. This one is. The CRTC’s recent decision regarding “Certified Independent Production Funds” (CIPFs) includes a significant factual error. It claims that the Canada Media Fund (CMF) argued in favour of reducing the points needed for Canadian productions to receive funding from the CIPFs. The CRTC stated:
Showrunner Dennis Heaton Speaks Out
August 30, 2016
Dennis Heaton, one of Canada's prominent screenwriters (and a WGC councillor), has sent the following letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Justice of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould. It's a letter that responds to the recently announced CRTC policy framework, and speaks to what many screenwriters across this country are currently feeling: that if this is the sorry direction things are going in Canada, there's no choice but to leave. Please read the letter. Please share it.
Canadian Culture at Risk
August 29, 2016
It’s more than a regulatory change; it’s an attack on Canadian creators. The CRTC’s decision in the review of “Certified Independent Production Funds” (CIPFs), released Aug. 25, 2016, had insupportable news: the minimum CAVCO point requirements for CIPFs to fund a production were dropped from eight to six. One stated reason: “[It could] facilitate the hiring by production companies of non-Canadian actors or creators, who may increase a project's attractiveness and visibility in international markets.”
“This is hugely disappointing,” says WGC Executive Director Maureen Parker. “That the CRTC, a public authority charged with regulating Canadian broadcasting, would effectively denigrate Canadian showrunners and screenwriters and suggest our country’s creators cannot deliver international success is shocking. It’s also verifiably untrue.”
Read the full WGC press release for more.
"Truth Only Comes from a Free Voice"
August 25, 2016
The CRTC has released its decision in the review of the “Certified Independent Production Funds” (CIPFs). It contains some significant news for Canadian screenwriters specifically, and the Canadian screen-based industry in general: the minumum CAVCO point requirements for CIPFs to fund a production have been dropped from eight to six.
The WGC views this as part of a larger trend towards reducing the presence of Canadian talent in hopes of gaining more international funding. If a "star" screenwriter (or actor, or other key creative) from elsewhere is hired, instead of a Canadian, some believe that the production has a better chance of attracting this funding. In the big picture, it's whittling away at Canadian culture.
It seems timely to post this editorial by WGC president, Jill Golick, written for our own Canadian Screenwriter magazine and published in June 2016. It's called Truth Only Comes from a Free Voice. As Jill puts it: "Let the creator's voice ring out. Let us tell stories that have meaning and depth. Stories filled with truth. This is the route to attracting Canadian audiences: creating Canadian culture. It is also the only route to export success."
Read the entire editorial here.
Have Your Say: Ontario Film Industry Survey
August 19, 2016
TIFF 2016 Industry Conference Member Discount
July 12, 2016
"Shoot The Book" Pitch Session
August 19, 2016
WGC Response to Group-Based Licence Renewals
August 16, 2016
The WGC has submitted its response to the CRTC regarding the renewal of television licences held by large English- and French-language ownership groups. (Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-225.) You'll find the intervention here, in the policy section of the WGC website.
WGC Members' Films Premiere at TIFF
August 3, 2016
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its Canadian roster: congratulations to WGC members Kim Nguyen on the North American premiere of "Two Lovers and a Bear," Jamie Kastner on the world premiere of "The Skyjackers Tale," and Tony Elliott on the world premiere of ARQ, in TIFF's "discovery" program.