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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

Screenwriters are invited and encouraged to complete an anonymous online survey as part of a research project on the feature film industry in Ontario. The Focus on Features: The Future of Filmmaking in Ontario project has been launched to explore the underlying factors that shape professional and personal experiences of film directors, screenwriters, and producers.  

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TIFF 2016 Industry Conference Member Discount

July 12, 2016

WGC members interested in attending TIFF 2016 Industry Conference are eligible for a discount. The “industry pass” includes access to all professional development activities and screenings, and is offered to WGC members until the end of August for $683.65 (regularly $762.75). The “conference pass” includes all professional development activities (but limited screenings) and is offered to WGC members for $474.65 (regularly $514.15). Prices include taxes. Please note, registration closes Aug. 26, 2016.
When: Sept. 9-7
Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West, Toronto
To get your discount, please log in to our website with your member login ID and password.  

"Shoot The Book" Pitch Session

August 19, 2016

The Consulate General of France in Toronto met with the WGC earlier this summer to share information with guild members about an initiative called "Shoot the Book." It's a pitching session taking place during TIFF, on Monday Sept. 12 from 10a.m.-12 p.m.

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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.

Canadian Screenwriter summer 2016 (celebrating the WGC's 25th anniversary) is on newsstands now. View excerpts, and subscribe here.

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2016
  • Writers Talking TV

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Writers Talking TV

Writers Talking TV: The WGC presents Emily Andras, showrunner of Wynonna Earp, in a conversation hosted by screenwriter Nicole Demerse, at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

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