The October 14, 2021, deadline for this year's edition of the Early-Stage Development Program (ESDP) is fast-approaching. And to help applicants prepare their submissions, the WGC will be holding a zoom webinar in conjunction with the program's administrator Telefilm on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. ET.
Now in its third year, the ESDP is a program exclusively for screenwriters that allocates funding to eligible projects at the beginning of their creative process. The program is very similar in structure to last year’s ESDP, with a 10-hour written-by requirement (with some caveats) and successful projects being chosen by a jury. The CMF may contribute financially to an eligible project at the level requested by the applicant up to a maximum of $40,000. The only changes noted by the CMF this year are as follows:
- Previously, any Writer that received 2019-2020 Early-Stage Development Program funding was ineligible to apply for 2020-2021.
- Now, the following Writers are ineligible for 2021-2022 Early-Stage Development Program funding: Writers that received funding from the Early-Stage Development Program in 2020-2021 OR Writers that received funding from the Early-Stage Development Program in 2019-2020 and have not submitted all of the required materials and documentation necessary to fulfill their Project’s final cost milestone noted in their funding agreement with the CMF.
Diverse Community Applicants
- Previously, at least 15% of the Early-Stage Development Program’s budget (for both language-markets) was exclusively reserved for Diversity of Voices Applicants.
- Now, Diversity of Voices Applicants will be named Diverse Community Applicants and at least 25% of the Early-Stage Development Program’s budget (for both language-markets) will be exclusively reserved for Diverse Community Applicants.
Complete guidelines and application information is available on the CMF’s website HERE. Eligibility criteria and application processes can be nuanced and complex, so we encourage members to read the guidelines and other applicable documents carefully when applying.
We also recommend attending the CMF Early-Stage Development informational webinar on Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. ET. and bring your questions for the CMF Program Administration team at Telefilm. (It will also be recorded and posted on the WGC's YouTube channel shortly thereafter.)
DATE: Sept. 28, 2021
TIME: 1 p.m. EST
Jeremy Spry, National Director, CMF Program Administration, Telefilm
Jill Samson, Deputy Director, CMF Program Administration, Telefilm
Shaun Bryan, Deputy Director, CMF Program Administration, Telefilm