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COVID-19 Update: CMF & Telefilm Fund Guidelines

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The Canada Media Fund and Telefilm have released application guidelines pertaining to the $115.8 million they will be disbursing to Canada's audiovisual sector as part of Canadian Heritage's previously announced $500-million COVID-19 relief fund.

Both CMF ($88.8 million) and Telefilm ($27 million) programs aim to:

  • Help Canadian businesses and organizations in Canada’s audiovisual industry keep their doors open, keep their employees on the payroll, and be in a better position to recover once the pandemic subsides; 
  • Address financial needs of these businesses and organizations so they can continue to support writers, directors, crew, cast and other employees in the screen industry; and,
  • Complement – and not duplicate – other measures announced by the Government of Canada, recognizing that many companies in Canada’s screen industries may not be eligible for previously released support due to their structure and cyclical nature of their business.  

The CMF and Telefilm programs are open to applicants that have received funding from these organizations in the last three years. Key requirements/attestations include that applicants must:

  • Demonstrate a projected financial impact from COVID-19 of at least 25% of its activities
  • Remain in operation and be Canadian-controlled
  • Not be in receipt of funding from multiple Government of Canada COVID-19 initiatives to cover the same cost. If they qualify for both CMF and Telefilm funding, they must apply only to the funder that provided the largest amount of money over the three-year period. 
  • Use the funds, where applicable, to support workers such as the self-employed and freelance workers, artists, and creators (i.e. writers and directors).
  • Have received a minimum of $20,000 from either the Convergent or Experimental stream in the past three years, if they are applying to the CMF. (The formula being used takes the total amount of $ received in 3 years ÷ 2. If that is ≥ $20,000, a CMF applicant can qualify.)

WGC members who have only received CMF funding over the past three years through 2019's Early-Stage Development Program will likely not qualify for this COVID-19 CMF fund due to the amount of money previously received. (Telefilm applicants are assessed separately under its guidelines linked below.)

However, both these new programs are expressly meant to “support writers, directors, crew, cast and other employees in the screen industry” through the funds disbursed to successful applicants. So, in short, producers in receipt of this public funding should be using it to pay their bills, including outstanding fees on work you've delivered. If you are having any difficulty with payments, please contact Director of Industrial Relations, Laurie Channer (l.channer@wgc.ca) right away. 

Full CMF guideline are available HERE. You can find Telefilm's HERE. Both programs open on May 20 and close on July 12. Questions can be emailed to the CMF (CMF.FMC.coordination@telefilm.ca) or Telefilm (covid-19@telefilm.ca) regarding their specific programs.

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