Schools Training

Getting Your Film Production Funded in Canada

24 SEP 2012
Career Path : Audio Engineering

Step one: apply to the film production school of your choice. Step two: successfully complete your program. Step three: make your own film. Whoa, wait a second! How exactly does one get from step one to step three? Traditionally, in the world of Canadian film, this is accomplished through public sector funding, a complex web of provincial and federal grants, tax credits and incentives.

But the system is changing. It is getting harder for Canadian filmmakers to secure funding, making it all the more important for students to learn as much as they can about the grant application process while they are still in film production school.

Whether you are enrolled in a cinematography program or audio engineering school, here are some funding opportunities to be aware of.

Canada Feature Film Fund

This fund is meant to support the film production for feature-length films likely to perform well at the box office, for example, films likely to perform as well as these Canadian and Quebec classics:

-          Margaret’s Museum

-          Hard Core Logo

-          The Red Violin

-          Mambo Italiano

-          Bon Cop, Bad Cop

-          Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

-          C.R.A.Z.Y. (Quebec filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée is a film production school success story. His former cégep, where he earned a DEC in cinema, proudly lists him as a notable graduate.)

-          Up the Yangtze

-          My Winnipeg

In particular, film production students should familiarize themselves with the many changes to this fund, which went into effect earlier this year, notably, that to be eligible, the film production company must have produced at least one Canadian fiction feature-length film in the past five years.

Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC)

The goal of this tax credit is to make it more attractive to produce movies and shows in Canada, which is good news for anyone currently enrolled in a film or audio engineering school. On offer: a tax credit of 16% of admissible expenditures on a Canadian workforce.

Pitching at festivals

Securing funding, whether from the public or private sector, can be a difficult process, and it always helps to have the industry on your side. That is one reason why many of the Canadian film festivals offer a chance for aspiring film makers to pitch their ideas to an industry audience, i.e., people who are well positioned to guide you through the film production grant application process and other challenges.

Some festival for you to check out while you are still in film or audio engineering school:

-          Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival

-          Festival des Films du Monde

-          Vancouver International Film Festival

So make the most of your time in film production school to learn as much as you can about the increasingly tricky world of public sector funding.


Visit Trebas Institute for more information on film schools in Canada.