Montreal – The Board of Directors of the Independent Production Fund (IPF) has approved a new pilot program to fund drama series created for any platform. In recognition of the evolving broadcast environment, the IPF will provide equity financing not only to drama series with a television broadcast license, but also to scripted drama series that are designed and produced for exploitation on the web.
As the sources of financing for web video without a broadcast license are very limited, the IPF support is intended to stimulate the growth of new forms of content. This unique contribution to independent producers will help them to explore the potential for high quality, story driven drama with new and innovative narrative forms. As a leading supporter of Canadian drama, the IPF will experiment in partnership with web content developers to determine how good storytelling translates to other platforms. “It will be an exciting learning process for all of us”, stated Charles Ohayon, Chair of the Board of the IPF. “We will help develop best practises to take advantage of the opportunities that the digital platforms provide for new production styles, processes, formats and business models”.
Joining the IPF in this pilot venture is Film Nova Scotia which will provide additional funding targeted for Nova Scotia based creators and producers of web drama. “Film Nova Scotia is excited to partner with the Independent Production Fund on this program to help Producers explore storytelling through new digital platforms”, noted Ann Mackenzie, President and CEO.
The IPF is inviting proposals for online drama series at its application deadline of March 31, 2010. Regulations for applicants will be minimal in order to encourage maximum innovation and experimentation. Projects must be webcast on Canadian-owned websites as a “first window” to ensure more Canadian content for Canadian portals. Some of these projects may serve as pilots for traditional television drama, while others may develop their own dedicated online communities and audiences.
The Independent Production Fund was established in 1991 and has invested over $50 M in 229 television drama series and over 300 professional development projects. The IPF works in collaboration with the Cogeco Program Development Fund which will also finance drama series for television in 2010, enabling the IPF to undertake this special pilot program. The IPF is incorporated as a private foundation with charitable status. It operates on interest generated by its $35M endowment, and recoupment from its project investments. An independent Board of Directors representing the industry oversees the operations of the Fund and makes all funding decisions.