Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds have partnered with the National Film Board of Canada for the Theatrical Documentary Program. Under this arrangement, the Program’s budget has been restored to $1.5 million per year, with each partner contributing $500,000.
“We’re thrilled to have the National Film Board join the Rogers Group of Funds and Telefilm to support Canadian documentaries that explore important topics through a unique Canadian perspective,” said Telefilm Executive Director Carolle Brabant.
“Our new partnership is very promising,” said Rogers Group of Funds Executive Director Robin Mirsky-Daniels, “and it will surely contribute to the success of Canadian documentaries. As the largest producer and distributor of documentaries in Canada, the National Film Board of Canada is an ideal partner.”
“As Canada’s public producer and distributor, the NFB is participating in the Theatrical Documentary Program in order to contribute its resources and expertise to supporting Canadian filmmakers in their crucial work of producing films that reflect Canadian social and cultural realities,” said Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB.
“The restoration of the Program’s budget is a positive message for Canadian documentary films,” said InformAction Films Founder and Producer Nathalie Barton (L’Est pour toujours, Planète Yoga). “Our documentaries are currently enjoying significant success, here and around the world.”
Sturla Gunnarsson (Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Film), renowned documentary filmmaker and President of the Director’s Guild of Canada hailed the announcement: “Bravo to the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds for investing in long-form documentary filmmaking, which is arguably Canada’s national art form.”
The goal of the Theatrical Documentary Program is to increase audiences for Canadian feature films by encouraging the production of high-calibre documentaries for theatrical distribution. Telefilm Canada, the Rogers Group of Funds and the National Film Board have joined forces to underwrite the Program with the goal of supporting projects that will be commercially successful.
Since 2005, the Program has supported 44 productions, many of which have gone on to critical acclaim, garnering 47 awards. Among them are Last Train Home (Lixin Fan); La nuit, elles dansent (Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault); Pierre Falardeau (Carmen Garcia and Germán Gutiérrez) and China Heavyweight (Yung Chang).
Details regarding Program guidelines will be released the week of August 20, 2012, along with the program deadline.