The Observatoire du documentaire and Antenne Media Grand Sud are publishing a guide that lists the major sources of additional funding available for the documentary film sector in Canada, the US and Europe. The Documentary Additional Funding Guideis a practical tool enabling Canadian and European producers and filmmakers to identify the different resources available for their own productions or co-productions: private funds dedicated to audiovisual content, including broadcaster funds, awards, grants, financial guidance and calls for projects by festivals, independent production cooperatives, provincial arts councils, crowd-funding platforms, help with distribution, marketing and audience development (US), hedge funds, the IFCIC and Sofica (France) and more.
“Mme Coutard and the Observatoire du documentaire have produced a really first-class reference work. The Guide features over 400 entries covering all aspects of documentary film production, including help with digital production. Funds are listed by country and searches are made easy by a hundred or so different keywords. We’re hoping it will be widely distributed,” said Catalina Briceno, Director of Industry and Market Trends for the Canada Media Fund, which contributed financially to the project.
The publication, currently available only in French, will be distributed by the Observatoire du documentaire through its Canadian network , the European MEDIA network and the Canada Media Fund network. The English version of the publication will be available at a later date.
Finding alternative or additional funding to public or broadcasting funding is a major concern for documentary producers and filmmakers. In Canada, as in Europe, the need for additional funding is growing due to reduced broadcasting budgets and limited public funding that can’t seem to meet the audience’s growing interest in documentary films. However, if having more funding sources can partly help counteract the reduction in public funding it shouldn’t excuse the state from its required involvement. As North American publication editor Nathalie Coutard points out in her Introduction, “Documentary film is an important tool. Not only does it provide an objective look on the world, it also encourages people to become more involved. Keeping documentary alive and well is a must. The industry’s vitality is a reflection of our respect for democracy which means the government’s commitment to funding these films must be part of their public service mission.”
The Canadian edition of the Guide was produced thanks to the financial contributions from Observatoire members, the Canada Media Fund and the Montreal Arts Council.
Editing and Production
Editor (Canada and US): Nathalie Coutard, Observatoire du documentaire
Editor (Europe): Isabelle Nobio, MEDIA Antenne Grand Sud
Research and Writing (US): Charles-Stéphane Roy
Research and Writing (Europe): Tiffany Tabeau
Graphic Design: Marie Dauverné
Founded in 2003 the Observatoire du documentaire brings together the major professional associations, institutions, broadcasters and distributors involved in the Quebec and Canada documentary film industry. The organization strives to improve documentary film development, production and distribution. The Observatoire is a place where professionals gather to reflect on and discuss the industry to ensure documentaries are distributed on all available platforms.
MEDIA is a European Commission program whose mission is to support the European audiovisual industry. MEDIA – comprised of 32 different member countries – endeavours to help address the dual challenge of producing content that respects cultural and linguistic diversities while making its mark on the international market. The MEDIA program’s goal is to strengthen the European audiovisual industry’s competitiveness through a series of incentives and the production of tools like the “Documentary Additional Funding Guide.”
The following organizations and institutions are Observatoire du documentaire members:
- Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC) (Canadian Francophone Producers Alliance)
- Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec (APFTQ) (Quebec Film and Television Producers Association)
- Association québécoise des techniciens de l’image et du son (AQTIS) (Quebec Image and Sound Technicians Association)
- Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARQ) (Quebec Filmmakers Association)
- ASTRAL Network (Canal D)
- Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC)
- Front des réalisateurs indépendants du Canada (FRIC) (Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Canada)
- Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA)
- L’inis (National Institute of Film and Sound)
- National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
- Quebec District Council of the Directors Guild of Canada
- Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) (Montreal International Documentary Meetings)
- Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (SARTEC) (Radio, Television and Film Writers Society)
- Société Radio-Canada (SRC)
- Télé-Québec (TQ)