The Creative BC Project Development Fund provides “market triggered” development financing to British Columbia owned and controlled production companies for individual projects. Applications are evaluated on a first come-first served basis, and funding is available until the budget for the program is expended. A non-recoupable advance, matching up to 50% of the eligible triggering agent commitment is available. Please note that international treaty or inter-provincial co-productions are eligible under this program.
The applicant must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria in order to be considered an “eligible applicant”:
- The applicant must be a company incorporated in British Columbia or Canada with its head office in British Columbia. A majority of the issued common voting shares must be held by BC residents (Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents who have resided in BC for at least 200 of the 365 days preceding the date of application and who have filed income tax returns in BC in the taxation year prior to the date of application)
- The applicant company may own 10% or less of the shares of a broadcaster and may have 10% or less of its shares owned by a broadcaster or by a distributor
- The principals, directors, officers and shareholders of the applicant company are in good standing (i.e. not in Default) with Creative BC
- 100% of the copyright of the project being developed must be owned, optioned, or controlled by the applicant. Exceptions may be granted for inter-provincial or international treaty co-productions where the BC applicant retains at least 20% of the copyright interest and where it can be demonstrated that the copyright ownership granted to the BC applicant is equal to the BC applicant’s financial, technical and creative contribution and control as specified in the co-production agreement entered into between the parties
Eligible projects may include British Columbia owned and/or controlled:
- Feature films destined for theatrical release (live action or animated)
- Television movies, pilots, television series and mini-series (live action, animation, variety, human interest, lifestyle and performing arts & entertainment)
- Documentaries and docudramas for television broadcast or theatrical release
The applicant must obtain the prior written consent of Creative BC if they plan to sell, assign, transfer, option or otherwise dispose of or encumber any right, interest or property of the applicant in the project, in any materials created during the development of the project or in the underlying rights agreements. If the eligible project is produced, the production must be produced in British Columbia by the applicant unless the applicant has entered into an interprovincial co-production or international treaty co-production with respect to the eligible project. A production that contains any elements of serious or gratuitous sexual violence or exploitation, obscene, indecent or pornographic content within the meaning of the Criminal Code, or elements which are libelous or in any other way unlawful, are ineligible.
Eligible applicants may apply to Creaive BC for a total non-recoupable development advance of up to 50% of the committed cash amount from one or more of the following Triggering Agents for the development of an eligible project:
- An arm’s length bona fide distribution entity (NOTE: this includes international distributors)
- National Film Board of Canada (NFB co-productions only; 100% owned and controlled NFB productions are not eligible)
- A licensed public or private broadcaster (NOTE: this includes international broadcasters)
- The Harold Greenberg Fund
- The Shaw Media – Hot Docs Development Fund
The total development funding available to an eligible project for the fiscal year 2013/14 is capped at $10,000, except for television series (including dramatic, animated, lifestyle or documentary) which are capped at $20,000. The total development funding available to each eligible applicant (including affiliated and related companies) may not exceed $50,000 in the fiscal year 2013/14. The maximum cumulative funding an eligible project can receive throughout its development history is $30,000, except for television series which are capped at $50,000.
Eligible applicants that have a written agreement with one or more of the Triggering Agents confirming its commitment to provide a development advance for the eligible project must submit their application to Creative BC no later than 30 days after the date of the letter of commitment or agreement with the triggering agent. Development advances by the Triggering Agent must be relevant to the current phase of development. NOTE: Creative BC will no longer participate in funding the television component of projects receiving support through the convergent stream of the Canada Media Fund. Funds administered by COGECO will not trigger access to the Project Development Fund.
Applications are evaluated on a first come/first served basis, until budgeted funds are exhausted. Applicants must submit a complete application together with the required supporting materials to Creative BC.
A $100 application fee (plus GST) is payable to CREATIVE BC with each submission. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
Review and analysis of the application does not include a creative evaluation. A review is conducted to determine eligibility and upon verification, the eligible applicant is notified in writing of the amount of the non-recoupable development advance awarded and subsequently forwarded a Non-recoupable Development Advance Agreement (the “Agreement”) which, upon execution, shall be binding upon the eligible applicant and Creative BC.
Following analysis, if a project or applicant is deemed ineligible, the applicant will be notified via telephone or email of the reasons and an opportunity to pick up the application materials will be offered. The application fee is non-refundable.
The following eligible costs must be bona fide third party costs directly related to the film or television project in development:
- Rights acquisition or optioning (payments to related parties or co-production partners not eligible)
- Research fees and materials (any proposed non-arm’s length research fees will be approved on a case-by-case basis; in-house researchers must have prior experience and relevant credits)
- Writing fees (any proposed non-arm’s length writing fees will be approved on a case-by-case basis; in-house writers must have prior experience and relevant credits)
- Applicable fringes
- Script editing or consultation fees
- Script reader fees and workshops
- Character model pack (for animated projects)
- Script breakdown, scheduling and preliminary budget preparation (final draft stage or later only; any proposed non-arm’s length fees paid for these services will be approved on a case-by-case basis)
- Location scouting (final draft stage or later only)
- Casting (polish/pre-production phase only)
- Packaging and marketing (polish/pre-production phase only)
- Storyboards (polish/pre-production phase only)
- Interviewing or demo-taping costs including equipment rental, director fee, camera operator, editor and tape stock (NOTE: must be requested and/or approved by the commissioning broadcaster in writing)
- Travel costs including accommodation, return airfare based on economy fare, transportation (rental car, vehicle fuel costs, taxi, shuttle bus, ferry), and per diem. NOTE: travel expenses must be necessary for creative work (e.g. in the case of documentaries – interviewing and demo-taping, pre-production shooting, or in the case of dramatic work, travel by/to/from the writer, producer and/or story editor). Some exceptions may apply in the final draft/polish/pre-production phase or in the case of inter-provincial or international treaty co-productions. Travel expenses to market the project are not eligible budget expenditures.
- Producer fees and corporate overhead can be calculated as a combined maximum 40% of the above approved direct development costs (the base budget).
Inflated, excessive, and/or unreasonable allocation of expenditures may be deemed ineligible and deducted from the proposed development budget.
The advance of funds (the “Advance”) is non recoupable (except as noted below under Forfeiture and Default and within the Agreement) and will be released over two draw-downs (75% and 25% of the Advance, respectively) according to the conditions laid out in the Agreement.
A completion date is noted on the Agreement by which all deliverables will be submitted. Should all materials not be provided by the completion date, the eligible applicant forfeits any outstanding draw-down amounts, and the commitment will be reduced by this amount. Should an eligible applicant be placed in default according to the terms of the Agreement, this limits the applicant, its principals and any parent or subsidiary companies from accessing further funding from Creative BC. In addition, Creative BC reserves the right to request immediate repayment of any funds advanced.