The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has made waves with recent changes to the access of Certified Independent Production Funds. These efforts have provided Canadian productions with more flexibility to secure funding and increase quality CanCon — affecting all corners of the industry, including actors, writers, producers, distributors, and broadcasters. We will unpack the terms of the new regulations and look at their impact on the future of independent film and television production in Canada.
This session was designed for an industry professional audience.
John Bain is the founder of Canadian film distribution company Search Engine Films. Prior to Search Engine he was Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and SVP, Distribution at Maple Pictures. Bain has held a wide range of jobs in distribution, culminating in SVP, Distribution at Lionsgate Films before it spun off Canadian operations to Maple. Some of his acquisitions at Lionsgate/Maple included The Pianist (02), Hurt Locker (08), Hunger (08), Biutiful (10), Winter’s Bone (10), and Drive (11).
Dave Forget is the Director of Policy at the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). He previously held a number of positions at Telefilm Canada, including Senior Investment Analyst in the Western Region office, Feature Film Unit Director in Toronto, and Regional Director in the Ontario and Nunavut offices. In 2006, Forget was appointed Director, Television for Telefilm and helped the company assume the administration of programming under the Canada Media Fund. In 2009, Forget was appointed to the position of Director, Business Affairs and Certification. Prior to his work at Telefilm, Forget worked in film distribution for 20 years; he was a founding partner of Vancouver-based Red Sky Entertainment Ltd., and has held management positions at the 20th Century Fox and Alliance Atlantis Releasing.
Ferne Downey is the National President of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the President of the International Federation of Actors (FIA). ACTRA represents over 23,000 professional performers in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As FIA President since 2012, Ferne is the first North American to head the global organization. Ferne is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Theatre Department and Harvard’s Trade Union leadership program. She has spent the past 35 years working as an actor in television, film, radio and theatre, and is also a member of Equity (Canadian Actors’ Equity Association). Since 2011, Ferne has served as a General Vice-President on the Executive of the Canadian Labour Congress, and has worked as an activist and leader with CUES (Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen) since 2010. Most recently, she has just returned from a trip to Australia where she was invited to speak about gender inequality in the screen-based industry and provide solutions for change. This spring, Ferne will receive her first honorary doctorate degree.
Marcia Douglas brings extensive experience and a broad knowledge of the Canadian media landscape and the production and financing of projects across all platforms. For the past 5 years, she has lived at the crossroads of broadcast and digital media. As program manager for the Bell Fund, she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the national cross-platform fund and supported the development and production of hundreds of projects. In addition to Program Manager, Douglas was also an analyst for both the Cogeco Fund and the Independent Production Fund. Prior to her role at the funds, Douglas produced several award-winning projects that screened at festivals worldwide including TIFF. Earlier in her career, Douglas was an assistant director and production manager. Douglas has completed post-graduate studies in Children’s Media. She is also serves on the Digital Governance Committee for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and co-chairs the Digital Advisory Committee for WIFT-Toronto.
Peter Knegt is a Toronto-based journalist, author, filmmaker, and lead digital producer for the CBC’s new arts initiative. He is the author of About Canada: Queer Rights (11), and has written for Variety, the Toronto Star, Film Quarterly, Xtra!, and IndieWire, where he served as a Senior Editor from 2007-2015. Knegt’s first short film, Good Morning (14), has screened at over 30 film festivals around the world.