The deadline to apply for the Bell Fund’s Short Form Digital Series Fiction Program is May 7, 2018. Who is this funding available to? How much is it? What steps do I need to take to apply? This blog will discuss the requirements and details of the program to help producers understand how to access this funding, and decide whether they want to make the investment of time and resources to apply.
What is the Bell Fund?
The Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, a.k.a. “The Bell Fund”, is a CRTC certified independent production fund that provides funding for cross-platform digital media and TV content. Based in Toronto, Bell Fund provides support to Canadians from coast to coast.
What is the Short Form Digital Series Fiction Program?
Funding is now available under four streams: 1) Short Form Digital Series Fiction Program; 2) Short Form Digital Series Non-Fiction Program; 3) Webdocs Development Program; and 4) Slate Development Program.
The purpose of the Short Form Digital Series Fiction Program is to fund original digital video content for online distribution, specifically the production of scripted fiction, which includes drama, comedy, and children’s and youth programming, excluding animated series.
How Much Funding Can I Receive?
Funding is available as a non-repayable grant of 75% of the costs of production up to a maximum of $150,000. Production costs that are eligible to be covered include standard digital video production costs but not the costs of implementing the Discoverability Plan.
Evaluation of the discoverability plan will take place alongside evaluation of the application. If the application is approved for funding, the Producer may be eligible to receive up to $50,000 towards the implementation of the Discoverability Plan based on an approved budget.
What Productions Can Qualify?
The requirements that a production must meet in order to qualify for funding are as follows:
In addition to the requirements described above, the Bell Fund requires the production to have one of the following at the time the application is made:
While many producers have separate corporations which play the role of distributor, the Canadian distributor cannot be a related party to the applicant, unless they distribute third party content. If there’s any question about whether the distributor is eligible, you should submit the distributor to the Bell Fund team via email ([email protected]) in advance for consideration and hopefully to get approval.
If neither a license agreement nor a distribution agreement is available in time for the deadline the Bell Fund may consider waiving this requirement subject to the applicant being able to provide some or all of the following additional requirements to the Bell Fund for review and assessment of eligibility at the time of application:
If you are not sure if you have what it takes to get a waiver… ask the Bell Fund team.
Also, be sure to read the Application Components (http://bellfund.ca/application-components/) including the Project Details form and Discoverability Plan (http://bellfund.ca/wp-content/themes/wp-starter-kit-master/documents/short-form/Discoverability-Plan-Eng.pdf), which includes a detailed description of producer driven, audience-focused activities (10-page max) with a budget.
Edwards PC, Creative Law is a boutique law firm provides legal services to Music, Film, Animation, TV, Digital Media, Game, Software and Publishing industry clients. For more information and blogs, please visit www.edwardslaw.ca
© 2018 Edwards PC
* This blog is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Please contact Edwards PC, Creative Law or another lawyer, if you wish to apply these concepts to your specific circumstances.