The Canada Media Fund (CMF) was in full-force attendance at the Banff World Media Festival which ran this week from June 10 to 13 in Banff, Alberta. CMF used the festival to launch Canada on Screen – a website meant to showcase Canada’s screen-based presence from television to media, including games, web content, and apps and software, which received funding by the CMF. During the CMF Town Hall, CMF pledged to focus on two aspects in management: simplification and rewarding success.
CMF announced two research projects investigating the digital media and television industry. The first project, titled New Directions for the Financing of Interactive Digital Media, was published by the Canadian Interactive Alliance Interactive Canadienne (CIAIC) discusses the digital media sector with a focus on financial mechanism efficacy. The second project, The ABCs of Connected TV published by Groupe Evolumedia, explores the technological and economic evolution of television.
CMF also held an info session targeted towards new applicants, and participated in “Financing and Producing Content for Multiple Screens in North America and Beyond,” a session discussing the importance of digital media integration across media platforms: “Producers and Broadcasters all over the world are demanding that multiple screens be successfully lit up to enhance storytelling and engagement opportunities and generate more revenue.”
The CMF Town Hall presented previous years’ program results and an update on the current program. CMF reported an increase in contributions from Canadian Heritage and the broadcast distribution undertakings (BDUs), as well as an increase in funding through the joining of the Canada New Media Fund and the former Canadian Television Fund. Further revenue from equity investment recoupment, repayments and interest rendered the total revenue at $360M over the past year. The resulting program budget was approximately $351M. CMF saw an 89% increase in applications, with 45% increase in contracts signed.
Within the Experimental Stream, which covers interactive digital media content, CMF invested $27M triggering $44M in total budgets for funded productions. CMF also noted that the game productions including game console project funding.
The Convergent Stream accounted for the largest chunk of the CMF budget at $288M. Documentaries actually accounted for the highest number of convergent projects, despite concern about how the genre would fit into convergence criteria. Children and youth programs took the largest portion of funding at about 40%.
Interactive web content accounted for 90% of the Convergent Stream – this includes video blogs, user generated video, webisodes and online discussion forums.
This year’s budget is approximately $371M. Read the full CMF Town Hall transcript here.
Follow the festival hashtag #Banff2012 on twitter for instant updates. To learn more about CMF funding opportunities, contact NorthBridge Consultants.