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New "pre-development" fund at Cogeco
by: Marise Strauss Jan 29, 2009 Print Share email this article
Article printed from Playback Magazine


Producers looking to get television dramas pitch-ready for broadcasters may be eligible for cash from a new funding stream recently created by the Cogeco Program Development Fund.

The fund is making money available for dramatic series, miniseries and MOWs in the pre-development stage -- for up to $10,000 per production per year -- with the stipulation that the projects have not yet secured a broadcaster.

Cogeco Fund executive director Andra Sheffer says until now there wasn't a fund in Canada for the "high-risk" early stages of development when all the producer has is a great concept.

"We identified this as an area of need. A lot of producers don't have the cash flow between projects to hire a good writer to develop a concept," Sheffer tells Playback Daily, adding, "We're giving them the opportunity to take some time, so that when they go to a broadcaster with a proposal, it's ready."

The Cogeco Fund did not pump any additional cash into the new initiative, which falls under the same $250,000 funding bracket for development.

Sheffer says they were able to spring for the new initiative thanks to a lower demand for funds due to changes made by the Canadian Television Fund to its rules. The new rules encouraged broadcasters to put up 50% of the money for drama, while the CTF topped it off.

"When that happened, the demand on the Cogeco Fund in development lessened somewhat," she explains.

The next deadline for pre-development funds is March 1. Applicants are required to have a minimum of two years production experience and have produced at least one broadcast Canadian drama. Details are available at www.ipf.ca.

The Cogeco Fund has contributed over $21 million for development of television and feature film dramas since 1993.

For more info, go to the Cogeco site: http://www.ipf.ca/Cogeco/English/HomePageCogeco.html

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