Ontario and Toronto support screen-based industries



    TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) today announced the
recipients of the OMDC Screen-based Content Initiative (SCI). Forty-nine
Ontario screen-based content creation companies - including film and
television producers, interactive digital media content producers and video
game developers - received $2.3 million from the program, which included
$200,000 from the City of Toronto.
    The funding is provided through the Screen-based Content Initiative,
which was developed in consultation with OMDC's Screen-based Advisory
Committee. It provides eligible companies with funding for early-stage
development activities that are required to bring projects closer to the
production-ready stage and attract production financing.

    QUOTES

    "The McGuinty Government understands the enormous competitive advantage
that our screen-based industries give us in the global economy," said Culture
Minister Aileen Carroll. "This initiative helps companies to produce
marketable concepts to develop intellectual property, making them better able
to reinvest in their own growth."
    "Toronto is Canada's English-language centre of excellence for
screen-based content creation. We have the depth of talent to bring our
stories and universal messages to the world," said Mayor David Miller. "I just
returned from Hollywood and they are hungry for what we can deliver. This
initiative will help us to meet their demand and will also grow our domestic
industry."
    "The Screen-based Content Initiative was developed to help address the
ongoing challenge of access to development capital," said OMDC Chair Kevin
Shea. "These industries make a significant contribution to the provincial
economy and studies have shown that they will outperform traditional
industries over the next decade. We are committed to exploring new and
innovative ways to support them and are delighted to have the City of Toronto
as a partner."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -  This funding program increases our producers' competitive edge,
       creates jobs, supports local businesses and helps build the economy.
    -  49 companies representing 60 projects received funding
       (http://www.omdc.on.ca/PageFactory.aspx?PageID=5256)
    -  OMDC thanks the industry jurors for their significant contribution of
       time and expertise: Michael Coutanche, Ryerson University School of
       Radio and Television Arts; Len Pendergast, Global Incentives; Daniel
       Posner, TransGaming Technologies.

    LEARN MORE

    Find out more about the Ontario Media Development Corporation
(http://www.omdc.on.ca/site11.aspx).

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                                                                BACKGROUNDER
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                OMDC SCREEN-BASED CONTENT INITIATIVE PROVIDES
                   COMPANIES NEEDED CAPITAL FOR DEVELOPMENT
    

    The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) has provided 49
screen-based content creation companies - including film and television
producers, interactive digital media content producers and interactive digital
game developers - with $2.3 million from its Screen-based Content Initiative
(SCI), which includes $200,000 from the City of Toronto.
    SCI was developed in consultation with OMDC's Screen-based Advisory
Committee to provide eligible companies with funding for early-stage
development activities that are required to bring projects closer to the
production-ready stage and to help create a package appropriate to attract
production financing.
    OMDC received more than 167 applications for funding, representing 360
individual projects. The 49 recipients represented 60 projects
(http://www.omdc.on.ca/PageFactory.aspx?PageID=5256).
    OMDC Screen-based Content Initiative decisions are made by a review panel
of established industry professionals and OMDC staff. The OMDC wishes to thank
the industry jurors for their significant contribution of time and expertise:
Michael Coutanche, Ryerson University School of Radio and Television Arts; Len
Pendergast, Global Incentives; Daniel Posner, TransGaming Technologies.
    The funding will benefit content producers, increasing their competitive
edge and creating more jobs.

    QUOTES

    "The strength of the OMDC SCI rests in its ability to give Ontario
content producers a competitive edge, participate in the development of
quality content in a very challenging economic climate, and create job
opportunities for those working throughout the screen-based industries," said
Jesse Ikeman, Co-President, Sudden Storm Entertainment Ltd.
    "The early stage of development can be time-consuming and is the major
cause of burn-out among producers," said Lalita Krishna, Producer, In Sync
Video. "The Screen-based Content Initiative is another example of the vision
and progressive thinking at the OMDC. Investing in the early stages of
development ensures a well researched story, provides an opportunity to flesh
out characters and lays the foundation for market success."
    "I think the OMDC's Screen-based Content Initiative is a forward-thinking
program which fills a hole in the development pipeline and helps content
producers bring quality ideas to different platforms," said Jonas Diamond,
Executive Producer, Smiley Guy Studios.
    "We can say with certainty that without the OMDC, Metanet Software would
not exist as it does today," said Mare Sheppard, President, Metanet Software
Inc. "Funding provided by the OMDC has given us the opportunity to make the
games we want to make, on our own terms, which is sometimes difficult in this
industry, especially for small teams."
    "The Screen-based Content Initiative is an amazing fund supporting
companies with the 'heavy lifting' of television development," said Mary
Bredin, Development + Acquisitions, Guru Animation Studio Ltd. "It allows
producers to dream big - rather than 'wishing' that the project could have a
great writer involved or a great designer doing some amazing art work. SCI has
allowed us to turn some of our wishes into reality!"

    
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                                                     ontario.ca/culture-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: George McNeillie, OMDC Communications, (416)
642-6619 cellular, (647) 286-3979, E-mail: gmcneillie@omdc.on.ca; Sarah
Petrevan, Minister's Office, (416) 325-1676; Anna-Maria Mountfort,
Communications Branch, (416) 314-3497; Jane Greer, Communications Branch,
(416) 325-8391

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Ontario Media Development Corporation

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