Over the past 10 years, total Canadian coproduction budgets amount to $4.8 billion
TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce that in 2014 the Canadian film and television industry spearheaded 67 audiovisual treaty coproductions with budgets totaling $527 million. This is an increase in coproduction activity for the second year running, with the number of coproductions up by 12% and total production budgets up by 20% since 2012. The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) joins Telefilm in congratulating Canadian companies on this outstanding result.
Telefilm makes recommendations to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages on whether projects can be recognized as audiovisual treaty coproductions.
2014 capped an impressive decade of coproduction activity in Canada, which saw total budgets for treaty coproductions amount to $4.8 billion between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2014. Canada has coproduction treaties with 54 countries. The most recent treaty, signed between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of India, came into effect in July 2014.
"The remarkable growth in Canadian coproduction is largely due to the excellent reputation of our industry and speaks to Canada as a coproduction partner of choice," said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm. "We consider coproduction a priority and an important measure of success, since it is integral to diversifying the industry's private financing sources, to pooling talent from various countries and to penetrating new markets, and therefore new target audiences, while putting Canadian talent in the international spotlight."
Brian Baker, National Executive Director of the Directors Guild of Canada, added: "The DGC is proud that its Members from coast to coast are recognized for their creativity on an international level. Recent successes with treaty coproductions highlight Canada's growing reputation for exceptional talent, a highly developed infrastructure and industry professionals who rank with the best in the world."
Of the 67 Canadian coproductions recommended in 2014:
- 26 are films and 41 are television programs or series;
- 54 are English-language and 13 are French-language;
- 28 are Canadian majority coproductions, 38 are Canadian minority coproductions and one is 50/50; and
- Principal coproducing countries are: United Kingdom (20 coproductions); France (13); Australia (5); Germany (4); Brazil, Israel and South Africa (3 each); Ireland, Finland and Malta (2 each).
Among the 67 treaty coproductions recommended in 2014 are the following feature films:
- Born to Be Blue, directed and written by Canadian director Robert Budreau (coproduced with the United Kingdom), was hailed by Indiewire for Ethan Hawke's career performance as jazz icon Chet Baker.
- Turbo Kid, directed and scripted by Canadians Anouk Whissell, François Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell (coproduced with New Zealand), world premiered at Sundance and was a prize winner in Brazil and South Korea and at SXSW and Fantasia, where it was the Audience Award winner for Best Canadian Feature.
- Room, by Irish director Lenny Abrahamson (coproduced with Ireland), was the winner of the Grolsch People's Choice Award at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF's top prize. Eight-year-old Jacob Tremblay's performance has earned praises internationally.
Also noteworthy are the following hit TV series involving Canadian talent:
- Vikings III (coproduced with Ireland). The first season premiere drew over 6 million viewers in the United States and 1.1 million in Canada (History Channel). Season 4 is set to air in 2016. Season 3 directors included well-known actress (In Praise of Older Women) and award-winning director (Summer's End) Helen Shaver, as well as Ken Girotti, who was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series in 2013 for the Season 1 Vikings episode "Sacrifice." Filmmaker Kari Skogland also contributed to the series' success with episodes directed for Season 2.
- The Book of Negroes, directed and co-written (with Canadian novelist Lawrence Hill) by Clement Virgo (Poor Boy's Game), and coproduced with South Africa, launched to high acclaim at the MIPCOM 2014 entertainment market in Cannes. And with 1.7 million viewers for the first episode, it ranks as the highest-rated original drama for the CBC since Road to Avonlea in 1990.
- Transporter II, based on the film trilogy by the series' executive producer Luc Besson, was directed by, among others, Érik Canuel (Bon Cop, Bad Cop) and Stefan Pleszczynski (Motive). Airing on The Movie Network and Movie Central in Canada, this coproduction with France is playing in more than a dozen other countries including in the Middle East.
- Versailles, a coproduction with France, is the highest-budget large-scale series ever produced in France ($40 million for 10 episodes). The final three episodes were directed by Daniel Roby (Louis Cyr: The Strongest Man in the World). It will begin airing in Canada on Super Channel (original English version) and Super Écran (French version) in November 2015.
About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Created in 1967, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada's audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund and the Talent Fund, a private donation initiative. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/telefilmcanada.
About the Directors Guild of Canada
The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization that represents over 3,000 key creative and logistical personnel in the screen-based industry covering all areas of direction, design, production and editing. The DGC negotiates and administers collective agreements and lobbies extensively on issues of concern for members including Canadian content conditions, CRTC regulations and ensuring that funding is maintained for Canadian screen-based programming.
SOURCE Telefilm Canada
For further information: Media enquiries: Douglas Chow, Head, Public Relations, Telefilm Canada, (416) 973-6436, ext. 2548 or 1-800-463-4607, [email protected]; Alejandra Sosa, Director, Communications, DGC, (416) 925-8200, [email protected]