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CBC launches creative relief fund

Canadian pubcaster the CBC has launched an emergency fund to provide immediate development and production funding for “innovative, original storytelling” across all genres.

Barbara Williams

The CBC Creative Relief Fund will provide C$2m (US$1.43m) in development and production funding for a diverse range of content, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.

“In this time of challenge and change, we are working as quickly as we can to provide much-needed support to Canadian creators with this initiative that will immediately open up new funding across a range of storytelling,” said CBC exec VP Barbara Williams.

“As we all look for programming to inspire, entertain and connect us during this period of physical distancing, we want to recognise the incredibly important role our artistic and creative communities serve and provide them with urgent funding to innovate and tell their stories in entirely new ways.”

The fund will be divided into three streams:

Innovation Stream
Applicants must have one TV, audio or digital credit, or be partnered with an experienced production company. Genres include scripted (comedy and drama), unscripted (factual entertainment), kids and tweens, youth and young adult, and podcasts (multiple genres).

Playwright Pilot Stream
Open to playwrights with at least one produced play to submit either new concepts or existing plays for adaptation on all platforms. The CBC wants concepts that are a natural fit for either limited or ongoing series in the comedy or drama genres, episodic or serialised, and will fund the writing of a pilot script with an intended broadcast duration of either 30’ or 60’.

CBC Short Docs Stream
Productions must be produced and delivered within three months, with filmmakers adhering to all local and national Covid-19 safety guidelines. CBC Short Docs seeks standalone, immersive documentaries under 40 minutes in length, intended for a digital audience.

Canadian creators can apply from now until April 24 with a simple one-page pitch and evidence of their track record, and eligible applicants will be notified of their project’s status starting May 8.

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