The purpose of the Program is to fund premium, original, digital video for online distribution, specifically the production of scripted fiction (drama, comedy, and children’s and youth programming, excluding animated series) and scripted non-fiction (i.e. documentary and lifestyle/factual programming).
The following conditions must be met in order for your application to be considered
a. Only series will be supported, with a maximum length of 15 minutes per episode and a minimum of 6 episodes. The number of episodes should be appropriate for the genre, budget, distribution platform and the level of funding requested.
b. The series cannot be broadcast as part of a scheduled linear service before 12 months after its initial launch on a digital platform.
c. Principal photography cannot have begun prior to the application deadline.
d. The copyright of the project must be owned, optioned or controlled by the applicant.
e. Producer must have one of the following:
(i) A license agreement (commitment letter may be sufficient) with a CRTC licensed, Canadian broadcaster-owned, digital platform or hybrid VOD service.
(ii) A license agreement with a digital platform accessible to Canadians (Canadian or foreign-owned).
(iii) An agreement with an eligible Canadian distributor with a commitment to make the program available on a digital platform within 12 months of completion.IMPORTANT: Where there is no eligible distributor or license agreement available, AND your channel/platform is not already listed as an acceptable online service pursuant to CAVCO (as outlined in Public Notice 2017-01) Producer must seek approval for its channel/distribution platform from the Bell Fund prior to application.
f. Producer must provide the following:
(i) A series trailer (max. 2 minutes) that reflects the look and feel of the proposed series.
(ii) Evidence that at least 10% of the budget is financed in cash by a third party.
(Third Party Sources: may include but are not limited to sponsorship funding, public and private funding agencies, provincial agencies, and a distribution advance. The 10% cash financing must be committed in writing at the time of application. Projects that are under review with another industry funding program (OMDC, SODEC, IPF, Shaw Rocket Fund, CMF, etc.) will qualify as the 10% cash contribution provided that applications are submitted in advance of the Bell Fund Board decisions for that particular deadline. Tax credits are also eligible. The Bell Fund may request evidence that tax credits can be financed or cash flowed.
While in-kind and deferred costs are not eligible as the cash contribution, these can be included in the budget as long as they are necessary and reasonable. Please see the budgeting and financing policy for more information.
(iii) A Discoverability Plan (see definitions) Evaluation of this plan will take place alongside evaluation of the series.