Excerpted Guideline Details

Deadline: November 13, 2017 (Closed)

Download Complete Guideline (PDF) Download Financing and Budgeting Policies (PDF)

The purpose of the Program is to fund 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). Only series will be supported, with a maximum length of 15 minutes per episode and a minimum of 6 episodes.

To qualify as a short-form digital series, the programming cannot be broadcast before 12 months after its initial launch on a digital platform. Please note: It is expected that the number of episodes be appropriate for the genre, budget, distribution platform and the level of funding requested.

This premium content should have the potential for commercial success, and while there is no requirement to do so, the content may also act as a talent incubator for Canadian licensed broadcaster channels or digital platforms.

Video programming up to a maximum length of 15 minutes per episode and a minimum of 6 episodes. This programming is sometimes referred to as “short-form or web series”. (For clarity, filler content or a segmented version of a 30-minute program is ineligible).

Eligible scripted non-fiction genres of programming include factual, (commonly understood to include but not limited to science, history, art, religion), documentaries and lifestyle programming (commonly understood to include but not limited to cooking, decorating, finance, real estate) provided that each program is scripted and is being produced to be part of an ongoing series.

Ineligible content includes content that is primarily vlogs, user-generated content, including but not limited to content such as product review videos, how-to- videos, advice, tutorials, gaming videos, unboxing videos or other forms of unscripted programming. If in doubt, applicants may contact the Bell Fund to determine eligibility before applying.

Producer at the time of application must have one of the following:]

  1. A license agreement (commitment letter may be sufficient) with a CRTC licensed Canadian broadcaster-owned, digital platform or hybrid VOD service.
  2. A license agreement with a digital platform accessible to Canadians (Canadian or foreign-owned).
  3. An agreement with a Canadian distributor with a commitment to make the program available on a platform within 12 months of completion.
  4. In those rare cases where there is no agreement, the Bell Fund, at its sole discretion, may consider waiving this requirement (See Section 1 of the Guidelines for details).

Amount of Funding Contribution:

  1. Funding is available as a non-repayable grant of 75% of the costs of production up to a maximum of $150,000. Eligible costs shall include standard digital video production costs but not the costs of implementing the Discoverability Plan (see below).
  2. At the time of application Producer will provide evidence that at least 10% of the budget is financed in cash by a third party.
  3. The copyright of the project(s) being developed must be owned, optioned or controlled by the applicant.
  4. As part of the application process, Producer must submit a Discoverability Plan (see definitions). Evaluation of this plan will take place alongside evaluation of the series and provided the series is approved for funding, Producer may be eligible to receive up to $50,000 towards the implementation of the Discoverability Plan based on an approved budget.