Important Note :
Applicants need to ensure that the application and all of the related materials meet the eligibility criteria before applying. This is a competitive fund where the total number of applications will be greater than the funds available.
What funding programs do you offer?Development:
Slate Development: The purpose of the Slate Development Program is to help independent production companies build and diversify their slates by offering financial support for the development of original intellectual property (“IP”) with the intent to grow and foster the independent production industry. Full program description can be found in the guidelines, accessed here.
Short-Form Digital Series: The purpose of the Short-Form Digital Series Program is to fund premium, original, digital video series for online distribution, specifically the production of fiction (drama, comedy, and children’s and youth programming) and non-fiction (documentary and lifestyle/factual programming). Note: Animated series are not eligible. Full program description can be found in the guidelines, accessed here.
TV Program: Supports the production of great, market-driven Canadian content in the genres of Lifestyle, Drama and Comedy and documentary series that is supported by CRTC-licensed Canadian broadcasters. The TV program is comprised of two streams, the Major Production Funder Envelope Program and the Selective Program. Full program description can be found in the guidelines, accessed here.
What are the maximum amounts that I can apply for?
Slate Development: Applicants can apply for a non-interest-bearing advance of 100% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $75 000, repayable from production financing. Maximum request per project is $25,000 to a maximum of $75,000 per slate.
Short-Form Digital Series: a non-repayable grant of 75% of the costs of production up to a maximum of $150,000. Producer must submit an Audience Development Preliminary Plan that will be evaluated alongside the series, and provided the series receives funding, producers can receive up to $50,000 towards the implementation of the Audience Development Comprehensive Plan based on an approved budget.TV Program: Subject to the Broadcaster committing to a fair-market licence fee as part of the financing, funding available for eligible projects in the drama or comedy category is a maximum contribution equal to $250,000, not to exceed 40% of the production’s eligible costs/budget (see Bell Fund Financing and Budgeting Policy) and in the lifestyle category, a maximum contribution equal to $150,000, not to exceed 40% of the production’s eligible costs/budget.
How do I apply for funding?Applications (including required documents) for all programs are submitted online in the Bell Fund’s Online Application Portal.
What are the deadlines for new programs?A current list of upcoming deadlines is available here
What constitutes an eligible online platform for my digital video series? Does it need to be Canadian?
According to CAVCO, the platform does not necessarily have to be Canadian, but must be accessible to Canadians. This refers to "a service where Canadians would likely look for linear audio-visual content, as opposed to a service primarily intended for foreign territories. At time of application, Producer must have a license agreement, or a meaningful commitment letter, or a deal memo from one of the following digital platforms.
1 – An online service owned, controlled and operated by a Canadian, licensed programming undertaking (eg. OUTtvGo, APTN lumi, Savoir Média) including operating as a Hybrid VOD service (eg. Crave, Club illico).
2. a pre-approved platform/channel (Canadian or foreign)
The platform must:
• Be available to Canadians and demonstrate that it markets to Canadian audiences (platform may be Canadian or foreign owned).
• Feature original premium quality entertainment content. Including short-form digital series that are comparable with short-form digital series financed by Bell Fund.
•Feature original content and not exclusively acquired content.
• Be able to provide evidence of the performance of the platform (e.g., audience data including Canadian audiences) for similar series.
All non-broadcaster, digital platforms must be pre-approved by Bell Fund prior to application submission. Producers are encouraged to seek pre-approval early in the application process. Pre-approvals may be requested up to three weeks before the application deadline. Bell Fund will review requests and make best efforts to provide an answer within five business days. Bell Fund reserves the right to determine the acceptability of the service. Refer to Bell Fund Digital Platform Pre-Approval Form.
Are VOD’s Eligible?Only Hybrid VOD’s are eligible. Currently there are two in Canada - Club Illico and Crave TV. They are accessible to Canadians directly through a subscription service. Other licensed VOD services provided as part of a BDU subscription (Broadcaster Distribution Undertakings) (e.g. Rogers On Demand, Bell Fibe on Demand, Telus Optik, Videotron) are not available to all Canadians, are not exclusively online platforms and are therefore ineligible as your platform.
Would Telus Optik, Rogers on Demand, Bell Fibe on Demand or Videotron qualify as eligible online platforms?These VOD services are not eligible because they are licensed VOD service provided as part of a BDU subscription (Broadcaster Distribution Undertakings). Unlike Hybrid VOD services, they are not available to all Canadians and are not exclusively online platforms.
For the Short-Form Digital Video Series Program, do I submit for Audience Development and how much funding is available?
A. An Audience Development Preliminary Plan (approx two pages) must be submitted at application. Please refer to the template for guidance in preparing your plan.
B. An Audience Development Comprehensive Plan and Budget - In the event that your application is approved, a detailed plan will be required within 30 days from notification of financing. In addition, a budget must be submitted using the audience development budget template provided by Bell Fund. Note: principal photography must be timed appropriately to align with the plan. Please refer to the template for guidance in preparing your plan.
Funding If series is Board approved for financing, an additional amount, up to a maximum of $50,000, can be requested for the cost of implementing the Audience Development Plan. Applicants are encouraged to increase the budget for audience development by securing financing from an additional source.
What genres are eligible for the Short-Form Digital Video series program?For the Short-Form Digital Series (Fiction Scripted), eligible genres of programming include drama, comedy and children and youth programming excluding animation and sketch comedy. For the Short-Form Digital Series (Non-Fiction), eligible genres of programming include factual (commonly understood to include but is not limited to science, history, art, religion), documentaries and lifestyle programming (including cooking, decorating) and is being produced to be part of an ongoing series.
Is my ‘how-to’ video eligible for the Short-Form Digital Video Series program (scripted non-fiction)?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. We do not fund talking heads or news and info content. If in doubt, please contact the Bell Fund to determine eligibility before applying.
Must my Short-Form Digital Series be scripted?Short-Form Digital Series (fiction) requires a treatment plus one or two scripts.
Short-Form Digital Series (non-fiction) requires a treatment plus one ‘episodic outline’.
Refer to Project Details Form for guidance.
How good does my trailer need to be for the Short-Form Digital Series application?The trailer must be a maximum of two (2) minutes reflecting the look and feel of the proposed series including key, on-screen talent. The trailer must be comprised of original footage from the applicant company. For a subsequent Season, you may not submit the original trailer. The new trailer should include footage from the previous season and updated text and audio pertaining to the new season.
What kind of agreement do you need from my platform/channel? Can it be a deal memo or letter of commitment?At time of application, Producer must have a licence agreement, or a meaningful commitment letter, or a detailed deal memo from a Bell Fund approved digital platform/channel. Bell Fund reserves the right to determine the acceptability of the service. If application with Bell Fund is successful, applicant will have 60 days from the date of notification by Bell Fund to provide all executed agreements.
Do the digital platforms have to contribute additional funding towards the project?This is a competitive fund and while there is no requirement for a cash contribution, the Short-Form Digital Series assessment criteria includes the "level of support provided by the platform."
Can I use tax credits in my financial plan for Short-Form Digital Series?Tax credits constitute an eligible cash contribution if the producer can verify the eligibility of their platform as an acceptable online service, pursuant to CAVCO’s Public Notice, found here, along with other CAVCO requirements, including but not limited to, the requirement to have a Canadian Distributor.
Can I use tax credits for the additional 25% of my digital series financing, not covered by Bell Fund's non-repayable contribution?Tax credits may be used for financing. For provincial and federal tax credits, applicant must demonstrate eligibility, provide calculations and estimate a maximum of 90%, of anticipated tax credits, in the finance structure. Federal tax credits require a Canadian distributor and streaming on a CAVCO approved digital channel. Requirements for provincial tax credits vary by province and applicant must clearly demonstrate eligibility. Note: Bell Fund’s nonrepayable contribution is considered assistance and will grind tax credits; ensure this is included in your calculations.
When will the portal open for the various program deadlines?The portal opens approximately one month prior to deadline. Check the 'Deadlines' page on our website and/or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for announcements.
I already started principal photography. Can I still apply?No. Principal photography cannot have begun prior to the application deadline.
What is the Digital Platform Pre-Approval form? Is it supposed to be filled out by the producer or the platform?This form is for all non-broadcaster digital platforms, streaming services and channels and should be completed by the applicant and platform, but portions of the form must be completed by the Platform/Digital channel, specifically the five questions in the Project Plans section (Describe how the platform’s content strategy and target audience demographics align with the series; Summarize the platform’s history with this series and the Production Company, including why this series would be a good fit for your platform; describe what measures you take to assist your viewers/subscribers in finding Canadian stories; describe how you support content creators with discoverablity of their content. How does the platform determine success for its content?; How are you financially contributing to the series?) This information is critically important for the Fund to determine whether there is a good fit between the Company’s project and the platform/channel. Here is a sample of a successful Digital Platform Pre-Approval Form. Please ensure that you also fill out the marketing section and fill the form out in its entirety.
My platform/channel is on CAVCO’s list of approved platforms, do I still need to fill out the Digital Platform Pre-Approval form?A CAVCO approved platform/channel does not automatically assure that the platform/channel will be approved by the Fund and a form is still required.
What do you mean by Slate Development?The purpose of the Slate Development program is to help independent production companies diversify their development slate both in terms of numbers of projects and variety of platforms and media by offering financial support for the planning and development of original intellectual property ("IP"). Preference will therefore be given to applications that support multiple projects (no more than three), which can be multi-platform. At least one of the programs must be an audio-visual project. Please note that feature films, MOW’s and repurposed content is ineligible.
Is there a minimum or maximum number of projects for the Slate Development program?A Slate must contain two or three projects. An application with only one project is not eligible.
What types of content are eligible for the Slate development program?
Eligible content includes: Short or Long Form scripted Series (live action and animated) for television and digital platforms, limited series, podcasts in the genres of drama, documentary, lifestyle and factual. One-off feature-length documentaries made for TV.
*Note; digital series (also known as web series) are eligible.
Ineligible content includes; interactive digital media (apps, games, digital books, webdocs)*, feature films, MOWs (movies of the week), short (one-off) films, subsequent seasons, news/current affairs, reporting and actualities (conferences/events), sports (events/analysis), gameshows, infomercials/instructional/industrial/corpororate/promotional content, talk shows, variety (awards shows), wraparound segment/interstitials/filler content, content mainly comprised of repurposed footage, and, content with a primary mission to provide a public service.
When do Slate Development projects need to complete their deliverables?Timelines will be assessed based on the deliverables. However, the expectation is that the projects will be delivered within a maximum 12 months from Bell Fund approval.
Will there be reporting requirements for Slate development?The producer is required to send in a report on the state of development for each project. Thereafter the producer and the Bell Fund will agree on a schedule of deliverables and reporting.
What is the maximum funding contribution and how do I budget up to three projects in my application?You’ll need to do three budgets with three finance plans. Funding is available as a non-interest-bearing advance for each project in the slate. You can request up to a maximum of $75 000 for the whole slate with a maximum of $25,000 per project. Minimum funding that can be requested is $20,000 for the slate.
Is there a minimum or maximum of times that I can apply for the Slate Development program? How often can I apply? If I received funding from a previous round, can I apply again?
Any production company that received funding in the previous Slate deadline (2020) is not eligible to apply to the Slate Program in 2021, however, may apply in 2022, If you applied and were unsuccessful, you can apply again in the following year.If you received funding in a previous round before the November 2020 deadline, you may apply in 2021.
In the Slate application, you ask for a meaningful letter of market interest for each project in the slate, addressed to Bell Fund. What does that entail?
A Meaningful letter of market interest is an alternative to using the Market Interest Form. It should be addressed to Bell Fund and contain the same information found in the Form.Market interest is an expression of support from a broadcaster, digital platform or distributor. Market interest must be provided for each project in the slate by providing a meaningful letter of interest or a Market Interest form. (See Market Interest form).
1 - A Broadcaster: Canadian programming undertaking, public or private, licensed to operate by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC);
2 - A Broadcaster: An online service owned, controlled and operated by a Canadian licensed programming undertaking including operating as a Hybrid VOD service (CraveTV, Club Illico)
3 - A Digital Platform that features Entertainment Programming and is accessible to Canadians (Canadian or Foreign owned).
4 - A Distributor (Canadian or Foreign). The distributor generally distributes third party content in addition to its own content and has the experience necessary to negotiate terms, marketing and promotion spends and other promotional activities in favour of the producer. In the case of a digital property the distributor must be ‘industry recognized’ as a distributor of digital content.
If one project is deemed stronger than another by the jury, will they recommend only one project to the Board?No, the jury will be recommending slates to the Board and not individual projects.
For my Slate application, do I need a third-party cash contribution?No – financing is available for 100% of eligible costs up to $75,000 or $25,000/project. However, should your budget require additional financing, you must provide evidence of financing as part of your application.
Can I include financing from other funding/provincial agencies in my finance plan?
You may apply to the Bell Fund with unconfirmed financing from other Canadian funding/provincial agencies (such as IPF, Creative B.C. Quebecor, Telus, etc.), provided that notification is received within 30 days of the Bell Fund notification. Details must be uploaded with your Bell Fund application including name of funder, name of funding program, amount pending, deadline date and expected date of notification.If you are including Creative BC financing in your financial structure, please upload an acknowledgement letter from Creative BC as part of your Bell Fund application, showing your eligibility.
When will the portal open for the Slate Development deadline & when is the application deadline?The portal opens approximately one month prior to deadline and a current list of upcoming deadlines is available here
Can all three projects in my Slate be related to the same IP?No, for our Slate program, all three projects must be original IP's.
Can I apply more than one time for the development of the same project?Yes, but only two rounds of development funding per project is allowed.
Does financing for my Slate Development need to come from a Canadian source?
Financial support for your slate projects does not need to be Canadian. Eg. you might have a European broadcaster interested in supporting the development of the project.
May I submit my Slate project as an international co-development project?
Projects must be developed with the intention of the project being certified as a Canadian production or an international co-production. For more information, check out Telefilm Canada’s FAQ and video about Audiovisual Treaty Coproductions. Bell Fund does not currently support co-ventures in development, however, we do support productions that achieve 6/10 CAVCO points.
What do you mean by IP?
The Intellectual Property (IP) of each project in the slate is original, though it may be an adaptation of an existing licensed property.At time of application all rights and underlying rights are owned, optioned or controlled sufficiently to develop, produce and exploit the program throughout the world. If in doubt, please contact the Bell Fund to determine eligibility of your IP before applying.
What are eligible costs for the Slate development program?
Development activities must not start until after the Bell Fund application deadline. Below is a non-exhaustive list of typical activities:
- • Production of non-broadcast demo
- • Research
- • Cost to option or buy rights and extension or change to option fees or underlying rights acquisition fees paid to an unrelated party.
- • Writing (Outline, Treatment, Bible, 1st and 2nd Draft Scripts etc.)
- • Script workshops
- • Development of production budgetand financing plan
- • Scriptwriting consultant/Story editor
- • Audience Research
- • Reasonable costs for travel and accommodation for research and video demo
- • Producer fees and corporate overhead (subject to the Finance & Budget Policy)
- • Accounting fees (if review engagement is required as per the Finance & Budget Policy)
- • Reasonable, third-party legal costs
- • Third-party preparation of the production budget breakdown
- • Production of drawings (animation)
- • Preliminary Casting
What is the TV program?As per the Policy Framework for Certified Independent Production Funds, the Commission “wishes to ensure that CIPF’s contribute to the development of a robust Canadian production sector, able to offer compelling high-quality content to Canadians and to global audiences”. To further that goal, the Bell Fund launched a TV program in 2018 to support the production of great, market-driven Canadian content in the genres of lifestyle, drama, comedy, and documentary series. Funding will be allocated to programs as a function of broadcasters’ Canadian Programming Expenditure (“CPE”) (excluding news and sports) in accordance with the CRTC’s Annual Financial Summaries for the previous fiscal and as set out in more detail below. For the purposes of the allocation of funds for this Program we are distinguishing between major production funders, private and public broadcasters. See TV Guidelines.
When will the portal open for the TV Program deadline and when is the deadline?A current list of upcoming deadlines is available here. The portal opens approximately one month prior to deadline.
Can you explain the difference between a major production funder, a private broadcaster, and a public broadcaster?A major production funder: is a broadcaster group (which includes private conventional television stations, specialty services and linear pay TV services owned by the group) whose CPE, excluding news (Category 1) and sports (Category 6) as reported to the CRTC for 2020 is at least $125 million for English programming and $50 million for French programming.
A private broadcaster: is defined as a broadcaster who is not part of a major production funder and whose CPE (excluding news and sports) for 2020 is less than $125 million for English programming and $50 million for French programming.
A public broadcaster: is defined as the CBC/Radio Canada and educational broadcasters.
If I don’t have a broadcaster on board, can I still apply to the Selective Program?No, you must have a private or public broadcaster on board and they must complete the Bell Fund Broadcaster Support Form, to be submitted with your application package. The Bell Fund will only accept three applications from each public or private broadcaster, per deadline. Please note: when there are multiple broadcasters affiliated by ownership to a parent company, the company is only allowed three applications.
Does the Producer/Production Company submit the application, or does the broadcaster submit the application?The producer/production company submits the application to the Bell Fund.
Am I eligible if I’ve already started principal photography?Principal photography can be underway, but it may not be completed at the time of the application deadline.
How do I know if I can apply to the Major Production Funder Envelope Program?Major production funders (MPF) will receive a letter from the Bell Fund confirming the amount of funding being allocated to the MPF along with the terms that the MPF must abide by. For the 2022 deadline, major production funder envelopes will be allocated to Bell Media (French and English), Corus (English), and Quebecor (French). All other broadcasters will be considered part of the selective fund.
What is the minimum number of episodes that I can apply with, and how long should the running time be?Funding is provided to 30- or 60-minute series with at least 4 episodes for drama and 6 episodes for comedies or lifestyle series. * Minimum 3 episodes for documentary series with budgets in excess of $500,000/hour.
What are your Canadian Content requirements for the TV Program?Applicants must qualify for CRTC or Canadian audio –visual certification office (CAVCO) program certification with a minimum of 8 out of 10 points or as an official treaty co-production certified by Telefilm, unless otherwise stated in CAVCO guidelines or regulations.
What genres are ineligible for the TV Program?Children's and youth, tutorials, Reality, Reality competition, international formats, Comedy Festival programming, standup comedy, talk shows, awards shows, broadcaster in-house programming.
What genres are eligible for the TV Program?Comedy, Drama: Comedy, Drama – is defined as an entertainment production of a fictional nature including situation and sketch comedies in a series or limited series format. While children’s/youth programming is ineligible, dramatic programming targeted to families is eligible because of its attraction to people of all ages – adults and children together or adults without children.
Lifestyle Programming: Lifestyle programming presents information or explores topics in a manner that emphasizes the practical information aspect of the subject matter. While the programming is informative, it typically doesn’t provide critical analysis or commentary. Usually, lifestyle programming reflects the aspirations of the viewer. Programming often focuses on subject matter in which accomplishing practical objectives is illustrated, discussed, or explored. Practical information is shared with the primary goal of helping to achieve those objectives and thus, the aspirations of the viewer. Can include but not limited to the following:
- An unveiling of a "result" which is the product of host’s expertise – ex: Rock Solid Builds, Bake Boss, Un chef à la cabane, Tous pour un chalet.
- An exploration of destinations by a host which relies on commentary – ex – Searching with Sang, Big Food Bucket List, envies d’évasion, Partir autrement en famille.
Do you allow convergent projects?Yes, however, funding is for TV series only.
Am I required to fill out the Self-Identification Questionnaire?Going forward, we request that each company shareholder and key creative personnel involved in a project’s production or development team be identified in the 'Self-Identification Contact List' (see application components). After the application is submitted, a link to 'Bell Fund’s Online Self-Identification Questionnaire' will be emailed directly to each individual listed in the 'Self-Identification Contact List'. The questionnaire must be completed within 7 days of receipt of the email invitation. In this manner, the applicant no longer has to collect this information on behalf of others.
Is there a limit to number of applications I can submit and can I apply to multiple programs at the same time?You may apply to multiple programs in the same year. See the guidelines for the applicable Program for application requirements/restrictions.
Why aren't you supporting IDM (Interactive Digital Media)?2020 was the final year for support of digital media projects (Slate Development). It was intended as a bridge from the previous programs to the new programs. The CRTC framework for CIPF's limits the amount of funding to 10% for non-programming digital content.
Do you have any programs that provide film funding?Not at this time.
Are there production programs for the Slate Development program?Certain projects developed through our Slate program could potentially feed into our Short-Form Digital Series programs and TV programs.
Do I apply to the Toronto or the Montreal office?This is determined by the language used when completing the application in the Online Application Portal. Generally, Francophone projects will be handled by the Montreal office.
Who is eligible for funding?Eligible applicants are independent Canadian production companies.
What is an independent producer?The Bell Fund is using the following definition of independent producer:
- Whose primary business is developing, producing and distributing professional content including (but not limited to) linear video and social media content, and has sufficient experience to undertake the project.
- Must be able to demonstrate a sound financial position and the required expertise within the team to successfully produce the program. A less experienced producer is encouraged to ensure that other members of the team are more experienced either as individual talent (i.e. screenwriter, director) or as a co-producing or executive producing company. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Bell Fund in advance of the deadline to obtain assistance in determining the experience level of their team.
- Is directly responsible for the financial and creative control of the production.
- Is the central decision-maker.
- Rights must be owned, optioned or controlled (including the underlying rights to the program) sufficient to produce and exploit the program throughout the world.
- Retain a reasonable share of the financial backend.
What is a Canadian Independent production company?A Canadian Independent production company:
- Canadian Independent production company: Is a for-profit company (a taxable Canadian corporation within the meaning of Canada’s Income Tax Act) carrying on business in Canada, with a Canadian business address, owned and controlled by Canadians, whose business is the production of film, video or live programs for distribution.
Does it matter what province or territory I’m from?No, provided that the applicant is Canadian and meets all of the other eligibility criteria.
Who do you consider the producer of the project?The Bell Fund’s definition of the producer role requires the following: is directly responsible for the financial and creative control of the production, is the central decision maker, must own, option or control (including the underlying rights to the program) the rights sufficient to produce and exploit the program throughout the world.
What is a co-production?The CRTC defines a co-production as an audiovisual work produced jointly by a Canadian producer and a producer from a foreign country with which Canada has a co-production treaty administered by Telefilm Canada. The production must be produced in accordance with terms and conditions of the treaty.
What is a co-venture?The CRTC defines a co-venture as an international co-production which is not included under any of the treaties administered by Telefilm Canada. These include all ventures with co-producers of foreign countries that either do not have a film or television production treaty with Canada, or if there is a treaty, the co-production is not specifically covered by the treaty. Generally, co-ventures are strctured with US parners.
What are CAVCO Certification Points and how many do I need for my production?To qualify for funding from the Bell Fund, short-form digital video series production must achieve a minimum of six points out of ten for Canadian content. Please note that what’s eligible to us may not be eligible to CAVCO. The onus is on the applicant to verify eligibility. To certify a program as Canadian, the production is assessed on a ten-point scale. Points are accorded for the number of Canadians fulfilling key creative roles. For the majority of productions, points are granted for the Director (2), Screenwriter (2), Lead Performer (1), Second Lead Performer (1), Production Designer (1), Director of Photography (1), Music Composer (1) and Picture Editor (1). More information can be found here. One individual may hold multiple roles.
I’m having difficulty uploading my application documents.In many cases, the reason for failure to upload is that the document title is too long or contains symbols ($, #, &). If you’ve tried both of the above and still cannot upload, please contact the Bell Fund directly.
When do I find out if my application was successful?Best efforts will be made to announce funding decisions six to ten weeks after the application deadline.
Do I need to budget for a review engagement or an audit?It depends on the budget of the project:
- Projects with budgets less than $250,000: Producer must provide a signed cost report in addition to an official affidavit.
- Projects with budgets between $250,000 - $500,000 require a complete final cost report and a Review Engagement report provided by a certified independent public accountant who is at arms length from the Producer.
- Projects with budgets equal or greater than $500,000: Producer must provide a complete final cost report and a full audit of production costs and statement of final financing, conducted by a certified accountant at arms-length from the Producer, and all company principals, and who is certified to conduct such audits.
How do I fill in the Transactions By All Parties/Canadian Costs form? What costs are internal vs. external costs? What are related costs?"Related parties" exist when one party has the ability to exercise, directly or indirectly, control, joint control or significant influence over the other. Two or more parties are related when they are subject to common control, joint or common significant influence. Related parties also include management and immediate families. A "related party transaction" is a transfer of economic resources or obligations between related parties, or the provision of services by one party to a related party, regardless of whether any consideration is exchanged. The parties to the transaction are related prior to the transaction. All such transactions also require verifiable documentation such as dockets and timesheets for personnel from all such parties including senior personnel associated with parent or related companies who are charged against the budget. For clarification purposes, when the relationship arises as a result of the transaction, the transaction is not one between related parties. Canadian Costs:The expectation is that all budget costs will be spent in Canada, and on Canadians. Up to 25% of the budget may be spent on non-Canadian costs provided that the Producer can establish the need for the non-Canadian costs. Producer will prepare the Non-Canadian Costs Declaration for any and all non-Canadian labour services and/or products.
Do I need a 10% third-party cash commitment?No, the 10% third-party cash contribution is no longer required in our programs.
What if I don’t have all the documents uploaded with my application?Bell Fund will deem ineligible any application considered incomplete. This includes unsigned documentation. Prior to applying, applicants should ensure they meet all eligibility requirements as this is a highly competitive fund and requests for funding will exceed the amount of funding available.
What are tax credits?Tax credits are a refund of a % of qualified labour costs for eligible productions. Canada has both federal and provincial tax credits. For federal tax credits, eligible productions may request a tax credit (called the CPTC) from CAVCO (Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office). For provincial tax credits, producers should contact their provincial government film/tv office or example, in Ontario, Ontario Creates administers tax credits). Bell Fund does not require productions to include tax credits in finance plans, but you can if you’re eligible. Check out this high-level overview on tax credits presented as part of CBC, CAVCO and CMPA’s One-Stop Business workshop. CBC has provided an incredible library of resource videos focusing on the business and financing side of the Canadian Film/Television and Digital Media Industry. Also available online is The Big Table which outlines Film and Video incentives in Canada. Remember that Bell Fund financing is considered ‘assistance’ and will “grind” (reduce) your tax credits. Use federal or provincial templates to calculate your credit and only use a maximum of 90% of your expected refund in your finance structure. Check out this video for more information on what grinds tax credits and what is considered assistance.
Can I use tax credits for the additional 25% of my digital series financing, not covered by the grant?If eligible, up to 90% of eligible anticipated tax credits may be used to finance the project and be included in the financial structure. However, Bell Fund does not obligate Producers to use tax credits as part of a project’s financial structure. If tax credits are used to finance the project, a schedule calculating tax credits used in the financial structure must be submitted with the application.
Can deferrals be used to finance the Producer’s 25%?Your financial plan may be financed, for example, by a combination of deferrals/producer investment (providing it’s reasonable) or other sources (such as other funds). While in-kind and deferred costs may be included in the finance structure they will be assessed as part of the budget and schedule review to determine whether they are necessary and reasonable.
What are non-Canadian costs?Non-Canadian costs refer to any costs incurred outside Canada. The expectation is that all budget costs will be spent in Canada and on Canadians. Up to 25% of the budget may be spent on non-Canadian costs provided that the Producer can establish the need for the non-Canadian costs. Producer will prepare the Non-Canadian Costs Declaration within the Budget Template for any and all non-Canadian labour services and/or products.
My project was approved but I’ve had changes such as key personnel, project scope, platform, etc. Will my funds be rescinded?The Fund’s expectation is that the project will be carried out as outlined in the application, which was formally approved and accepted by the Bell Fund Board of Directors. If there are any changes, please contact The Bell Fund as soon as possible for approval/discussion.
Are genres for all target audiences eligible?No. See the guidelines for the applicable program for eligible genres, for example the Tv Program does not support content for children and youth.
Do I need to give the Bell Fund a credit?Yes – a credit must be given on all versions and copies of the content on all platforms, and on all publicity and promotional materials under the Producer’s control relating to the project. The credit should be worded as “Produced with the participation of the Bell Fund”.
Where are the Bell Fund credit logos?The Bell Fund credit logos can be found online here.
Can I apply for development and production financing if I’m a not for profit?Applicant must be a "for profit" Canadian production company.