Changes applicable to the Short-Form Digital Series Guidelines
(Note: There are no substantial changes to the 2020 Budget and Finance Policy for Short-Form Digital Series. 2021 Guidelines to come.)

 Two Deadlines:

First deadline: April 26, 2021
Second deadline: September 27, 2021 (7pm EST) 

SF Digital Series 2020 Guidelines (PDF) Budget and Finance Policy (PDF)

In 2021 there will be two opportunities to apply to Bell Fund for short-form digital series.

  • First deadline: Application accepted from April 26 to June 15 (7pm EST).The deadline for submitting an application is June 15. However, if you are ready to submit it before, you can do so. As of April 26, we will begin the eligibility validation and analysis process to allow quick responses.
  • Second deadline: September 27, 2021 (7pm EST)

    A distinction will not be made between fiction and non-fiction; these two deadlines are open to both and applications will be evaluated together. The merging of fiction and non-fiction allows producers two opportunities to apply within a year as opposed to one

    Digital Platform/Channel Options & Introduction of Platform/Channel Pre-Approval Form:

    Digital platforms must be pre-approved by Bell Fund prior to application. Producers are encouraged to seek pre-approval early in the application process. Bell Fund will review requests and provide an answer within two business days. Refer to Bell Fund Digital Platform Pre-Approval Form .

    Platform/Channel Requirements:

    At time of application, Producer must have a licence agreement or meaningful commitment letter from one of the following digital platforms. Bell Fund reserves the right to determine the acceptability of the service.

    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 digital platform that features Entertainment Programming and is accessible to Canadians (Canadian or Foreign owned).

    Note: Broadcaster licence agreement (or meaningful commitment letters) must include a 12-month broadcast holdback from date of launch on the digital service.

    Short-Form Digital Series budget template:

    Bell Fund has adopted the CMF’s series budget template to make it easier for applicants applying to multiple funding agencies. The discoverability budget must be submitted separately using Bell Fund’s discoverability budget template.

    Episode duration:

    The maximum episode duration for short-form digital series has been increased from 15 to 20 minutes p/episode.

    Subsequent Seasons:

    If applying for a second or subsequent season, the previous season must have streamed in its entirety and the key performance indicators (including but not limited to audience analytics) must be shared with Bell Fund. (Complete the subsequent season section of the Project Details Form.) Trailers for Subsequent Seasons may contain footage from previous season, however, unless the new season is ‘an uninterrupted continuation’ of a previous season, minimally the trailer should have updated text and audio pertaining to the new season.

    File Naming:

    Files should be named consistently using this naming convention: Applicant Company_Project Title_Document Name