A – The Independent Production Fund provides equity financing for dramatic series created for the web or mobile platforms.
The IPF’s Special Project Grants program supports professional development activities for not-for-profit organizations that undertake training and promotional programs to further develop dramatic production skills and recognition with a focus on web and/or mobile dramatic content.
The IPF’s program to fund television drama series is on hold until 2014, this mandate has been transferred to the Cogeco Program Development Fund, which has temporarily expanded its mandate to include series.
A – You must be a Canadian independent producer or a Canadian incorporated company.
A – Dramatic series are defined in the broadest sense to include sitcoms, animation, children and adult series. Even some docudramas are possible if a significant component of the production is dramatized. Drama means fictionalized, scripted material performed by actors.
A – No. We only fund drama series created primarily for the web or mobile platforms. Previously the IPF provided funding to dramatic television series but this mandate is on hold until 2014.
A – There are no formal maximum or minimum amounts. IPF funding is in the form of equity investments which tend to average between 25% to 75% of budgets of web series ranging from $25,000 to $150,000. But, this is only a guideline and there are always exceptions.
A – An independent industry Selection Committee evaluates all projects at the Proposal stage (phase 1). Each project is evaluated based on quality, creative material, recoupment potential, digital strategies, marketing, audience feedback, analysis of “proof of concept” analytics, etc. A short-list of finalists are invited to submit full, detailed applications (phase 2) that are reviewed by an international jury with final funding decisions made by the Board of Directors.
A – The short-list of finalists for web series is announced in early April. The final funding decisions are announced in late June.
We announce funding decisions for Special Projects approximately 6-8 weeks after the deadline dates
A – We may offer you less funding than requested, depending on funding available, number of approved projects and your financing structure. You may decide to accept the Independent Production Fund’s offer or not.
A – You may only submit one web series project per production company, annually. Applicants may only own the copyright and controlling interest for one project being submitted.
A – You may only reapply with the same project in the following year if there are significant changes to the project. We do recommend that you contact the Fund for feedback on the original application before resubmitting.
A – Any other sources of confirmed funding, including broadcasters, portals, sponsors, etc. will help in the evaluations of the application.
A – It is not required, but it is preferable if you have other sources of confirmed funding.
A – Yes, if it fulfils our criteria for a “proof of concept” video. It should be roughly 2 minutes. You must provide audience anlaysis for the period March 1-31 if you are short-listed.
Proof of Concept Video Questions
A – We consider a “Proof of Concept” to be a short video (approximately 2 minutes) that illustrates the concept for your series. It could be a scene from your series, someone talking about the series, a trailer, a vlog from one of the characters or much more. Be creative and convince us that your series is going to be amazing and you know how to produce it.
A – No, please upload your “Proof of Concept” before March 1, 2013 to your own website and/or any video channel(s) that you feel appropriate. We will not be selection projects based on the videos with the most views; it is not a popularity contest. However, we are hoping that applicants can illustrate their knowledge of digital marketing and that they understand the web as a content distribution tool. Number of views and comments are just one thing that will be taken into consideration for moving forward to Phase 2.
A – Not necessarily. Views are just one of the factors that are considered in the evaluation of applications. Quality of the creative content and the concept are the primary factors being considered.
A – No. You may want to use your cast but it is not necessary.
The videos must be public. We will gauge the public’s reaction to your series via views and comments. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity for you to see how the public receives your series and if they have any useful feedback.
A – Yes. The video just needs to be up for the month of March at a minimum. Throughout March is when we will actually be looking at the videos.
A – Yes. However, please make sure you tell us all the URLs. If we do not know all the places where the video is uploaded we won’t have a complete picture of total views and comments.
General Fund Questions
A – In 2010 the Board of Directors of the IPF undertook an experimental program to fund web series, a new frontier in drama production. Following the success of this program and strong industry participation, and the absence of other significant sources of funding, it was determined that the IPF’s resources should be directed towards this new form of production for new platforms. In order to ensure sufficient private Fund support for television drama series, the IPF negotiated an agreement with the Cogeco Program Development Fund to expand its mandate to undertake the funding of tv drama series.
A – In 1990 Maclean Hunter Limited made an endowment in perpetuity to encourage Canadian television drama programming. The Independent Production Fund now operates with this endowment, valued at $34,000,000. The interest from this endowment, as well as recoupment from productions, provides approximately $2M per year for investments in series. The Independent Production Fund is a completely independent, private foundation with charitable status.
A – As well as its own programs, the Independent Production Fund administers the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund and the Cogeco Program Development Fund. Each of these Funds has their own Boards of Directors, mandates, and project selection processes.