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guidestones web series ipfCelebrating two decades of funding traditional Canadian television drama series, the board of the Independent Production Fund (IPF) has made a formal commitment to lead the industry in new directions for the future.

The web series funding program that has been undertaken on an experimental basis for the past two years, will now become the focus of IPF funding support for the next three years.

In 2010, the IPF launched a pilot program to support linear drama series created for new platforms. As a result, web series production took off in Canada.

In the past two years, 330 proposals were submitted to the IPF for web series funding. Twenty-six of these were approved for funding and can be seen on web portals around the world.

The range of creativity and entrepreneurial skills has ensured that quality Canadian drama and outstanding new talents have the opportunity to be encouraged and to be made available to audiences internationally.

This new sector of the industry is still seeking successful marketing, distribution and business models and the IPF provides training and educational support and mentorship as well as the essential financing to make these innovative projects possible.

The IPF, along with provincial funding partners (Film Nova Scotia, SaskFilm, Manitoba Film & Music, OMDC and Innovation PEI), invest over $1.5 M a year in web series.

They have been created for every demographic from pre-schoolers to adults representing nearly 2,000 minutes of drama in addition to associated interactive activities and social media. They can be accessed via the IPF’s web series dashboard.

The Independent Production Fund has also entered into an agreement with the Cogeco Program Development Fund, which has accepted to broaden its mandate for the next three years to include funding of television drama series, as well as the MOW’s and mini-series that it has traditionally supported.

Drama for television remains essential to Canadian broadcasters and audiences, and the IPF salutes the Cogeco Fund’s vision that will now ensure ongoing financing for all formats of these traditional productions.

The 2012 deadline for applications to the Web Series Program is March 1, 2012.

About the IPF:
In the past 20 years, the IPF has invested $54 M in the production of television and web drama as well as professional development activities. It is a private, charitable Foundation with an endowment valued at $34 M. It uses the interest generated by this endowment as well as recoupment from successful projects, for its industry investments. An independent Board of Directors representing various aspects of the industry is responsible for all funding decisions.