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Indigenous Screen Office Releases Report on Canada Media Fund’s Indigenous Program

Press Release

TORONTO, ON — The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) released a new report reviewing the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Aboriginal Program, which is to be renamed as the Indigenous Program. The report was commissioned by ISO to ensure that the program continues to meet the needs of an evolving and growing Indigenous screen sector. The findings will support strategies for iterations of the Indigenous Program Guidelines as well as its longer-term direction.

Key to the findings was the need for the development of two distinct funding streams: one that supports language-based productions with no broadcaster requirements, and another to support projects intended for broader audiences

Another important and timely recommendation is the inclusion of distinct Indigenous rights within the Canadian Broadcasting Act, which is currently under review.

The Indigenous Screen Office is working with the CMF to update the 2020-2021 Program Guidelines. Both organizations will collaborate on future Program developments, ensuring they meet the needs of Indigenous creators.

“The Indigenous Program provides crucial support to an evolving Indigenous screen industry and we look forward to continued collaboration with CMF to ensure the Program is relevant and compatible with the needs of Indigenous creators,” said Jesse Wente, Executive Director of the Indigenous Screen Office. “The findings of our study will support strategies for the long-term direction of the Indigenous Program.”

“The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is proud of the instrumental role it played in the creation of the ISO,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “In only two short years since its inception, the ISO has gained a significant amount of momentum and support both with Indigenous communities across Canada and the industry at large, demonstrating its ability to establish new funding opportunities and partnerships to the benefit of Indigenous creators. We’re delighted to deepen our collaboration and revise the CMF program to ensure it is relevant for Canada’s Indigenous storytellers.”

The report, ‘A Review of the Canada Media Fund’s Indigenous Program: Key Trends, Stakeholder Perspectives and Future Directions’ was undertaken by Communications MDR, who interviewed Indigenous producers and content creators from across Canada, in addition to conducting a comprehensive statistical analysis to identify key program trends.

Other findings included recommendations for strengthened guidelines around Indigenous ownership and control on productions; more support from broadcasters for Indigenous-made scripted content; and increased support to build Indigenous producer capacity within the sector.

The complete report can be found here: https://iso-bea.ca/resources/publications/

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