June 16, 2016
On Screen Manitoba is pleased to announce Winnipeg production company Build Films and Edmonton-based Far West Productions are among 18 finalists for Telefilm’s 2016-2017 Micro-Budget Program. Breaking Ice: The Arctic Uncovered and Abigaëlle et le date coaching were recommended to Telefilm by On Screen Manitoba, a designated partner of the program.
Build Films’ Breaking Ice: The Arctic Uncovered is the world’s first feature-length documentary and 360 Virtual Reality tour aboard the iconic Amundsen icebreaker in the High Arctic. The film follows directors Christopher Paetkau and Sira Chayer on a journey through Canada’s Northwest Passage. Breaking Ice: The Arctic Uncovered explores the drastically changing Arctic landscape through the eyes of expert on-board researchers, scientists, Inuit, and students experiencing the Arctic for the first time.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity to be on the expedition” says Paetkau. “The Arctic is fabled, beautiful… and melting. We know it’s melting, but why exactly? How do we feel about this? And, what can be done? If ever there was a chance to find out, this is it.”
On Screen Manitoba is a designated partner for both the Main and Official-Language Minority Communities components of the program, recommending one project from each component for consideration yearly. This is a two-stage process that requires a recommendation by a designated regional partner for consideration by a national jury. Telefilm issues an invitation to the projects recommended by the national jury.
Far West Productions is the first francophone production company in Western Canada to be awarded funding for a web series through the Telefilm Micro-Budget Production Program in the Official-Language Minority Communities component.
The romantic comedy Abigaëlle et le date coaching is an adaptation of the successful novel written by franco-albertan author Stéphanie Bourgault-Dallaire, and published by Éditions Libre Expression. In this six episode series, Far West will take you through the adventures of a young woman in her thirties struggling with commitment who gets signed up for date coaching by her mother and sisters without her knowledge.
“Breaking Ice and Abigaëlle are excellent projects for the Telefilm Micro-Budget program, the scope and nature the projects are perfectly aligned with digital marketing and distribution objectives, “ said Nicole Matiation, Executive Director of On Screen Manitoba. “On Screen Manitoba is delighted to see an emerging production company of the calibre of Build Films and a francophone production company like Far West recognized in this way.”
The Micro-Budget Program allows creators to make a first feature film or web series. Eligible projects must have clear plans for digital distribution and marketing and must be capped at $250,000. Telefilm also announced new and returning partners this year; the Talent Fund will finance 77% of the program, the National Film Board of Canada will ensure access to feature films funded via the NFB.ca’s Emerging Talents channel and Technicolor will continue to offer free digital distribution encoding to finalists.