Review of Canadian Film Industry in House of Commons

June 12, 2015

A report, titled Review of the Feature Film Industry in Canada, was officially tabled in the house of commons on June 9th. In addition to the recommendations, the report includes comments and information from members of Canada’s film and television industry that participated in the hearing, including representatives from indie production companies, unions, guilds and Telefilm Canada. During the hearings, committee members heard from 51 witnesses and reviewed 10 briefs. This report follows the another report earlier this week  on the state of feature film distribution in Canada, authored by former NFB chair Tom Perlmutter.

The committee, chaired by Gordon Brown, is made up of MPs accross party lines and was the first Canadian Heritage standing committee hearing held on the Canadian film industry since 2005. The federal government has 120 days to respond to the recommendations made in the report. If an election is called before the government responds, there could be no response.

Recommendations are as follows:

1. The federal government continue its overall support for the Canadian feature film industry.

2. The Department of Canadian Heritage study and review with stakeholders the Canadian feature film industry and look into the problem of federal tax credit dilution and the administrative burden involved in claiming these credits.

3. The Department of Canadian Heritage consult with the various funders and recipients of feature films subsidies, to consolidate and simplify current administrative processes and other red tape burdens for industry stakeholders.

4. The Department of Canadian Heritage work with the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO), the Canada Revenue Agency and Telefilm Canada to develop mechanisms to help ensure that recipients of federal government funding for feature films are in good standing and have no outstanding legal disputes in any other jurisdiction within Canada.

5. The CRTC consider creating a special category for Canadian feature films as programs of national interest (PNI) in order to guarantee appropriate exhibition, funding and promotion.

6. The CRTC consider reviewing its program of national interest policy with a view to preserving and promoting specifically the production of Canadian feature films and documentaries.

7. The Department of Canadian Heritage support the marketing efforts of Canadian film producers in Canada and abroad.

8. The federal government confirm its commitment to audio-visual training and that it support training programs in the audiovisual sector in collaboration with the provinces.

9. Support organizations such as Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) recognize the increased competition in dubbing films in French and update their support programs to address the erosion of dubbing in Canada.

10. CBC/Radio-Canada consider enhancing its ability to broadcast Canadian productions and to support Canadian talent that Canadians want to watch in English and in French, including Canadian content on new digital platforms.

11. The Canada Council for the Arts encourage even more experimentation and creativity over various media platforms.

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