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CTF releases $11 million for six more English dramas


TORONTO - The Canadian Television Fund (CTF) announced yesterday that it has made $11 million available to this year's English-language drama applications. These funds are in addition to the $85.1 million announced on May 12.

As a result, five additional productions were supported and one production from the previous round had its financing augmented. The list below identifies the productions that benefited from the release of funds into the English-language drama stream.

For more on the dramas, click here.

"The release of these additional funds into the English-language drama stream has many happy results," said Sandra Macdonald, president and CEO of the CTF. "Not only does it allow the Fund to support the production of more exceptional drama programming this year, it also causes the distribution of drama funds across the various broadcasters to more closely resemble their historical patterns."

The funding comes from two sources:

Reserves: As announced on April 15, the CTF held back reserves carried over from the previous fiscal year to address any unforeseen problems that could arise with the introduction of a new funding system. These reserves totaled $15 million, of which $10 million (two-thirds) was earmarked for English-language programming according to the CTF's usual linguistic split. Following the distribution of funds by genre established for this fiscal year, 60% of these funds - $6 million - were therefore available to be released into the English-language drama stream.

English-language drama special initiative: As had been previously announced, the CTF had set aside $5 million with the intention of creating a special initiative to help develop audiences for English-language dramas. Although there has been much discussion of this initiative, the CTF has not yet arrived at a clear consensus on how these funds could best be used to complement its production support for English drama programming. Given the high level of over-demand from quality drama productions this spring, the CTF Board agreed to redirect this sum into production financing this year while pursuing discussions on the special initiative for next year.

It is worthwhile noting that all CTF broadcaster and producer board members who had a direct or indirect interest in the results of the decision voluntarily abstained from voting on all aspects pertaining to the release of additional funds to the English-language drama stream, says the press release.

The productions are: Tripping the Wire by Galafilm Inc. for CTV ($1.75 million); Plague City : SARS in Toronto by Slanted Wheel Entertainment Inc. for CTV ($1.75 million); Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story by Tapestry Pictures Inc. for CTV ($1.75 million); Murdoch Mysteries III and IV by Shaftesbury Films Inc. for CHUM Television ($2 million); G-Spot by Serendipity Point Films Inc. for The Movie Network and Movie Central ($2.35 million); and Godiva's by Keatley Film Ltd. for CHUM Television ($1.5 million).

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