Our goal as the ESIO is to help producers progress using various programs and then to use The Elevation Program as a tool when there is a unique opportunity to jump forward. Consideration should be made by the applicant as to which projects in their portfolio constitute that unique opportunity that will change their career.

Projects funded through this program must increase economic activity and align with at least one of the following goals:

  • increase the number of Edmonton producers
  • increase the skill level, exposure, and experience of producers in Edmonton

In addition, there are two key objectives that must be achieved and will be a substantial part of the grading process.

Objective 1: Level up

Levelling up could be measured by a change in:

  • Type: first feature-length film; first web series; first series; first service production
  • Budget: under $500,000; $500,000 – $1 million; $1 million – $3 million; above $3 million
  • Format: animation, documentary, scripted
  • Innovation: must impact skill level of producer (such as first use of tech)

The levelling up should be a meaningful jump forward in someone’s career. It should also feel like the next logical step in their overall career path. Projects that are similar to ones done in a producer’s past, or projects that are too ambitious will not be competitive.

Objective 2: Sustained Local Industry Impact

Applications will be assessed in respect to how the project and the levelling up will ultimately change the Edmonton ecosystem. The applicant should demonstrate how the project would open future opportunities that would constitute a meaningful, sustained impact to the local ecosystem. Not all applications will have such a clear path to impact; however, producers should demonstrate how the application project is a key step in building a career that will have significant value to Edmonton, its crewbase, and the industry as a whole.

Successful applicants can receive production funding of up to 10% of their production budget with a cap of $100,000. Funding investments can be early-/first-in, last-out to help leverage other funding. Funding provided will be in the form of a grant for productions up to $250,000. Funding provided for projects with a budget exceeding $250,000 will take the form of an equity investment, including recoupment and rights of returns. Successful applicants who recoup the approved project within 3 years of execution of the funding agreement with the ESIO may request to reuse the funds to invest in a similar project.

In addition to production funding, successful applicants will be matched with producer mentorship that is supported by the ESIO up to $10,000.

Edmonton refers to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region and is defined as the Cities of Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Spruce Grove, and St. Albert, the Towns of Beaumont, Stony Plain, Devon, Morinville, the Hamlet of Sherwood Park and Leduc County, Parkland County, Sturgeon County, and Strathcona County.

A production is defined as a segment of content intended for broadcast, distribution, or streaming and may include a single production or a series of related productions that are produced or aired over a common time period.


Eligibility

Eligible producers must:

  • have been resident in Edmonton for the last 6 months or more
  • be in good standing with the City of Edmonton and the ESIO
  • be eligible to work in Canada

Successful applicants will be expected to create a single-purpose company.

ELIGIBLE

  • Production budget must be greater than $100,000 and a substantial portion must be spent directly on business/contractors in Edmonton.
  • Principal photography must commence after the close of the program application period and no more than 120 days after the execution of the funding agreement with the ESIO.
  • Must be a new project (repackaging of previously completed projects will not be considered).

Ineligible

  • Projects that are primarily propaganda (false, exaggerated or distorted ideas, visual material and statements typically used for a political purpose).
  • Projects that promote cruelty, sexual violence or sexual exploitation.
  • Projects containing elements that are pornographic, obscene, indecent or contain child pornography or are considered hate speech within the meaning of the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • Projects or content that is libelous or in any way unlawful.

Eligible

  • Feature-length
  • Mini-series (a minimum of two thematically connected episodes)
  • Movie-of-the-week or one-off 
  • Pilot
  • Scripted, documentary, or animation
  • Series
  • Service productions/co-productions
  • Web series (minimum total duration of 22 minutes)

Ineligible

  • Short films
  • Commercials
  • Digital/online extension to a film or TV program
  • Educational videos
  • Fundraising productions including benefits
  • Game, contest or reality shows
  • Industrial videos
  • Infotainment and advertising 
  • Music videos
  • News, current events or public affairs
  • Pornography/adult entertainment
  • Presentation/award shows including tributes, promotional productions, and galas
  • Productions which consist mainly of live or pre-recorded performance (music or theatre) events 
  • Sporting events or activities (live or pre-recorded coverage of the event and/or pre- and post-game content)
  • Talk shows, magazine or lifestyle television programming

Expenses must be:

  • directly related to the production
  • considered essential to the production
  • incurred as a normal part of business
  • incurred and fully paid during the eligibility period (starts on the date that pre-production begins and ends when final deliverables are received by the ESIO)
  • paid to individuals or companies who directly provide the goods/services to the production

Expenses may not include:

  • those that have already received funding or a commitment for funding from the ESIO
  • project development
  • fines and penalties
  • deposits on goods/services
  • alcohol, controlled substances or any illegal products or activities
  • pre-paid cards
  • portion of GST recoverable from the Canada Revenue Agency
  • in-kind goods/services, unless included in the financial structure

Application Information

Applications will be accepted from February 5 until 11:59 pm MT on February 26, 2024.

Applicants may only submit one project per round of funding. Each producer may submit the same project once per intake, up to three intakes.

Application Requirements

Information required for the application form:

  • Applicant contact information (company, phone, address, etc.)
  • Producer information including website, IMDB link, resume and additional information related to past works (see supporting materials below)
  • Application information
    • Career impact (1500 characters max) – A summary of the impact on the producers career
    • Economic and ecosystem Impact (1500 characters max) – A summary of the impact on the the regional economy and the local film/tv ecosystem
  • Project Information
    • Title
    • Logline (250 characters max)
    • Synopsis (1000 characters max)
    • Format
    • Type
    • Language(s)
    • Timeline
      • Principal Photography Start Date
      • Timeline/Key Milestones (1000 characters max)
    • Budget Range
    • Edmonton spend
    • IP ownership
    • Diversity and inclusion (1000 characters max)

Supporting Material

  • Required documents
    • The following must be submitted on the mandatory template that will be provided following submission of the application form
      • Previous production details – details (type, budget, format) on the top 10 projects (by budget) that you received a producers credit on within the past 7 years
      • Financing Structure – details on amounts, source, and status of current financing
    • The following may be provided in your preferred format (as a PDF only)
      • Production Budget
      • Producer Resume
  • Optional documents
    • Applicants may submit any additional documents they wish to share; however, optional documents may not be used as part of the assessment
    • could include scripts, pitch books, etc.

This is a competitive process and the following general criteria will be used to assess funding requests:

  • Sustained and ongoing economic impact to the region
  • Career advancement of the producer
  • Producer readiness
  • Project readiness

Other criteria may also be considered.

Process

  • All applications will first be reviewed for eligibility.
  • Eligible applications will then be assessed based on the criteria above.
  • Funding decisions will be made based on the available funding.
  • Provisional approval of funding will be made to selected applications and applicants will be notified of decisions.
  • Those selected to move forward will complete a further due diligence phase to ensure readiness to proceed and a funding agreement will be finalized and executed by all parties.

Additional requirements, including reporting requirements, will be communicated to successful applicants as needed throughout the process.

For questions regarding eligibility, the application process or application assessment, please contact [email protected]

To share any concerns related to how the application or assessment process is administered or with client services, please contact [email protected].


Ready to apply?

Application Deadline: 11:59 PM (MT) on February 26, 2024


FAQ

Applications are first reviewed to ensure they meet eligibility requirements. Those that are eligible are then assessed based on the following general criteria:

  • Sustained and ongoing economic impact to the region
  • Career advancement of the producer
  • Producer readiness
  • Project readiness

This is a competitive process rather than a pass/fail score. Applications will be scored based on the criteria above and assessed against other applications. Due to limited funds and demand for funding, not all requests that meet the established criteria will be approved for funding. Applicants may receive full, partial or no funding.

New producers are encouraged to apply as long as their project meets the eligibility criteria above. Projects will be assessed based on the readiness of not just the project, but of the producer as well, taking into account past experience in other roles.

For example, if you have never produced something before, you should not apply to make a $10 million feature-length film as your first project.

The Elevation Program defines a levelling up as a change that leads to a meaningful impact on the career path or experience of a film or TV producer. This will be evaluated based on one or more of the application categories.

  • This is your first time making a specific type of production.
    • feature-length film; mini-series; movie of the week; pilot first web series; series; service/co-production
  • There is a significant increase in the production budget over previous projects within the general ranges outlined in the application.
    • under $500,000; $500,000 – $1 million; $1 million – $3 million; above $3 million
  • This is your first time making using a certain format.
    • Animation; documentary; scripted
  • You are using a new innovation in the production that impacts your skill level
    • Using a new type of technology or equipment