What’s the difference between CBC Films and the Breaking Barriers funding model?
CBC Films will negotiate a licence fee and rights package on a case-by-case basis, unlike the Breaking Barriers fund which had a pre-negotiated rights package.


On top of television broadcast and on-demand rights for CBC’s digital platforms, what other rights will CBC take?
CBC will retain a non-exclusive right to non-commercial public performances. This is to enable the CBC to host screenings of the films it has supported – but not to compete with theatrical screenings. CBC will coordinate with the distributor or producer to ensure CBC’s rights do not interfere with the commercial exploitation of the film.
What about ‘non-theatrical’ rights?
Producers and/or distributors will retain all non-theatrical rights (e.g., airlines, educational, etc.) and may exploit all transactional rights (e.g., electronic sell-through/HV/DVD, transactional video on demand, etc.) throughout the term of CBC’s licence.


Which film festivals do you recognize?

International Film Festivals: Annecy Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Cairo International Film Festival, Cartagena International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Mar del Plata International Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival, New York City International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Shanghai International Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Stockholm international Film Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tampere Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Valladolid International FIlm Festival, Venice Film Festival.

Key Canadian Film Festivals: Atlantic Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, St. John’s international Women's Film Festival,Toronto International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Yorkton Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema.

NOTE: We occasionally make exceptions for other significant festivals on a case by case basis. You may be asked to provide evidence of your participation in a festival or of a festival screening.

How do you define a feature length film?
75 minutes or longer. A feature film that is longer than 110 minutes is often a challenge for CBC to broadcast on the main CBC network given the limitations on linear television. It is of no concern on Gem. Having said this, the length of a film and CBC’s ability to fit the film into a commercial time slot may be a consideration in deciding whether to fund a particular feature and in determining the amount of CBC’s contribution.
I had a prior feature film in a festival but it was in the documentary genre. Do I qualify if my current project is scripted?
Yes, if your prior film is feature length and was in a recognized festival. The fact that your prior film was a documentary does not matter if the project you are submitting to CBC Films is a narrative feature film.
I had a prior short film in a festival. Do I qualify if my current project is a feature film ?
Yes, if your prior short film was in a recognized A-List International festival. Those festivals are: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Locarno Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival.
Why does the filmmaker have to have had a film in a recognized festival? You’re shutting out the very groups you say you want to support.
CBC Films mandate is aimed at supporting creators who already have some experience and recognition. First time filmmakers are encouraged to investigate other sources of funding set out in our list of funding and production resources at the bottom of these FAQs.
My film is animated. Is that ok?
Yes. Animated films in any scripted genre (drama, comedy, childrens’ & youth) are eligible. Only films in the documentary/unscripted genre are excluded.
I already shot my film and I just need finishing funds. Am I eligible to receive finishing funds?
No. CBC film funding is intended to help launch projects which are not already in production. However, your film my be submitted to CBC, Acquisitions, for consideration at pitch.acquisitions@cbc.ca
Are there any limits on subject matter or potential audience rating when applying for this CBC fund? The film features sexuality / drug use / violence.
No. That being said, the film's suitability for television audiences in Prime Time will be a factor that is taken into consideration when the project is reviewed.

Application Process

How are projects selected for funding?
Projects are evaluated and selected by the Sr Director of CBC Films, in consultation with the Executive Director of Scripted Programming. Decisions are made based on the creative material, how the film complements or contrasts against other films under license, as well as a feasibility review of the finance plan and budget.
Is there a limit on the number of projects that can be submitted by the same person or company?
There is no limit.
I previously submitted my script for consideration at CBC and never heard back. Do I have to reapply if I want it to be considered for funding?
Yes, if your film was submitted for CBC’s consideration more than three years ago, please feel free to resubmit. However, please do not resubmit unless significant changes have been made to the script or the creative elements.
I previously submitted my script for consideration through the Breaking Barriers portal at CBC and never heard back. Do I have to reapply if I want it to be considered for funding?
Yes, if your film was submitted for consideration through the Breaking Barriers portal within the last twelve month and you have not heard back please feel free to resubmit or contact [insert email].
I’ve submitted my application. When will I hear if my project will be selected for funding?
Upon receipt of the application, you can expect an acknowledgement of your submission within two weeks. It will take about four to six weeks to fully assess all materials. If you have not heard from us within six weeks of the date you filed your application, please feel free to get in touch by sending us an email at [insert email].
I don’t really have a project that fits your criteria right now but is there someone I can talk to about funding?
We welcome you to submit your questions by email to [insert email] (as well as by reading these FAQs, including consulting the list of funding and production resources at the bottom).
How can I strengthen my application?
Here are a few ways to make your application stronger:
  1. Submit a great original script, professionally formatted
  2. Indicate key creative attachments (key crew, lead cast)
  3. Show market interest (from other funders, International sales agent, distributor, private investors)
  4. Include a "Look Book" or Director’s Vision that clearly lays out the film’s intended tone and style

Funding and Rights

Does the fund support official treaty co-productions? If so, is the CBC Films contribution calculated on the global budget or on the Canadian side budget?
Yes. The fund does support official treaty co-productions, as long as they are majority Canadian Co-pros, and the writer or director is Canadian and fits CBC Films’ criteria. CBC’s % contribution would be based on the Canadian portion of the budget (consistent with Telefilm's approach).
I don’t have a distributor lined up yet and I don’t want to promise to give CBC rights that my future distributor or other funders might have issues with
If there is a chance you will be in a position to offer CBC the rights outlined in the guidelines, feel free to apply. If your project is selected for funding, we will work with you and your other funders to determine whether the rights offered to CBC at that time fit the financing model. Please note: Ultimately CBC will decide what licence fee we contribute, and what rights CBC will take in exchange.
When you say "CBC’s licence fees will not generally exceed 10% of the production budget (typically to a maximum of $300,000)", do you mean the production budget is up to a maximum of $300,000 or that CBC’s contribution is up to a maximum of $300,000?
This refers to CBC’s contribution. The maximum of $300,000 is based on CBC’s average licence fees for pre-licenced films over the last few years and reflects market values for post pay windows. Films with larger budgets can apply to the fund but CBC’s contribution would remain in the range of no more than $300,000 based on the customary industry windows available to CBC.
Will CBC be providing a contribution from its CMF Envelope as part of the deal?
No. There is no CMF Envelope contribution contemplated.

Funding and Production Resources

Where can I find additional information on funding bodies and production resources?

For information on the various funding bodies and resources available to independent producers in Canada, please follow the links at the CBC Business & Rights resource site.