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CANADIAN PRODUCERS CONCERNED ABOUT NEW CUTS TO CULTURE FUNDS

News Release
CANADIAN PRODUCERS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT NEW CUTS TO CULTURE FUNDS

CFTPA/APFTQ REQUEST MEETING WITH HERITAGE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTERS

OTTAWA/MONTREAL – August 13, 2008 – The Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) and the Association des producteurs de films et de television du Québec (APFTQ) are very concerned about the federal government’s recent decision to cancel several programs in support of Canadian artists, including the film and television industry.

Specifically, the Conservative Government announced quietly last Friday that the A-V Preservation Trust ($300,000), the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund ($1.5-million), the National Training Schools Program ($2.5-million), PromArt ($4.7-million) and Trade Routes ($9-million) will be eliminated as of March 31, 2009.
“These cuts risk diminishing Canada’s international reputation,” says Sandra Cunningham, Chair of the CFTPA. “Highlighting Canadian culture on the world stage not only benefits artists, it also helps generate tourism, immigration, business and investment back in Canada. Limiting international exposure of Canadian cultural excellence is a short-sighted move by the government.”

“While the government maintains that it wants to encourage trade and coproduction to attract foreign investment, we find it paradoxical that it has chosen to eliminate the Trade Routes program which has a specific mandate to help companies in our sector export,” said Claire
Samson, President and CEO of the APFTQ. “And, these cuts are in addition to the government’s refusal to respond to the needs of our community for increased support to feature films, theatrical
documentaries and co-production.”
The government has also not yet indicated whether it will continue to contribute to both the
Canadian Television Fund (CTF) and the Canada New Media Fund (CNMF) which technically wind-down at the end of March 2009. To date there has been no indication on what the government plans to do with these programs which are integral to the viability of the independent television and interactive media production sectors.
“We are concerned that cuts to Canadian cultural funds will harm the film and television industry at a time when many producers are looking at what impact the internet and other federal funding policies will have on them in years to come,” says Guy Mayson, President and CEO of the CFTPA. “We need to remind the government of this to make certain our industry isn’t slowly chipped away by successive cuts to the support programs that ensure its viability and success.”

The associations underscore that the cuts to the CIFVF and the National Training Schools Program will equally undermine the industry. The Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund supports a critical niche in our industry; one focused on lifelong learning in the non-theatrical sector, and most often supporting the early works of young, upcoming producers. Moreover, the National Training Schools Program helps support the professional development of the next generation of creators in our industry. Some of Canada’s most internationally renowned producers and creators have emerged from the national institutes supported by this program.

In response to these latest cuts, the CFTPA jointly with the APFTQ have written to the ministers of Canadian Heritage and Foreign Affairs to request an urgent meeting to discuss the future of the industry. Annually, the film and television sector generates about $5 billion in production activity, including $1.7 billion in exports, and sustains 127,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The CFTPA is a non-profit trade organization that works on behalf of almost 400 companies engaged in the production and distribution of English-language television programs, feature films, and interactive media products in all regions of Canada. More specifically, it promotes the general interests of its members provincially, federally, and internationally; negotiates and manages labour agreements with guilds and unions; administers copyright collectives; trains new industry entrants through 7 national internship programs; and undertakes a number of other specific initiatives that help increase awareness and enhance communication within the Canadian and international production communities.

The APFTQ represents the vast majority of film and independent production companies in Quebec. It represents and defends the interests of its members with governments and film- and television- related organizations, both federal and provincial; offers its  services on industrial relations, copyright, financing and taxation; negotiates collective agreements with Quebec-based artists’ associations and technicians’ unions; organizes an annual convention involving the industry’s key players; publishes an annual economic profile of the production sector; provides various training and professional development opportunities; and intervenes on international issues such as coproduction, copyright and cultural diversity.

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For further information contact:
Anne Trueman, Director of Communications and Media, CFTPA
T: (613) 233-1444 x 227, C: (613) 851-4538, anne.trueman@cftpa.ca
Céline Pelletier, Director of Communications, APFTQ
T: (514) 397-8600 x 228, cpelletier@apftq.qc.ca

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