Telefilm Canada – Development Program


The Development Program finances Canadian feature films at the development stage.
The Development Program has four streams:

  1. Prequalified Stream;

  2. General Stream;

  3. Indigenous Stream;

  4. Stream for Black and People of Colour.

Comments on Funding:

Telefilm’s financial participation takes the form of an advance repayable in accordance with the terms of the contract between Telefilm and the Applicant, usually on the earliest of the following dates:

  • the first day of filming (or any other use of the script); or
  • the date of the sale, assignment, or other disposition of the rights to a project.

Telefilm’s minimum financial participation in individual projects is $15,000 and may be up to 100% of the budget for the selected development stage, subject to the caps below.
Funding for the Prequalified Stream is:
a) up to $100,000 and max. 5 projects per application for Tier A;
b) up to $60,000 and max. 3 projects per application for Tier B;
c) up to $30,000 and max. 1 project per application for Tier C.

Funding for the General Stream, the Indigenous Stream, and the Stream for Black and People of Colour is a maximum of $30,000 and maximum 1 project per application is accepted.


Applicants must:

  • have their head office and carry out their activities in Canada;
  • operate as feature film production companies;
  • be Canadian-controlled corporations, as determined under sections 26 to 28 of the Investment Canada Act;
  • majority owned and controlled by Indigenous persons if applying to the Indigenous Stream;
  • majority owned and controlled by Black persons and/or People of Colour if applying to the Stream for Black and People of Colour.

Applicants to the General Stream who are majority owned and controlled by members of Official Language Minority Communities (“OLMC Applicants”) have more flexible eligibility criteria in terms of previous works.
Applicants can only apply once a year, and to only one stream even if they are eligible to more than one.

Applications Steps:

Applying to the CREATE program involves a two-phase application process

Documentation Needed:

Applicants to the Prequalified Stream must submit:


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    1. Incorporation Certificate for the applicant production company and parent company(ies), if applicable;
    2. Corporate Declaration, if modified since company’s last application to Telefilm or the previous declaration was submitted more than a year ago;
    3. Most Recent Creative Material;
    4. Executed Screenwriter Agreement;
    5. Director Agreement – for Packaging applications only.

    Additional documentation for the applicants to the Selective Stream (General Stream; Indigenous Stream; and Stream for Black and People of Colour):

    1. Applicant’s Declaration Form Regarding Its Previous Works – form available on Telefilm’s website;
    2. Distribution Commitment Letter – only those applications with a Distributor attached;
    3. Declaration Regarding Projects Submitted Under the Indigenous Stream – Indigenous Stream applications only;
    4. Declaration Regarding Projects Submitted Under the Stream for Black and People of Colour – Stream for Black and People of Colour applications only;
    5. A 5-10 pages Pitch Document summarizing the following:
      a) A short synopsis and a long synopsis;
      b) A description of the themes and creative intentions behind the project;
      c) Development plan including a summary of the creative goals for this phase;
      d) A summary of the track record of the team;
      e) An indication of the intended audience, and cultural impact for the project.
    6. Community Engagement Plan;
    7. Track Record for Producer, Screenwriter and Director, (if applicable).

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