In a letter to the culture minister, Canada's most influential producers complain that Telefilm suspended their automatic funding

Patrick Roy (top-left) is among the producers who met with the Culture Minister to protect Fast Track from changes spearheaded by Telefilm Canada's Executive Director Christa Dickenson (top-centre)

Members of the film community have said the Canadian film funding system is archaic and unfair, arguing for an overhaul to make room for greater representation among the movie projects that get government financing.

Over the past few months, Telefilm Canada has been responsive to increased calls for more transparency and diversity, while initiating a process to change film funding rules.

But a small group of top producers who benefit the most from the national agency’s funding have written a letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault asking for an intervention. NOW obtained multiple versions of the letter, each with a growing list of producers.

The letter focuses largely on the fate of a Telefilm funding program for top Canadian producers called Fast Track.

“We wrote a letter that we thought was going to a specific person for our specific cause,” says Rhombus Media producer Niv Fichman (Enemy, Possessor), adding that the letter was never meant to be public. “The Fast Track program was suspended unilaterally by Telefilm. And we got pissed about it.”

“We are compelled at this moment to express our serious concerns with the overall erosion of Telefilm’s collaboration with industry leaders over the last 24 months,” the original letter states. “Unilateral decision making disguised by a constant stream of self-congratulatory press releases and an overall lack of accountability have become the new norm.”  READ MORE