Skip to main content

Submission Portal Now Open for New Black Screen Office Script Development Fund for Black and People of Colour Creators

July 15, 2021

News Releases

New $750,000 Canadian fund in partnership with Rogers Group of Funds and Canadian Independent Screen Fund

Accepting submissions now through August 23

TORONTO, July 14, 2021– Calling all BPOC creators: write here, write now, with the support of a new first-of-its-kind Canadian script development fund for Black and People of Colour creators.The recently announced $750,000 fund created in partnership with the Black Screen Office, Rogers Group of Funds, and Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC creators is now accepting submissions for its inaugural 2021 cohort of screenwriters. The fund will support creators through the writing process, from outline to script, to create pitch-ready projects for networks, studios, cable and streaming platforms here in Canada and internationally. The submission portal is open until August 23 at 5 p.m. ET.

In its first-ever Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report, the Writers Guild of Canada reported that while the number of diverse writers working in Canadian TV is increasing – from 16% in 2016 to 26% in 2019 – declining commissions across the industry has particularly impacted opportunities for writers from underrepresented communities. This new fund is designed to provide direct access to script development funding at Writers’ Guild of Canada rates, to help build more equitable access to emerging, mid, and senior level Black and People of Colour creators.  The program supports talent at all levels with real-world training, tangible career mobility, business opportunities, and a commitment to tracking and celebrating success.

An independent jury of BPOC will evaluate submissions following the below guidelines and based on originality, premise, plot, characters, structures and themes. Successful recipients will be notified late September.

FORMATS:

  • Scripted:  30-min or 60-min projects, ongoing or limited series
  • Unscripted (ie: documentary):  30-min, 45-min, or 60-min projects; ongoing or limited series, feature documentaries
  • Lifestyle programs, soap operas, and short films are not eligible

A jury of Black and people of colour screen content creators will select a minimum of 10 projects. Annual proceeds of the Fund will be allocated as follows: 

  •  50% of selected projects to Black screen content creators, 10% of which will go to Francophone Black screen content creators; and 
  • 50% of selected projects will go to content creators of Color, 10% of which will go to Francophone screen content creators of Color.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

  • Applicants self-identify as Black or a Person of Colour
  • Project leads must own the rights/intellectual property for their idea
  • Series ideas must be available for acquisition and have no existing development or production commitments
  • Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent Canadian residents
  • Applicants must have reached the legal age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence
  • Applicants may only apply with one submission

Submission requirements must include a one-page pitch treatment, biographies for creative leads in the project, and experience level.  The series writer must have written at least a 30-min or 60-min TV script and provide a sample with the application package.  Full requirements are available on the submission portal.

About Black Screen Office
The Black Screen Office is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support Black Canadians working throughout the screen industries to build their careers, strengthen their networks, and share their stories. Serving as a unified front for Black Canadians working within screen industries, BSO creates conditions for long-term success by addressing racial equality and inclusivity. Through advocacy, research, and career development programming, BSO will positively impact Canada’s screen sector through its leadership, global awareness and growth as a national organization.  For more information, visit bso-ben.ca.

About Rogers Group of Funds
Since 1980, the Rogers Group of Funds has supported Canada’s independent film and television producers with more than $600 million through three different types of funding. Rogers Telefund offers loans to Canadian independent producers; Rogers Documentary Fund, Canada’s premier source of funding for documentary films; and Rogers Cable Network Fund, an equity investor in Canadian programs with a first play on a Canadian cable channel. Three different types of financing. Three different funds.  All from one source – Rogers. For more information, visit rogersgroupoffunds.com.

About Canadian Independent Screen Fund
The CISF for BPOC creators was born out of the former Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, which ran successfully as an independent fund from 1991 to 2008 and which has been re-imagined as a production fund for Black and racially diverse communities. The Board is comprised of key industry leaders including BIPOC TV & Film, Black Screen Office, Creatives Empowered, BlackWomenFilm! Canada, the National Screen Institute (NSI), Independent Media Producers Association of Creative Talent (IMPACT), Reelworld Screen Institute, Racial Equity Media Collective, and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. For more information, visit independentfund.org.

For more information:
Black Screen Office, joan@bso-ben.ca, 416-917-8291
Rogers Communications, media@rci.rogers.com, 1-844-226-1338
Canadian Independent Screen Fund, info@independentfund.org