Rocket Funding: Audiovisual Stream

By mmuise
Description:

The Audiovisual Stream invests in audiovisual programming content that enriches and educates the audience and tells stories that are of great interest to Canadian children, while offering safe experiences on various platforms.


Comments on Funding:

The Rocket Fund invests on a project-by-project basis and does not have a “standard” investment level. Its equity nvestments are based on the financial needs of the production, budget, recoupment potential and the reasonability of the request.

Deadline: -
Eligibility:

Applicants must:

  • be an incorporated Canadian company which is neither owned nor “controlled in fact” by any non-Canadian individual or permanent resident, or any non-Canadian corporation;
  • derive its primary source of income from the creation of audiovisual programs and/or
    associated non-programming digital content and, unless otherwise waived by the Rocket Fund at its sole discretion, has an arm’s length relationship to conventional broadcasters, discretionary services and/or on-demand services regulated by the CRTC.
  • have investment proposals with the strength of the creative content and its ability to resonate with the intended child, youth, and/or family audiences, and how proposals exhibit equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • have investment proposals that include a strong financing plan and demonstrate the program’s discoverability with the intended audience along with appropriate sales and recoupment potential;
  • have eligible programs that have appeal foremost to Canadian children.

    Eligible Program for Audiovisual Stream, the production must:
  • be targeted to children (under 13), youth (under 18) or a general family audience. For greater clarity, youth programming must be relevant and speak directly to a teen/youth audience and incorporate a teen/youth point of view (as opposed to a young adult audience). In respect to family, variety, documentary and magazine programming, the production must clearly demonstrate relevance to children or teen/youth rather than a general audience;
  • be audiovisual programming of any length, such as a series, feature length movie, movie of the week, web series, pilot, or one-off. The production can be animated and/or live-action, fiction or non-fiction, e.g. documentaries, variety and magazine;
  • not be news reporting, actualities, or sports, as defined by the CRTC;
  • qualify as either:
    a) a Canadian program certified by the CRTC or CAVCO that meets a minimum of six out
    of ten (6/10) Canadian content certification points;
    b) a treaty co-production certified by Telefilm Canada; or
    c) a co-venture certified by the CRTC.
    Treaty co-productions and co-ventures must demonstrate global recoupment potential for the Rocket Fund;
  • be made available in a meaningful way to the targeted Canadian audience on any platform that is available to Canadians within two (2) years of completion, including, but not limited to:
    a) a Canadian broadcaster;
    b) any subscription video-on-demand services;
    c) any “over-the top” services through theatrical release; and
    d) any digital platforms including social media with proven audience reach. Any program licence(s) must conform to the Rocket Fund’s Revenue Share Policy expressed in Schedule A.
  • have a meaningful (multi-platform) discoverability strategy appropriate for the target audience in the form of an Audience Development Plan, that meets the criteria set out in the Audience Development Plan Template;
  • have a meaningful plan for relevant Complementary Content, such as digital or interactive content, based on the Eligible Program that is intended to enhance the viewer’s experience with the Eligible Program;
  • have a meaningful and appropriate COVID-19 safety production plan;
  • be closed captioned and have descriptive video as required by the CRTC3;
  • at a minimum, conform to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) guidelines on television violence, advertising to children, and sex-role portrayals, as well as the CRTC’s notice of television violence,5 and any other CRTC policies or regulations.
Application Steps:

Applicants must:

1. submit a list of company shareholders and key creative personnel with their online application through the Rocket Fund Online Self-Identification Questionnaire;

2. be sent a link and asked to complete the Rocket Fund’s Online Self-Identification Questionnaire. This allows Rocket Fund to collect self-identification information directly and confidentially as set out in the Rocket Fund Self Identification Terms of Use. Information regarding the Rocket Fund Self-Identification process can be found on the Rocket Fund website;



3. The Board of Directors endeavours to make investment decisions between 8 and 10 weeks after the deadline date. The decisions of the Rocket Fund Board of Directors are at its sole and absolute discretion and are final;

4. Once the Rocket Fund commits to invest in a production, if the Rocket Fund determines, at its sole discretion, there has been a material change to the financing and/or creative elements prior to finalizing a Production Investment Agreement, the investment may be put on hold and may need to be re-evaluated by the Rocket Fund Board of Directors;

5. The Rocket Fund expects Eligible Applicants to propose a recoupment schedule with its application.



Other requirements:

1. Principal photography or voice record cannot commence prior to the application deadline date (unless otherwise agreed to by the Rocket Fund prior to submitting an application);

2. Rocket Fund does not accept applications for a subsequent season of a series where the Rocket Fund did not invest in any prior season(s).

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must upload all the required documents:
1. One-page synopsis;
2. Current script(s). If a series, at least 2 episodes should be submitted;
3. Series bible, if applicable;
4. Document detailing how the production reflects Canadian diversity and inclusion (story, key creative crew, actors, etc.);
5. Complementary Content plan (i.e. website, games, apps, additional video content, podcasts, etc.) If a series renewal, a current plan based on the new season is required;
6. Evidence of Canadian legal identity (i.e. incorporation documents for production or parent company);
7. Evidence of 6/10 Canadian content certification points – a signed letter from producer detailing anticipated points for each key cast & crew, such letter confirming that a minimum 6/10 points will be obtained;
8. Co-production agreement(s) or short form(s) that outline the terms of the agreement(s) (if applicable);
9. Proposed financial structure;
10. Letter(s) from an eligible platform or Canadian broadcaster(s) indicating the intent to make the program or series available in a meaningful way to the intended audience in Canada within two years of project completion;
11. Provincial and federal tax credit calculations, based on the submitted budget, if applicable;
12. Proposed recoupment schedule;
13. A detailed and feasible Audience Development Plan, including a schedule and detailed budget;
14. Audience Development Plan and Budget Templates can be found on the Rocket Fund website;
15. Canadian marketing and promotional strategy (i.e., how you will sell your Production to broadcasters, platforms and distributors);
16. Current budget top sheet and detailed production budget, dated and signed;
17. Related party transactions (i.e. what production costs are being paid to owners of the company, related parties);
18. Current company profiles for Production Company, Co-Production Company and Parent Company(ies);
19. Key creative bios/resumes (i.e. Writer, Director, etc.);
20. Self-Identification Contact List (see template on website); and
21. Crew/Cast List.

Other Things to Note:

Two deadlines will be held per year for the Audiovisual Stream, in accordance with the application process as detailed on the Rocket Fund website: rocketfund.ca.

About the author
mmuise