Rocket Funding: Partnership Stream

By mmuise
Description:

The Partnership Stream invests in audiovisual programming content that demonstrates the potential for global reach through multi-platform entertainment experiences, with very high quality and unique creative content, providing for strong complementary components, showing high global export potential and demonstrating diversity and inclusion.


Comments on Funding:

The Rocket Fund invests on a project-by-project basis and does not have a “standard” investment level. Investments 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 productions that demonstrate all of the following three key elements:
    a) unique and distinctive creative content with potential for above-average global audience reach, with strong complementary multi-platform components;
    b) a business plan that demonstrates a return on the Rocket Fund’s investment within three years; and
    c) a strong third-party strategic partner that will enable the applicant to create and deliver on that global reach and business plan.
  • have investment proposals for eligible programs which:
    a) bring strategic partnership opportunities;
    b) have very high quality and unique creative content;
    c) demonstrate a multi-platform entertainment experience;
    d) provide for strong complementary components;
    e) have high global export potential and demonstrate equity, diversity and inclusion authentically.
    Eligible Program for Partnership 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:

1. Rocket Fund will work directly with Eligible Applicants on their proposal to assist in navigating through the various stages of the proposal process.

2. Rocket Fund will review the eligibility of the program proposal, should it does not meet the criteria, the application process will come to an end;

3. The Partnership Stream Proposal Process has been designed to only require the preparation of a complete proposal for the Board of Directors’ consideration if and when the Eligible Program meets all of the Partnership Stream criteria. The steps below allow for a tiered review process to control the amount of effort required from both the Eligible Applicant and Rocket Fund while allowing for a customized approach for each proposal.

a) Step 1: Partnership Introductory Meeting - Eligible Applicants to schedule a meeting (teleconference or in-person when possible) with the Rocket Fund to discuss their production and determine if it has the potential to meet the Partnership Stream criteria set out in Section 3.2.1 (the “Partnership Criteria”) prior to submitting a proposal or any materials. Should the Rocket Fund determine that the production does not meet the Partnership Stream criteria, the Partnership Stream application process for the production will come to an end;

b) Step 2: Partnership Initial Assessment - If the Rocket Fund determines that the production could meet the Partnership Criteria, Eligible Applicants will be asked to submit via email relevant documents required for a preliminary assessment;

c) Step 3: Partnership Initial Application - If the Rocket Fund determines that the production shows significant potential to meet the Partnership Stream criteria, Eligible Applicants will receive a written invitation by Rocket Fund to complete a preliminary application through the online application portal and include supporting documentation.

d) Step 4: Partnership Proposal - For those productions that the Rocket Fund determines meet the Partnership Stream criteria, the Rocket Fund will work with Eligible Applicants to create an investment proposal for the Board of Directors’ consideration.

4. The Eligible Applicant will be asked to submit a list of company shareholders and key creative personnel with their online application for Rocket Fund’s Online Self-Identification Questionnaire.

5. After the application is submitted, individuals will 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.

Documentation Needed:

Step 2: Partnership Initial Assessment - Applicants must submit:
1. an initial creative proposal that includes a synopsis, mini-bible or some other short form element that clearly shows the creative vision and global appeal of the production;
2. draft financing plan including the ask needed from Rocket Fund and identifying what elements of the financing are confirmed;
3. identify a strategic partner that will help leverage the production in the marketplace

Step 3: Partnership Initial Application – Applicant must submit:
1. an initial creative proposal that includes a synopsis, mini-bible or some other short form element that clearly shows the creative vision and global appeal of the production;
2. all available creative materials including those submitted in Step 2 (bible, outlines, scripts, etc.);
3. demonstrate the involvement of a strategic partner;
4. a financing plan;
5. a proposed recoupment structure; and
6. evidence of Rocket Fund recoupment potential.

Step 4: Partnership Proposal – Applicants must submit:
1. a complete creative package (as agreed to by Rocket Fund and the Eligible Applicant);
2. confirmation of the benefits as well as the terms of the third-party strategic partner’s involvement in the production;
3. a comprehensive Complementary Content plan, including appropriate digital and interactive content, that outlines its release of such content alongside the production;
4. a robust and meaningful Audience Development Plan for the discoverability of the production;
5. a detailed marketing plan including an assessment of market potential and a strong multi-year production and exploitation strategy;
6. sales estimates for all avenues of exploitation for all rights over a three- to five-year period;
7. clearly demonstrate how Rocket Fund will recoup its investment within three to five years of completion of the production;
8. chain of title documentation which demonstrates the producer holds the necessary rights to develop, produce and fully exploit the production;
9. a comprehensive corporate profile which demonstrates the company’s role in the Canadian children’s production sector; and
10. any information on all other partners involved (creative and financial).

Other Things to Note:

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About the author
mmuise