B.C. film industry to receive over $1.4 million in federal funding

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Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Lynne Yelich announced today that the federal government will provide $1,479,000 total in funding for two different B.C. film industry organizations.

Capilano University will receive $969,000 in funding for its new Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film and Animation. This amount will enable the university to purchase stereoscopic three-dimensional equipment, including cameras, monitors, two S3D camera rigs, and support technology.

"The purchase of equipment for Capilano University's Bosa Centre, will help film students and existing industry professionals in B.C. ensure that their skill set remains current in this competitive market," Minister Yelich stated in a press release.

Meanwhile, the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of British Columbia will receive $510,000 to help them with a three-year strategy aimed at increasing investment in B.C.'s film, television, and digital production industries. The strategy will include developing marketing materials, workshops, and an information-sharing database, and taking investment missions to the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

"This funding significantly increases the opportunity to showcase the strengths of the British Columbia industry in key international markets and achieve a greater share of the world's entertainment production in an increasingly competitive global environment," MMPIA Chair Peter Leitch stated in the release.

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Jonathan Henning
So let me get this straight...Capilano University receives almost a million dollars to purchase a 3D rig that will be obsolete in 5-10 years and by doing so, are firmly cementing themselves as a service school to the American film industry.

It might be good investment strategy on part of the feds, but have we no pride in our own ability to tell stories that matter - or to tell stories that are interesting enough to sell? I'm not arguing that 1.4 million could be better spent on a film, because truth is, it wouldn't be. But 1.4 million could be much better spent on seed development funding, or screenwriting grants, or youth film education, or creating, again, corporate partnerships and subsidies for local filmmakers. But a million dollars for a camera?

When will the provincial and federal governments realize that investment in Vancouver's film industry needs to be tied to the development of a local industry through strong corporate partnerships with rental houses, studios, and post production houses? When will the governments realize how embarrassing it is that it would take the entire budget of The BC Film Society more than 15 years just to pay Tom Cruise's salary on Mission Impossible 4.
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