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Canada-South Africa Co-Development Incentive for TV Projects 2020

October 7, 2020

These Guidelines are divided into seven Sections as follows:


Project Eligibility

Application Process

Important Information and Required Documentation

Evaluation Criteria

Contacts for the Program

The Canada-South Africa Co-Development Incentive is a collaboration between the Canada Media Fund (CMF or Party) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF or Party) (the CMF and NFVF collectively the Parties) to fund the co-development of eligible television projects between producers from Canada and South Africa.

The Parties have partnered on this Incentive for a period of 3 years (2018 to 2020). The 2020-2021 Guidelines apply to the third and last year of this current partnership.

The amount available for this year of the Incentive will be CAN$195,000 (or approximately ZAR2,400,000) with CAN$97,500 (or approximately ZAR1,200,000) contributed by each of the CMF and NFVF. The Canadian contribution will take the form of a repayable advance while the South African contribution will take the form of a repayable contribution.

To be considered for funding through the Incentive, projects must comply with both Parties’ general funding criteria, with the CMF determining eligibility for the Canadian portion of a project and NFVF determining eligibility for the South African portion of the project. Projects will be evaluated and chosen by a committee comprised of representatives from each of the CMF and NFVF through a selective process (using the Evaluation Criteria listed below). It is important for Applicants to note that eligibility to or financing through the Incentive does not guarantee the Applicant eligibility or financing for further CMF or NFVF funding in development or in production.

The total maximum contribution for each project funded through the Incentive shall be the lesser of CAN$65,000 (approximately ZAR 800,000), consisting of (a) a CMF contribution which shall be the lesser of CAN$32,500 (approximately ZAR400,000) or 75% of the Canadian portion of the development budget and (b) a NFVF contribution which shall be approximately CAN$32,500 (ZAR400,000) or 75% of the South African portion of the development budget.

The total contribution from each of the CMF and NFVF for each project will be determined on a case-by-case basis. While the ownership, financial control and creative contributions shall be determined in the co-development agreement between the applicable international co-producers, the minimum minority co-producer share shall not be less than 20%. As a general guideline, the CMF and NFVF encourage that such elements be proportional to each country’s respective funding contributions.

Project Eligibility

Eligible projects must meet the following criteria:

a. Is a television project of the following formats – drama, documentary, and children & youth;

b. Fulfil the themes, objectives of mandate and vision of both the CMF and NFVF;

c. Involve at least one Canadian producer (eligible under CMF criteria) and one Qualifying producer (eligible under NFVF’s criteria);

d. Comply with the rules pre-established in the Canada-South Africa Audio-visual Co-production Agreement, signed November 5, 1997;

e. A project that has already received funding from CMF or NFVF in the same fiscal for the same stage of development is not eligible to the Incentive.

The project must be supported by an eligible Canadian Broadcaster through a Letter of Commitment. However, such Letter of Commitment is not mandatory at application stage but will be required for selected projects before any contracts are signed or funding released. The Letter of Commitment must include a Development Fee of 10% of the Canadian share of the development budget by an eligible Canadian Broadcaster. For clarity, any of the following will be considered a “Canadian Broadcaster”:

A Canadian programming undertaking, public or private, licensed to operate by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)[1]; / An online service[2] owned, controlled and operated by a Canadian CRTC-licensed programming undertaking; / An online service[3] owned, controlled and operated by a Canadian broadcasting distribution undertaking (“BDU”), licensed to operate by the CRTC; and CRTC-licensed VOD services.

Ineligible projects include:

a. Live recordings, TV games, talk shows, reality shows or teaching and ‘how-to’ programs to be shown directly in schools;

b. Documentaries promoting tourism, “making-of”, reports, news and current affairs programs and “docu-soaps”;

c. Projects including pornographic or racist material or advocating violence;

d. Works of a promotional nature;

e. Institutional productions to promote a specific organisation or its activities;

f. Any other genres of programming listed in section 3.2.TV.2 of the 2020-2021 CMF’s Performance Envelope Program, and any exclusion as set out in NFVF’s funding policy.

Application Process

Key dates for 2020

Deadline to apply: October 30, 2020

Decisions announced to applicants: December 11, 2020

No additional material can be submitted after the deadline. Projects for funding will be selected according to the evaluation criteria set out below.

Important Information and Required Documentation

Applications must be submitted according to the deadlines published above and on the Parties’ websites and in accordance with the stipulations noted in the application form;

The project must be submitted in (a) English in South Africa and in (b) English or French in Canada;

Only recent costs (i.e. costs incurred up to 6 months prior to application) will be considered eligible costs under the Incentive. However, the cost related to the acquisition of author right is eligible retroactively for a period of 12 months preceding the date of the submission;

While each co-producer shall first find and formalize their involvement with a co-producing partner before applying together with a common project, each co-producer will be responsible to submit the complete application to the authority (CMF or NFVF) of its own country. The same set of documents must be submitted by each co-producer and the application form must be signed by all co-producers.

Applications must include the following Administrative information

For all projects:

A list of the films/ audio-visual projects produced by the South African company/ies;

A list of the films/ audio-visual projects produced by the Canadian company/ies;

The deal memo or the co-development agreement;

Contracts proving the acquisition of necessary rights (e.g. option contract, script writer’s contract, etc.);

Calendar on project development stages;

Development budget;

Development financing plan;

Details on the proposed eligible broadcasters that meet the criteria described above.

For the Canadian production company:

Complete incorporation documents.

Signed and dated CMF Directors and Shareholders form.

Applications must include the following Creative information:

CV of screen writer(s) and, if already selected, the director;

Script writer’s notes;

Director’s notes (if applicable);

Producer’s notes;

Brief project summary (maximum 5 pages);

Treatment (maximum 20 pages);

A document explaining the stage at which the project has reached as of the date of this application and identify its needs in terms of development (max 600 words);

A document describing the envisaged activities during the development of the project including the schedule until the start of production (e.g. schedule and timeline, scriptwriting, script editing, research work, director recruitment, proposed casting/casting methods, proposed locations/ location scouting) (max 600 words);

A document describing the financing strategy envisaged for the production of the submitted project and a preliminary/proposed finance plan, including, if relevant, suitable potential partners (applicants will not be bound by proposals submitted at application stage).

The Parties reserve the right to require other documentation from applicants for the completion of the assessment of the project.

Canadian Producers should submit the complete application via https://telefilm.ca/en/log-in.

South Africa producers should submit the complete application via the online NFVF portal on www.nfvf.co.za 

Evaluation criteria

Projects will be evaluated by representatives of the CMF and NFVF based on the following criteria:

Creative value of the project: 50 points

Originality and creativity of the proposal (max. 30 points)

Universality and pertinence of the proposal (max. 20 points). The universality of the project pretends to engage audiences for all over the world, beyond the local concepts of culture or community. Within this criterion is included the commercial potential and the coherence of the project´s content with its target audience.

Track record and target audience: 30 points

Track record, experience and achievements of the creative team (max. 12 points)

Track record, experience and achievements of the production company (max. 12 points) 

Target audience described in the producer’s notes (max. 6 points)

Viability of the project: 20 points

Coherence of the budget with the scope of the project and viability of the development financial plan (max 10 points).

Realism of the agenda/timeline of the project (max 10 points)

Contacts for the program

For the Canada Media Fund, in Canada:   Jill Samson     


For the NFVF, in South Africa: Yolanda Ncokotwana


The CMF has created an online tool to help facilitate introductions between Canadian and South African producers. If you’d like to find someone to work with on your project, please sign up here and create a profile.

Please note: these Guidelines may be changed or modified as required, without notice. Please consult the CMF website at www.cmf-fmc.ca and www.nfvf.co.za for the latest Guideline news and documentation.

[1]This includes exempt broadcasters regulated by the CRTC via Broadcasting Order CRTC 2015-88.

[2]This includes services accessed via a set-top box.

[3]This includes services accessed via a set-top box.


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