Telefilm’s Micro-Budget Production Program

Telefilm Canada Micro-Budget Production Program: AFCOOP Recommandation Phase Application

General Information

AFCOOP is now accepting applications for another installment of the Telefilm Canada Micro-Budget Production Program. The Micro-Budget Program is a production opportunity for first-time feature filmmakers, with an emphasis on digital and online distribution models.

New this year Telefilm Canada is putting in place measures to diversify its portfolio of projects, aiming in particular to achieve, by 2020, gender parity in each of the key roles of director, writer, and producer. Based on consultations held this year, Telefilm has determined that its first action area for 2017 will be to favour projects written or directed by women.

The Telefilm Micro-Budget Program will provide financing for the development, production, digital distribution and promotion of a first feature-length film or other format of narrative-based audiovisual content made specifically for online distribution. Once completed, the projects must be made available to the public through one or more digital platforms (e.g. web portals, video portals such as YouTube or Netflix, video on demand, mobile platforms/devices, etc.).

As its name indicates, this program is for micro-budget productions, meaning those with budgets under $250,000. Telefilm will support eight to ten projects per year through a non-repayable financial contribution of up to $127,500 for feature films and narrative-based web projects of 75 minutes and more in total length. The contribution amount for narrative-based web projects under 75 minutes will be prorated based on the total number of minutes of the project, each full 10-minute segment providing access to $15,000 up to a maximum contribution of $112,500.

Telefilm’s financial contribution must be used to cover direct expenses relating to the development, production, postproduction, distribution and promotion of the project.

An amount of $7,500 of Telefilm’s total contribution amount must be reserved for the hiring of a digital marketing expert that will help applicants elaborate and put in place a promotion and digital marketing strategy for their project. Further, at least 15% of Telefilm’s total contribution amount (excluding the amount reserved for the hiring of the digital marketing expert) must be used for promotion and distribution expenses.

AFCOOP is eligible to recommend one feature film and one narrative web-based project for competition at the national level. AFCOOP invites current AFCOOP members, recent FILM 5 grads (2011 and onwards) or others who have been closely affiliated with the co-op (taken part in a training program, volunteered on a committee etc.) seeking a recommendation letter from AFCOOP to forward a complete Recommendation Phase Application to AFCOOP on or before Jan. 16th 2017 at 11:59 for review by an AFCOOP assembled peer jury.

DEADLINE: Jan. 16th, 11:59pm, 2017


Emerging – All the key members (producer, writer and director) of the project must be emerging talent i.e. they must already have produced, directed and/or written at least one short film (i.e. 30 minutes or less) but must not have produced, directed or written a feature length film (i.e. 75 minutes or more).

AFCOOP Member / Alumni – All the key members (producer, writer and director) of all recommended projects must be either current AFCOOP members (Full, Associate or lifetime), recent graduates of the FILM 5 program (2011 and onwards) or others who have been closely affiliated with the co-op (taken part in a training program, volunteered on a committee etc.). Please confirm your eligibility with AFCOOP prior to submitting your application (contact Martha

To Submit

Please email your completed application form, required documents (PDFs only, please) and a link to your video pitch, trailer and support material by Jan. 16th, 2017 at 11:59pm to:

Martha Cooley
Subject line: Telefilm Micro-Budget Program

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications to AFCOOP must include:

1) feature length script (or script for a narrative-based web project);

2) a video pitch of maximum 5 minutes that will:

  • identify the key creative team involved in the project and their individual track records;
  • state the project’s working title;
  • identify the genre, the type and the length of the project;
  • outline the creative team’s vision;
  • provide a synopsis of the story;
  • identify the target audience and present ideas on reaching and engaging the target audience through a digital marketing and social media strategy;

3) a trailer of the project, if available;

4) a link to previous work, if available;

5) a written synopsis of the project including a description of the creative team’s vision;

6) a promotion and distribution plan including a digital marketing and social media strategy. This plan should:

  • identify the target audience;
  • identify the goals for audience reach and engagement;
  • describe the release strategy;
  • identify the digital platform(s) on which the distribution of the project will be made;
  • describe how the project will be promoted on the chosen platforms;
  • enumerate the distribution and/or promotion partners that will be pursued;
  • identify the digital marketing expert that will assist the creative team (if this information is available at this stage);
  • add any other information deemed important regarding the promotion and distribution plan;

7) a production schedule (from pre-production to digital release);

8) total budget amount of the project including the amount allocated for the promotion and distribution of the project;

9) any other information that sets this project apart (eg: successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed cameo by a well-known actor, established fan base on social media);


The evaluation of the projects submitted to AFCOOP and Telefilm will take into consideration the following elements:

  • the track record of the creative team;
  • the quality, originality, and innovativeness of the creative content;
  • the quality, originality, and innovativeness of the promotion and distribution strategy on digital platforms;
  • the complementary nature of all components of the project (i.e. content, production, distribution and promotion).

AFCOOP Guidelines

AFCOOP Application Form

Telefilm Micro-Budget Guidelines

Watch Telefilm Micro-Budget films from previous years:

Valley Below by Kyle Thomas
Cast No Shadow by Christian Sparkes
What We Have  by Maxime Desmonds
The Editor  by Adam Brooks
Two 4 One by Maureen Bradley