XN QUÉBEC RESPONDS TO CHANGES IN SODEC’S PRODUCTION AND SCREENWRITING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMSJune 26, 2019
SODEC, Quebec’s public agency dedicated to promoting the province’s cultural sector, has recently announced that it is opening its production assistance program to short narrative digital projects (the announcement appears on its site in French only).
These projects are defined as fiction or documentary audiovisual works that develop a narrative thread, linear or non-linear, interactive or immersive, which is designed for visual technologies (virtual, augmented or mixed reality) that enable user participation.
Under the new guidelines, SODEC’s cumulative financial contribution may reach up to $100,000 and must be used to fund the Quebec portion of the production budget. This financial contribution is provided as subsidy assistance and its upper limit represents a 30% increase over the previous cap thanks to an injection of additional Quebec Cultural Policy funds. The next submission deadline is September 25, 2019.
Companies wishing to submit a digital project must, among other requirements, be Quebec-based as per SODEC’s criteria and demonstrate their capacity to support their project. In addition, in the course of the eight years preceding their submission, they must have produced and managed in a professional setting in Quebec (including selection in an official competition at a major festival or on a platform recognized by SODEC) at least one germane audiovisual work.
In all cases, companies making a first-ever submission (or making a submission for a project whose production format is different from that of their previous submission) must contact SODEC at least one month prior to the submission deadline to ascertain their eligibility.
A step in the right direction, but…
The changes to the screenwriting assistance program do not affect short narrative digital projects since such projects remain ineligible to this particular program.
That is unfortunate, especially since digital projects would certainly help achieve one of the program’s objectives, namely, to foster screenwriting for high-quality projects in diverse genres that are original, appealing, and able to attract interest in Quebec and abroad.
Xn Québec considers SODEC’s decision to grant production funding to digital projects a step in the right direction, which, we hope, will pave the way for more tangible measures designed to foster digital creativity.