GNWT’s new film strategy includes producer incentive

Jennifer Walden (left) while working on a short film in June. Photo courtesy: Jen Walden via Facebook
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The NWT’s latest strategy aimed at building the film industry has been released, with a new incentive for producers.

The strategy aims to build a nationally competitive film sector in the NWT within five years. NWT film professionals hope the strategy will see feature films produced in the NWT in the coming years, according to a survey conducted by the GNWT.

A producer incentive program, which has a budget of $100,000, will provide NWT filmmakers with funding for projects developed in the territory.

“Thanks to a committed group of professionals with an unwavering belief in a vibrant NWT film and media sector, we have experienced tremendous success and year-over-year growth in the sector,” Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, said in a statement.

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 As of 2018, the film industry added $9.27 million to the NWT’s GDP, $15.5 million to the NWT’s economic output, and 58 jobs.

Commissioner of the NWT Film Commission Camela MacEachern said in a previous interview with 100.1 True North FM that building infrastructure up in the territory would be one of the biggest challenges the film industry faced in the NWT.

“To be very honest, the infrastructure is limited, space is such a big one,” she said.
“Soundstages, and studio space would definitely help greatly.”

While MacEachern acknowledged establishing an industry would be a long and continual process, she says she is optimistic about the future.

“We’re such a unique part of the world and part of the industry that we do have limited productions that come up or the types that come up,” she said. “Therefore we have limited production or experience that our industry can gain compared to the larger centers.”

“But as we can grow programming, and hopefully increase the amount that we have in the film rebate program and also develop new programs for us to empower our local industry — I think that there’s no limit,” she added.

The Producer Incentive Pilot Program (PIPP) is a one-year standalone program. Applications can be submitted as of June 1.

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