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Industry Alert – Funding Increased for SPG

We are pleased to announce that projects previously funded at 80% in the last round of the SPG will now be fully funded at 100%.

Further, AMPIA’s strong recommendation that going forward, the SPG needs to be funded at 100% or not at all has been approved by Minister Miranda. As always, AMPIA will continue our dialogue with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as well as other stakeholders, to ensure sustainable, long-term Alberta Media Fund incentives are maintained or strengthened.

Thank you to Minister Miranda and Department officials for responding positively to our feedback, and that of our members.

In addition, as of November 1, there have been some minor changes implemented to the SPG. These changes are based on stakeholder feedback and a review of the first three application intake windows. The program changes are summarized below. Updated guidelines and further information are available on the SPG website at www.albertamediafund.ca. The November intake of the SPG runs until November 30, 2018. Please contact the AMF team at 780-422-8584 (toll-free calls, dial 310-000 first) or culturalindustries@gov.ab.ca if you have any questions or concerns.

Intake Windows

Beginning in 2019, the SPG will now be accepting applications four times per year through 30-day application windows. The dates of the intake windows are as follows:

January 15 to February 15
April 15 to May 15
July 15 to August 15, 2018
October 15 to November 15

Documentation Requirements at the Time of Application

Applicants are no longer be required to submit proof of financing and insurance documentation at the time of application. Should the application be successful for funding, these documents will be required prior to the issuance of a grant agreement. The Alberta Residency Declaration no longer requires execution by a Commissioner of Oaths.

Extension of the Principal Photography Date for Application Eligibility

Principal photography must start within 250 days of the application deadline as opposed to 180 days previously.

Alberta Labour requirements for Tier 1 Productions

Productions seeking funding at the Tier 1 funding level must have a production labour budget that includes 50 per cent or greater Eligible Alberta Labour expenses. Those who do not meet this requirement will have their grant calculated at the Tier 2 level.

Change in Head of Department Position Requirements

Documentaries and projects with budgets of $200,000 or less who meet all other Tier 1 requirements but do not have 8 Head of Department positions filled by eligible Albertans will still qualify as long as 50 per cent of budgeted Head of Department positions are filled by eligible Albertans.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 Funding Bonus

A 1 per cent funding bonus may be granted to applicants who at the time of application provide a copy of corporate policies and/or practices for inclusion of under-represented people or groups. Previously, the program provided an additional 1 per cent funding to those productions where a minimum of 35 per cent of off-screen crew were made up of individuals that self-identified as members of a marginalized or underrepresented group.

Allowable Deferrals towards Financing Requirements

Producer’s fees and salaries payable to producers are eligible as a deferral in the financing structure. No other deferrals are accepted.

Reporting Requirement at Final Submission

Along with the other required documents, applicants will also need to submit a final Alberta cast and crew list as well as a list of vendors.

Clarification of Overhead Allowances

Overhead has been more clearly defined and applicants are able to claim overhead in the separate line items or as a combined cost that is equal to no more than 15 per cent of the total project budget.

Update to Cultural and Economic Evaluation Criteria

Based on the results of the first three Application Intake Windows, the cultural and economic evaluation criteria has been updated. Applicants must complete the Benefit Criteria Evaluation Worksheet and submit as part of the application.

In place of points awarded for total spend greater than $5 million, documentary productions and productions with budgets less than or equal to $200,000 may receive points in this section based on percentage of budget that consists of eligible Albertan labour expenses.

Points are now available for international treaty co-productions and for inter-provincial co-productions.

Additional eligible roles have been added in the area of diversity and inclusion for documentaries and productions with total budgets less than or equal to $200,000.

The percentage of post-production that must be completed in Alberta to score has been increased from 35 per cent to 50 per cent.

The definitions for Alberta Production facilities have been redesigned to include an additional tier and scoring on the cap increase evaluation form has been adjusted to include all three tiers.

Updates to the Application form to Clarify Information

Updates have been made to the application form to clarify information requirements for applicants.