Production Program for Features & TV Series - ISO-BEA

Maximum Funding Amounts

  • Up to $250,000 for Companies ($1 – 2 million budgets – not including ISO contribution)
  • Up to $500,000 for Companies (budgets over $2 million – not including ISO contribution)
  • Up to $750,000 for Companies (budgets over $2.5 million - not including ISO contribution)

Program Overview

This program offers support to Indigenous screen-based creators in the Production phase of their project including TV series and Feature length films. ISO applicants to this program should access this funding for activities during the production phase that will ensure a strong project, including fees for key creatives, producers, crew members, technical expertise, cultural advisors/knowledge carriers, community liaisons, and/or legal advice.

Program Summary

Who Can Apply

For Indigenous screen-based creators.

Project Type

TV series and Feature length films

Project Stage


Key Dates

Opening Date

Closing Date

Contribution Amounts

Recipients may receive less than the request amount as recommended by peer assessment and decided by the ISO.

Indigenous-owned production companies can apply for up to one of the following contribution amounts:

  • Up to $250,000 maximum for a project with a budget of $1 to 2 million – not including ISO contribution
    • Latest version of script(s) for 2 episodes in a series or feature
  • Up to $500,000 for a project with a budget over $2 million – not including ISO contribution
    • Companies must provide writers and directors agreements;
    • Latest version of script(s) for all episodes in a series or feature
  • Up to $750,000 for a project with a budget over $2.5 million – not including ISO contribution
    • Companies must provide writers and directors agreements;
    • Latest version of script(s) for all episodes in a series or feature;
    • At least 40% confirmed financing with commitment letters or financing agreements.
  • Projects that are awarded $250,000.00 and above will be subject to a hold-back of 3% of total funding, pending the completion of the project and an up to date cost report and schedule of project revenues and expenditures;
  • Recipients may receive less than the request amount as recommended by peer assessment and approved by the ISO;
  • A maximum 10% of the total budget can be allocated towards producer fees and corporate overhead.

General Criteria and Eligibility

All applicants to ISO programs must confirm they have read the ISO General Funding Guidelines prior to submitting an application.

Indigenous Identity and Project Ownership

The spirit and intent of ISO funding is to support Indigenous storytelling and Indigenous companies and organizations that are controlled by Indigenous people, who have decision-making authority and creative control.

For the purposes of ISO programs, “Indigenous” is defined as status and non-status First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada.

Please consult the Building Trust and Accountability: Report on Eligibility in the Indigenous Screen Sector which informs the ISO in regards to Indigenous identity, relationality, and access to funding programs. We also encourage applicants to consult the ISO’s working document on identity: ISO Policies and Processes for Eligibility in Relation to Indigenous Identity.

Applicants to ISO Funding Programs:

  • Must own, control, or have optioned 100% of the project copyright (except for international treaty co-productions);
  • Must not receive funding from other ISO programs for the same project activities or initiative. For example, funding for trainees cannot be included in another application to ISO Funding Programs;
  • Must be able to accept a direct deposit in the name of the applicant;
  • Must show proof that the Indigenous creatives have final decision making power in the case of co-writing/directing;
  • If you are an emerging filmmaker, during the application process you must have a minimum of one (1) previous credit in the key role you hold in the project: director, writer, or producer and be able to demonstrate your ability to accomplish this project;
  • Applicants whose project includes the hiring, selecting and/or engaging of First Nations, Inuit, and /or Métis employees, trainees, mentees or other, must adhere to the ISO Policies and Processes for Eligibility in Relation to Indigenous Identity;
  • Must not be in a state of bankruptcy within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada);
  • Must be in good standing with ISO, with no outstanding final reports, defaults or pending complaints or investigations.

Eligible Applicant - Companies

  • Indigenous-controlled: minimum 51% ownership by person/s who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis who is/are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada;
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; two of the three key members of the creative team (director, screenwriter, showrunner/creative producer) must be Indigenous (for TV series projects, this requirement will apply to every episode of the television series);
  • Registered as a corporation with its head office in Canada;
  • Main activity of the company is the production or support of screen-based content, including TV, film, web, digital narrative content, and XR (VR, AR);
  • Is not insolvent or bankrupt, or in the course of the reorganization of its business within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada);
  • If the main applicant/project leads or the company currently has 2 (two) ISO Production Program supported projects that are not yet complete or reported on, the applicant:
    • will be required to submit an interim report for the other active production project applications;
    • submit proof of 60% minimum confirmed financing from a national funder or broadcaster for this project application.

Program Criteria

The Production Program for Features & TV Series supports projects that are:

  • A feature-length film of at least 44 minutes or a television series of at least 22 minutes per episode in length intended for theatrical release, television broadcast, VOD or streaming services in Canada within 24 months of completion;
  • Upon completion, projects must be either:
    • A certified by the Canadian audio-visual Certification Office (CAVCO) as a “Canadian film or video production” with a minimum of 6 out of 10 points; or
    • A recognized as an audiovisual treaty coproduction by the Minister of Canadian Heritage (refer to Telefilm’s guidelines on Audiovisual Treaty Coproductions)
  • Submitted before principal photography has completed (and ideally before it has commenced);
  • In all genres, with the exception of talk shows, live sports events, game shows that include a monetary prize, reality television, music videos and advertising;
  • Led and produced by creators who are Indigenous and have engaged in meaningful research, collaboration, and cooperation with Indigenous communities impacted by their projects.

Eligible Expenses

  • Costs associated with the production phase of screen-based content including equipment rentals, studio rentals, production office, on-set costs and fees;
  • Engagement with experts, consultants, mentors, knowledge keepers or other professional development in relation to the project;
  • Hiring of key creatives, cast, crew, technical expertise, publicists, cultural advisors/knowledge carriers, community liaisons, or specialized talent;
  • Trainee and mentorship positions during production (except if applying to other funded training programs);
  • Production of promotional materials ie. trailers;
  • Producer fees up to 10% of the budget and contingency related costs (cap 5% of total budget);
  • Translation and language support;
  • Accessibility costs during production and post production;
  • Fees and honorariums for community engagement;
  • Facilitator and consulting fees;
  • Travel costs (must include detail in production schedule and budget notes);
  • Technology costs, some equipment purchases (must include detail in budget notes);
  • Digital media component expenses (must include detail in budget notes).

Non-Eligible Expenses

  • Retakes or pick-ups do not count as principal photography;
  • Development or Production costs that have already been incurred or paid.

Eligibility Review

An initial review for eligibility and missing documentation will be conducted by the ISO Program Coordinator and Program Manager. The ISO Funding team will reach out if additional information is needed and applicants will be given a short period (maximum 10 business days) to submit any outstanding documents.

Ineligible or incomplete applications can be withdrawn at any time in the process. Applicants will be notified by the ISO when the application is withdrawn.

Application Requirements

Applicants must supply the following information in the portal: ISO Apply.

Details for each requirement can be found in the program in the ISO Apply portal, as well as in the Application Requirements checklist.

  • Eligibility Form
  • Applicant Information Form – Companies
  • Project Information Form
  • Project Proposal
  • Production Schedule
  • Training Plan (if applicable)
  • Budget and Financial Structure
  • Letters of Support/other funding contracts
  • Key Creative agreements (if applicable)
  • Support Materials
  • Script or Shooting Script
  • Bios and CVs
  • Chain of Title and IP Agreement
  • Community Engagement Plan (optional)
  • Application Requirements Checklist
  • Voluntary Personal Data (optional)
  • ISO Declaration

Submission Process and Funding Decision Notification

Applications must be completed in the application portal at ISO Apply and submitted by May 17, 2024 at 5pm PST. The portal will close at the deadline and applications will not be accepted after that time. Please refer to the “Requesting an Extension” section for information on receiving an extension.

Funding notifications can be expected 2-3 months following the closing date.

Funding Process and Priorities

This program will be assessed through a peer review process made up of Indigenous individuals representing different nations, a range of industry practices, and regions of Canada. All final funding decisions will be made by ISO using peer assessment recommendations.

The assessment criteria will be based on:

  • Relationality and Context: The key creatives telling the story are well placed to do so. The project presents grounded understandings and interpretations of Indigenous expressions, cultures, languages and/or realities;
  • Storytelling and Approach: The storytelling is interesting, creative, and has the potential to engage diverse audiences. Respect, care and thoughtfulness are demonstrated in the approach;
  • Feasibility: The team has the capacity, knowledge and expertise to be successful and complete the project as proposed. The overall project plan is sound and has a clear vision and timeline to move forward;
  • Impact: The project has potential to advance Indigenous storytelling, cultural life in community and contributes to the Indigenous Screen Sector. Project is aligned with the applicants goals and in reaching or impacting desired audiences;
  • Alignment with current ISO priorities.

The ISO also considers the following priorities during assessment and allocation of funding:

  • Regional and intersectional representation;
  • Availability of funds, ISO mandate, and strategic goals;
  • Thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and clarity of application;
  • Representation of Indigenous languages;
  • Sustainable production practices and that encourage environmental responsibility.

Program Closure

The Production for Features and Series Program has a deadline of May 17, 2024 at 5:00pm PST, at which time the ISO will:

  • Close the program in ISO Apply;
  • Update the website, and announce the closure on social media and via the ISO newsletter.

If applicants wish to access the application in the portal, they must contact within 10 business days of the program’s closure. The ISO will provide a downloaded copy if requested. Otherwise, all in-progress applications will be deleted 10 business days after the program has been officially closed.

The ISO’s fiscal year is from April 1st to March 31st.

Requesting an Extension

Applicants may request an extension to submit their application. Requests must be submitted at least 10 business days in advance of program deadlines to determine eligibility. Requests for extensions can be emailed to:

Accessibility Funding and Support

The ISO acknowledges that within the screen industry, numerous individuals require assistance beyond the conventional support offered by typical funding bodies. Consequently, the ISO will provide monetary support of up to $500.00 on a case-by-case basis to address accessibility expenses during the application stages.

These expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Application writing and support;
  • Video or audio recording;
  • Equipment rentals;
  • Professional fees;
  • Language interpretation/translation fees;
  • Final report submission support.

If you have barriers to access including but not limited to language, internet or physical barriers, please contact the ISO to discuss accommodations and support at


If at any time, an Applicant, as required or requested by the ISO, provides false information or omits or misrepresents material information in connection with an application, including with respect to Indigenous identity, such provision of false information, omission or misrepresentation will be considered an event of default and the ISO may exercise the following contractual rights:

  • Termination of any contracts, including any remedies thereunder;
  • Denial of eligibility for existing and future funding;
  • Repayment of any funds already advanced;
  • Civil and potential criminal prosecution, in the case of fraud.

These measures may be imposed not only on the Applicant but also on related, associated and affiliated companies and individuals that are parties to the application. Any Applicant receiving approval for funding will be required to sign a legally enforceable agreement, which includes provisions concerning misrepresentations, defaults, and related matters.

Accepting Funding and Contribution Agreement

All signatories of ISO Contribution Agreements must be Indigenous. Companies, collectives and non-profits with Indigenous and non-Indigenous owners, board members, and collective members must ensure the Indigenous representatives sign all contracts.

Funding must be deposited into an account belonging to the Applicant. If Applicants wish to update their company or Applicant information, they have 10 business days after their successful notice to update their information, by notifying

Final Reporting

A final report will be required within three months following the completion of the project. Any material changes to a project and its budget must be approved by ISO before funding can be transferred to different project activities. The final report template and requirements are made available through the application portal.

All applicants are contracted on a two year term in this program. Requests for extensions to submit final reports are submitted via ISO Apply and can be found in each program application while in the Final Report stage.

Applicants with outstanding final reports in any ISO program will not be eligible for further funding until the report is submitted and approved.

Recognition of Contribution

Recipients must acknowledge ISO support with a textual reference and a bilingual animated logo in the credit sequence, or appropriate placement in the completed work, where applicable. ISO logos are available for download on the ISO website at Logos and Brand Guidelines.

When sharing information about ISO funded projects or opportunities, Applicants are required to tag ISO on any social media posts related to this funding, and include the ISO logo when applicable:

  • Instagram – indigenousscreen
  • Twitter – screen_office
  • Facebook – ISO.BEA

Questions are encouraged at least two weeks prior to submission or the application closing date and may be directed at any time to


Is there another opening date in this fiscal year for this program funding?
Yes, the summer/fall Production program will also be open for all total budget levels, for short and feature films, and TV and web series’.
What is the demand for this program?
There is a high demand in the Production program and it can be competitive. We encourage you to start your application early to ensure your eligibility and that you have adequate time or resources to make a complete application.
What is the maximum amount of funding I can request in this program?
$Up to 250,000.00 (for $1 - 2 million budgets - not including ISO contribution); $Up to 500,000.00 (for budgets over $2 million - not including ISO contribution); $750,000 for a project with a budget over $2.5 million - not including ISO contribution. We encourage applicants to apply ensuring their project is well-funded. A reminder that the ISO can allocate less than the requested amount to successful projects.
What happens to my in-progress application if the program closes before I submit?
Please refer to the “Program Closure” section of the guidelines
What if I or my company already has 2 or more projects in Production that were supported by the ISO?
If the main applicant(s)/company currently has 2 (two) ISO Production Program supported projects that are not yet complete or reported on, the applicant will be required to submit any overdue reports or an interim report and proof of a percentage of confirmed financing from a national funder or broadcaster.
The project I am applying with has already been funded in a previous round of ISO Production funding. Can I apply to this program?
Unfortunately, applications to this program that have already received previous ISO production phase funding will not be eligible in this program.
I’m not sure my project is a good fit for this program.
Reach out to

Maximum Funding Amounts

  • Up to $250,000 for Companies ($1 – 2 million budgets – not including ISO contribution)
  • Up to $500,000 for Companies (budgets over $2 million – not including ISO contribution)
  • Up to $750,000 for Companies (budgets over $2.5 million - not including ISO contribution)

How to Apply

Please read and complete the following steps prior to submitting your application.

  1. Read the ISO General Funding Guidelines Policy

  2. Read the ISO Determining Indigenous Identity Guide

  3. Read the Production Program for Features & TV Series Guidelines outlined on this page or download the PDF

  4. Complete the Production Program for Features & TV Series application checklist

  5. You are ready to complete the application in the ISO Apply Portal

Deadline Reminder


If you have any accommodation needs or barriers to access including but not limited to:

  • disability need
  • language or translation needs
  • low bandwidth
  • limited internet access
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Recognition of Contribution