Production, 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)

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

Submission Process and Notification

Applications must be completed in the ISO portal and submitted on the due date May 31, 2023 at 5pm PST. The portal will close at the deadline and applications will not be accepted after that time.

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

Program Eligibility Criteria

The spirit and intent of ISO funding is to support Indigenous storytelling and screen-based projects 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. All applicants must be residents 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.

The Production Program funding supports projects:

  • Intended for theatrical release, television broadcast or VOD streaming services in Canada within 24 months of completion
  • That are upon completion 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
    • b) 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, reality television, music videos and advertising.
  • Led and produced by creators who are Indigenous and/or have engaged in meaningful research, collaboration, and cooperation with Indigenous communities impacted by their projects
  • Of emerging and established filmmakers to support them in advancing their artistic career through ambitious and impactful films.
  • Led by 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, Gender-diverse identities and expressions, as well as People with Disabilities
  • That have Regional representation outside the main production centres of Vancouver and Toronto and including those situated in rural areas, First Nations/Settlements/Communities or significantly feature Indigenous Languages;
  • That promote sustainable production practices and that encourage environmental responsibility.

Applicants to this program must be:


  • Are Indigenous-controlled (minimum 51% ownership by person/s who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis);
    The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous
    persons; two of the three members of the key creative team (director, screenwriter, showrunner/producer) must be Indigenous.
  • Are registered as a corporation with its head office in Canada;
    Have letters of Incorporation, a shareholder registry, bios for each owner of the company and their individual percentage of ownership.
  • 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).
  • Are 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 and proof of a percentage of confirmed financing from a national funder or broadcaster.

*Funds will not be deposited to an account in any name other than the applicant name.

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • Can accept a direct deposit in the name of the applicant.
  • 100% of the copyright of the project must be owned, controlled, or optioned by the applicant
  • Cannot 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;
  • In the case of Co-writing/writing teams, the Indigenous writers must have final decision making power.
  • Cannot have more than 2 projects in Production with ISO support at the same time (including Individual owners/Project leads in other funded projects) **unless the above company/ownership requirement is met.
  • Must be in good standing with ISO.

Contribution Amounts

$Up to 250,000 maximum for a project with a budget of $1 to 2 million – not including ISO contribution.
$Up to 500,000 for a project with a budget over $2 million – not including ISO contribution.

Please Note:
*Projects that receive $250,000 and over from ISO will have a partial hold-back of 3% of ISO total funding, pending the completion of the project and an up to date cost report and schedule of ISO revenue and expenditures.
*Applicants may receive less than the request amount as determined by the assessment committee.
*A maximum 10% of the budget can be allocated for each of producer fees and overheads.

ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES include, but not limited to:

  • Costs associated with the production phase of screen-based content including equipment rentals, studio rentals, production office, on-set costs and fees;
  • Continuation of cultural and community engagement work;
  • Engagement with experts, consultants, mentors, or 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 ISO/Netflix Partnership program);
  • Production of promotional materials;
  • Contingency related costs (cap 5% of total budget)

Excluded activities include, but not limited to:

  • Re-takes or pick-ups do not count as principal photography.
  • Production costs that have already been incurred.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES include, but not limited to:

  • Fees for Production ‘above and below the line’, mentors, trainees, advisors, and contractors engaged for consultation;
  • 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)

Application Requirements

  • Articles of incorporation, and/or relevant ownership agreements, individual percentages of ownership;
  • Bios and CVs for all owners, and their key roles in the project;
  • Letters and or license agreements from all confirmed funding;
  • A Community Engagement Plan (max 2 pages);
    and Letter(s) of Support for projects that intend to film in, collaborate with Indigenous communities or include collectively-held cultural knowledge Ie. this could be for Indigenous language inclusion, historical accuracy, cultural nuances outside of the storyteller’s experience.)
  • For training costs: Applicants must submit a detailed training plan, including bios/CVs for trainees. If trainees are unconfirmed, a detailed recruitment plan must be submitted. Outcomes for trainees must be explained and impact should be clearly articulated;
  • Support material including combination of the following:
    • Documentaries – Links to production teaser, lookbook/pitch deck/visual treatment, demo reel/previous work of Key Creatives
    • Narrative Fiction – Links to a production teaser, demo reel, lookbook/pitch deck, and demo reel or previous work of Key Creatives;
  • A Chain of Title and current IP agreement/contract to Produce the project in the name of the applicant (except for inter-provincial or international treaty co-productions);
  • A detailed production schedule and list of collaborators involved;
  • A completed script and a Story Outline; Or shooting script and an Outline for documentaries.
  • An up to date Production budget, including a financial structure with confirmed/unconfirmed funding listed

Funding Process and Priorities

The assessment will be based on the following criteria:

  • 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.
  • The following priorities will be considered as part of the assessment process:
    • Regional representation;
    • Representation of diverse Indigenous perspectives and intersections including women, non-binary and 2SLGBQTIAP+;
    • Emerging voices;
    • Representation of Indigenous languages.
    • The background and experience of the key creative team (or potential, in the case of emerging applicants).
  • The scoring criteria will be based on the:
    • Vision, clarity and strength of the project idea including the script and treatment;
    • Process used within the production and the viability of the project and readiness to proceed to production, including its leads, scope, timeline, budget and community engagement;
    • Impact, including the advancement of the applicant’s career in Indigenous storytelling and the enrichment of the cultural life of your community and contribution to the Indigenous screen sector.

Accessibility and Accomodation

The ISO provides up to $500.00 CAD in additional funding to cover accessibility costs incurred during the stages of applying for funding, completing a project, and writing your final report. Requests for support are encouraged at least two weeks prior to the application due date.

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

Support may include telephone or video application submission, language interpretation, or support worker assistance. Equipment purchases are not eligible for accessibility support.

General Criteria

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

Eligibility Review

An initial review for eligibility and missing documentation will be conducted by the ISO Story Fund Assistant and Program Manager. The ISO will reach out if any of this information is needed and applicants will be given a short period (maximum 10 days) to submit anything outstanding.

*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.


If at any time, an Applicant, as required by the Criteria or as 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; and
  • 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.

Final Reporting

A final report will be required within three months following the completion of the project. Applicants with overdue final reports will not be eligible for ISO funding until the report is submitted and approved.

Recognition of Contribution

Recipients must acknowledge ISO support with textual reference and/or logo in the credit sequence, or appropriate placement in the completed work (where applicable). ISO logos are available for download on the ISO website.

When sharing information about your participation in the proposed activity, please also tag the ISO on any social media posts related to this funding:

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

Questions are encouraged at least two weeks prior to the application due date and may be directed at any time 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)

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, Features and TV-Series Guidelines outlined on this page or download the PDF

  4. Complete the Production, Features and TV-Series application checklist

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

Deadline Reminder


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Recognition of Contribution