CBC-APTN Early Stage Scripted Development Program for Indigenous Creators in association with the ISO - ISO-BEA

Maximum Funding Amounts

  • Based on project needs, up to a maximum of $30,000

Program Overview

This program will create an opportunity for up to 3 emerging television creators with projects still in the pre-development phase. This will allow CBC and APTN executives to work closely with the producers and writers to provide a unique opportunity for the project to move into the development and the production phase.

Program Summary

Who Can Apply

For Indigenous screen-based creatives.


Indigenous project and professional development for creators.

Project Stage


Key Dates

Opening Date

Closing Date

General Criteria and Eligibility

All applicants to ISO programs must confirm they have read the 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. All applicants must be residents of Canada and have spent 8 months out of the last year living in 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;
  • Must not receive funding from other ISO programs for the same project activities or initiative;
  • 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;
  • 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 - Individuals and Sole Proprietors

  • Are a First Nations, Inuit or Métis person residing in Canada and who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • Working in screen-based content, including TV, film, and web, gaming, apps, and XR (VR, AR);
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of the applicant; two of the three key members of the creative team (director, screenwriter, showrunner/lead producer) must be Indigenous;
  • Is not in a state of bankruptcy within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada).

Individual Applicants:
Please be advised the Canada Revenue Agency considers this funding as taxable income.

Sole Proprietors:
If you are applying as a sole proprietor, you may apply under your business name for the funding to be deposited to your business bank account. Please keep all expense receipts related to this funding to offset your tax obligations. Funds will not be deposited to an account in any name other than the applicant name.

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;
  • 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);

Program Criteria

  • Preference is for a writer and producer team, however applicants can apply as an individual but they must be the writer. Applicants who do not currently have a producer partner attached will be asked to identify a producing partner as part of the program;
    • Writers are required to have at least two credits as a writer on a project that has been accepted to or screened by either a film festival, linear broadcast, or subscription-based streaming service;
    • Producers are required to have two credits: Producers who do not have two credits may still apply as long as they have comparable industry experience;
    • Comparable industry experience is defined as: Experience in a key role (e.g. producer, line producer, editor, AD) on a project that has been accepted to/screened by either a film festival, linear broadcast, or subscription-based streaming service;
    • If chosen for the program, the team may be asked to add an additional production company to the project. This is to ensure the project’s viability and to help it compete with other contenders for production.
  • Applicants must apply with one scripted project suitable for development, without broadcaster funding attached and still at the pre- and early-development stage;
  • Must be a strong scripted comedy or drama series concept (somewhat open to other genres, however they must be grounded in characters and environments that feel complex, layered and real);
  • Preferably 8-10 episodes, TV 1 hour or 30 minutes per episode (44 or 22 mins per episode).

Program Activities

The program will run from August 2024 to the end of March 2025 and will provide custom tailored training and support in areas such as:

  • Development of bible, character and story arcs, and scripts;
  • Building broadcaster relationships;
  • Industry standards and practices re: development;
  • Building a team;
  • Pitching the project;
  • Budgeting;
  • Broadcast requirements.

Program Timeline/Deliverables

Successful applicants are required to commit to the following timeline:

  • Week of August 19th – Intro meeting with Broadcasters
  • September 20th, 2024 – outline
  • November 8th, 2024 – first draft of pitch deck
  • Week of November 18th – meeting with broadcasters to discuss draft
  • January 17th, 2025 – second draft of pitch deck (producer attached to project)
  • Week of January 27th – final meeting with broadcasters
  • March 28th, 2025 – final pitch deck due

In addition to this there will also be monthly check-ins.

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 may 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 – Individual, Sole Proprietor, Company
  • Project Information Form
  • Project Proposal
  • Bios for applicant(s)
  • CV’s for applicant(s)
  • Pitch document or creative outline
  • Chain of title or current IP
  • Pitch video (optional)
  • Letter(s) of support (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. Applications must be completed in the ISO portal and submitted by July 10, 2024 at 5pm PST on the closing date. The portal will close on 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 1-2 months following the closing.

Funding Process and Priorities

This program will be assessed by a review committee made up of representatives from APTN, CBC and the ISO.

The assessment will be based on the following criteria:

  • Vision and strength of the project idea;
  • The viability of the project and readiness, including its scope and timeline;
  • Impact, including the advancement of the applicant’s career within Indigenous storytelling and possible enrichment of the cultural life of relational community(ies) or contribution to the Indigenous Screen Sector.

Across all programs:

  • 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 CBC-APTN Early Stage Scripted Development Program for Indigenous Creators in association with the ISO Program has a deadline of July 10, 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.

Please contact funding@iso-bea.ca within 10 business days of the program’s closure if you require a downloaded copy of your application. Otherwise, all in-progress applications will be deleted 10 business days after the program has been officially closed.

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: funding@iso-bea.ca.

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 CAD 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 funding@iso-bea.ca.


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 funding@iso-bea.ca.

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.

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.

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 prior to submission or the application closing date and may be directed at any time to funding@iso-bea.ca.

Maximum Funding Amounts

  • Based on project needs, up to a maximum of $30,000

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 theCBC-APTN Early Stage Scripted Program Guidelines outlined on this page or download the PDF

  4. Complete the CBC-APTN Early Stage Scripted program 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