AMAZON PRIME VIDEO COMMITS $1.3 MILLION TO SUPPORT THE BIPOC CANADIAN TV AND FILM PRODUCTION COMMUNITY
Prime Video donates to the Indigenous Screen Office’s Solidarity Fund to provide funding to BIPOC creators during the COVID-19 pandemic
Pitch program for scripted and unscripted projects launches with March 5 submission deadline
Toronto, ON – February 8, 2021 – Amazon Prime Video today announced a $1.25 million (CAD) commitment to support the Canadian BIPOC TV and film production creative community with a donation to the Solidarity Fund and the Indigenous Development Program, and a new pitch program, with 10 grants of $10,000 (CAD) to creators who are Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Colour, in partnership with the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO). The initiatives will support the BIPOC creative community faced with ongoing hardship during the COVID-19 crisis.
“As Prime Video continues its investment in Canada we’re committed to supporting the creative community and the industry. We are proud to work with the Indigenous Screen Office and support diverse and marginalized content creators in the TV and Film sector disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Magda Grace, Head of Prime Video Canada. “The pitch program will allow us to connect with content creators who are Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Colour early in the development process and be able to provide guidance along with the financial support to their projects during these initial stages.”
“We received an incredible response from applicants to our development programs and Amazon’s contribution has allowed us to support a significantly higher number of projects than we had anticipated,” said Kerry Swanson, ISO Managing Director. “We are excited to create a new opportunity to connect BIPOC creators with Amazon Studio executives through the pitch program that will showcase some of the diverse and unique talent that exists in Canada.”
The donation from Amazon Prime Video will support creators who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour as the industry manages and recovers from the ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis. The donation to the Solidarity Fund – launched by the ISO, the Racial Equity in Media Collective (REMC), and BIPOC TV & Film – and the Indigenous Development Program, will support diverse creators with funding for projects and professional development for both individuals and BIPOC-owned companies. Additionally, Prime Video and the ISO will launch a pitch program that will award $10,000 (CAD) grants to 10 selected diverse creators who will have an opportunity to pitch their scripted or unscripted projects to Amazon Studios. ISO will work with the Black Screen Office on the pitch program as well as engage with a number of BIPOC-led groups and organizations on outreach. The ISO (https://iso-bea.ca/) portal for submissions will open Wednesday, February 9 and the deadline for submissions is Friday, March 5 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
For more information on the pitch program and guidelines visit https://iso-bea.ca/amazon-studios-iso-pitch-program-guidelines/ and https://iso-bea.ca/resources/iso-funding/
Since 2015, Amazon Studios has filmed 22 Amazon Original series and films in Canada, including The Man in the High Castle and Upload in Vancouver, The Boys and The Expanse in Toronto, Tales from the Loop in Winnipeg, as well as parts of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Voyeurs in Montreal. Recently announced Canadian Originals include The Kids In The Hall and All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs.
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About the Indigenous Screen Office
The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is an independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators of screen content in Canada. The ISO’s mandate is to foster and support narrative sovereignty: Indigenous stories told on screens by Indigenous storytellers. Launched in 2017, the creation of the ISO is the result of decades of advocacy from Indigenous industry professionals and creators who identified that an organization supporting Indigenous storytellers was a crucial component to a healthy and robust media landscape in Canada. ISO currently funds a number of programs and initiatives for Indigenous screen creators and professionals with a focus on the key areas of training and mentorship, project development, production support and market development. ISO also hosts regular training and workshops around the document On-Screen Protocols and Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Communities, Cultures, Concepts and Stories.
For more information: iso-bea.ca