Indigenous Screen Office Launches New Slate of Programs and Announces New Funding Team - ISO-BEA

Tkaronto – The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is launching its full slate of new funding programs immediately. The new funding will support Indigenous screen-based storytellers through two funding streams: the Story Fund and Sector Development.

The Story Fund will support creators in the development and production of Indigenous-made content, as well as enhanced support for post-production, marketing and distribution. The Sector Development component will support projects that increase Indigenous training, participation and representation in all roles across the screen sector.

Funding for the programs comes from the 2021 federal budget allocation that ISO received through the Department of Canadian Heritage, of $13 million per year over the next three years, to support screen-based content made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

In addition to the new programs, ISO is also announcing the new deadline for the Netflix Apprenticeship and Cultural Mentorship Program, now entering its third year.

“We are very excited to announce a full suite of programs that respond to the needs of Indigenous storytellers,” said Kerry Swanson, ISO’s Co-Executive Director.

“The momentum of Indigenous creative output across the country continues to grow and the ISO is thrilled to support all forms of storytelling on screen created by individuals, companies and communities,” said Jesse Wente, ISO’s Co-Executive Director.

Along with the expansion of the grant programs, the Indigenous Screen Office welcomes a new funding team based in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. Joining the team are Tash Naveau, Program Manager, Story Fund; Isabelle Ruiz de la Orden, Program Manager, Sector Development; and Kaya Wheeler, Outreach and Program Coordinator.

The ISO is also very pleased to announce the appointment of Kristy Assu as incoming Director of Funding Programs, starting in November. Based in B.C., Kristy is an experienced producer and program manager, most recently with Telus Storyhive and Originals, and the first-ever Haida language feature film, SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna (Edge of the Knife).

“We have built a strong team who are inspired to move us closer to Indigenous narrative sovereignty in the screen-based sector in Canada,” said Wente. “Kerry Swanson has also moved into a co-executive director role beside me. Her work and commitment are reflective of the new funding programs and partnerships we have and are developing.”

In addition to the launch of the new funding programs, the ISO is also introducing an updated website and a new application portal – ISO Apply.

For more detailed information on the new funding programs, including upcoming deadlines, visit our website at

This ISO thanks and acknowledges the Indigenous peoples and communities who have advocated for this work over many decades. We also thank and acknowledge our founding partners for their continued support: APTN, Canada Media Fund, Canadian Media Producers Association, CBC, and Telefilm Canada.