Message from the Co-Chair and the President
The Harold Greenberg Fund’s 28th year also marked our first as a part of the Bell Media family. The continued support of our long-term partners TMN and Viewers’ Choice Canada was augmented by the tangible benefits resulting from the Bell-Astral merger. The increased funding allowed the Fund to increase the scope of our support and to offer a greater level of production financing support. With Bell Media’s support, we are proud to continue our mission to fully participate in and nurture the development of Canadian films and assist our country’s filmmakers at all levels. We are excited by the Fund’s achievements this year, and the diverse slate of supported projects.
The core mandate of the Harold Greenberg Fund has always been to support the creation and development of Canadian feature films. This year we were able to help 71 of the 249 projects we received requesting development support. The wide range and superb quality of all of the submissions reaffirms the critical need in our industry for this early stage support. Development is the stage in which funds are scarcest and the risks highest and we recognize our critical role as a private and complementary source of support.
When you review the list of projects supported from the earliest stages of optioning and treatment to first draft right through to the final stages of production, you will see that the Fund continues to support a wide range of genres, budget levels and stories. Our portfolio approach allows the Fund to support films with commercial expectations with clearly defined audiences but also films by rising talents who are building their careers. This approach is evident in this year’s selection of films supported at the production level as we were able to support four films by first time feature filmmakers (Jeffrey St. Jules’ Bang Bang Baby which won the Best First Canadian Feature Prize at TIFF, Jefferson Moneo’s Big Muddy, Stephen Dunn’s Closet Monster and Director X’s The Damage) as well as eight features from established directors such as Ruba Nadda, Atom Egoyan, Anton Cobijn and Sean Garrity.
In an effort to enhance the Fund’s core work of project development we also support a wide variety of training, promotions and project development programs through our Industry Initiatives Program. Programs focus on developing both skills and film projects at various levels (script, packaging, financing etc.) and offer an opportunity for filmmakers in every region of our country and from the full range of experience. We continued our partnerships with leading organizations such as TIFF, Atlantic Film Festival, VIFF, Whistler Film Festival, Imaginative, Planet in Focus/Green Screen, Reel Canada and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
Finally, we extend our thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of the Fund. The passions, skill, knowledge and experience of its staff and board are critical factors in the Fund’s lean approach which allows it to balance active support of the projects we select with minimal overhead.
Perhaps no one has contributed more to success of the Harold Greenberg Fund than Bryn Matthews. Bryn has been a board member of the Fund for nearly 20 years and chair for eight. He has helped guide the Fund from its earliest days as it developed new programs, changed staff and board members, underwent corporate change and supported thousands of films and filmmakers. His leadership, dedication and informed voice will be missed at the Fund. This year Bryn stepped down as Chair but agreed to remain on the board through this fiscal year to help the transition to a new Chair. We both thank Bryn for all of his support and know that he will be following the films and careers he helped build with ongoing interest.
Co-Chair Board of Directors