Co-Producing Films in Canada – the Basics


In today’s financing climate, where pre-sales are more difficult than ever to attract and GAP financing requires two or three times coverage, the holy grail of many independent producers has become “soft money”- funds which are generated by means other than sales of a product, such as tax credits, government subsidies and equity investments. Canadians have become very good at chasing soft money, and that’s why Canadians are tops in co-producing.

In the context of reduced financing sources, it stands to reason that if accessing soft money in one country is good, then accessing soft monies from two (or even more) countries is great. Enter the world of international co-production treaties, which is in many cases the only way to double dip into the soft money schemes available in multiple countries.

F.A.Q.’s of Co-productions

Who Decides if a Co-Production is an “Official Treaty Co-Production”?

In Canada, the certification of Official Treaty Co-Productions is handled by the Co-Productions office of Telefilm Canada, the Canadian government body responsible for receiving and evaluating applications for certification of treaty co-productions. When a production is certified as being made in accordance with a co-production treaty, the subject production gains “Official Treaty Co-Production” status.

So which International Co-Production Treaties does Canada Currently have?

Canada is a party to 55 co-production treaties with 53 countries for film and television works. This list notably excludes the United States. Look to


  1. Which 55 countries have a co-production treaty with Canada as of 2009?
    Can you recommend a Cdn filmmaker who knows enough about Canada’s Co-Prod treaties, to be able to discuss it on a panel at Bangkok International Film Festival in late Sept 2009 ? Any recommendations would be appreciated on such short notice for Sept09.
    Please reply to : Thanks, Sharon