DGC Ontario Short Film Fund

DGC Short Film Fund Template4We are pleased to announce the 2nd annual DGC Ontario Short Film Fund (previously known as the DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Award or Emerging Short Filmmaker Award). The Fund will provide 3 DGC Ontario Full Members in Good Standing in any category with a cash grant of $30,000 each to be used toward the completion of a live-action short narrative film. Submissions are closed. 

Submission Requirements
What to Submit
Production Requirements
Adjudication Procedures
Important Dates

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a Full DGC Ontario Member in Good Standing
  • Must have creative control and final cut over the proposed project (at least 51% to maintain majority control)
  • Must not have previously received a DGC Ontario Short Film grant (previously know as the DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Award or Emerging Short Filmmaker Award)
  • Must not currently sit on the DGC Ontario Executive Board or be employed as staff by DGC Ontario or sit on the Short Film Fund Jury
  • Must agree to grant DGC Ontario the right to stream, screen and exploit the completed film as well as any behind-the-scenes and marketing material (non-commercial use/promotional purposes only)
  • If your project is green-lit and you are not a Director member, you must attach a DGC Director Member mentor to the project by the beginning of pre-production (DGC Ontario to assist if needed)

Submission Requirements:

(all submissions must be completed via the online submission link provided, incomplete submissions will be disqualified)

  • The submission must be made by the Director of the proposed project. One Director per application; one application per Director
  • Production must occur in Ontario
  • A completed application form (application forms are available via online submission link)
  • A signed agreement from the writer(s) of the script (including if the submitting DGC Member is also the writer) acknowledging their approval to have their work submitted for consideration, production and exploitation should the project be selected
  • Director, Writer and Producer resumes & filmographies for staff verification (these materials will not be sent to jury members)
  • Please include PDF submission copies with all creative names removed for blind jury adjudication:
  • An unproduced, original live-action narrative script with a maximum length of 17 pages (animated, lifestyle or documentary short subjects are not eligible) with all creative names removed
  • A one-page synopsis with all creative names removed
  • Director Vision Statement with all creative names removed
  • A financial plan, if budget is to exceed the $30k grant amount, with all creative names removed
  • Proposed prep/production/post schedule with all creative names removed.
  • Proposed production budget with all creative names removed. Download the Budget Template HERE.
  • Signed DGC Ontario Short Film Fund Declaration Form

Please note: Budgets do not need every line item filled in unless it pertains to your project (ie: if you have no animals in your film, you can leave the "[40.00] Animals" line item blank). Also, [27.00] Fringe Benefits are for Non-DGC calculations only (ie: should you be shooting under the ACTRA TiP agreement, you can put your Fringe Calculations here). Production and General Liability Insurance is MANDATORY for all productions. We’ve included a $3,000.00 approximate amount that should be budgeted (which may go up or down depending on the nature of your production) as a guideline and reminder that you need it. This is an approximation only and winning teams must do their own due diligence to obtain their own Production and General Liability Insurance. DGC Ontario can help assist once the Teams are awarded. Should teams need to create new line items, they can if needed. Also, if further explanation is needed, teams can make clarifications in the line item "Notes" column (ie: [39.00] Special Effects (Physical) Note: "We will need 2 Rain Towers", or the general section at the bottom under "Notes/Assumptions". Please avoid any creative names in the budget.

Production Requirements:

  • Film must have a maximum running time of up to 15 minutes (credits included)
  • Film must be fully completed by the delivery deadline date (March 15, 2020)
  • Film must be mastered and delivered in HD
  • Applicant must provide all deliverables (actualized budget, receipts, insurance, etc.)
  • Applicant must provide DGC Ontario with a copy of the completed film as a hi-res digital file on a drive for archival purposes
  • In the spirit of the DGC Ontario Short Film Fund, the filmmaking team must make best efforts to crew their production with DGC Ontario Members (full or associate and GAP) in all categories that DGC Ontario represents, as well as give opportunities to DGC Ontario Members out of category (i.e.: composer, VFX, etc.). We would like to see as many DGC Ontario Members participating on the films as possible. This also includes DGC Mentors for up-and-coming filmmakers in all disciplines (i.e.: if the 1st AD has never been a 1st before, a DGC 1st AD Mentor would be beneficial)

The Director’s Vision Statement is a (max 3-page) document that describes how the filmmaker is going to execute their project, what the tone/look is, what drew them to the story and why they want to make the film. Filmmakers can also use this document to discuss how they plan to accomplish their projects should the screenplay have unique elements that needs explanation or there are production or post-production elements that might need further elaboration such as special in-kind sponsorships, casting, visual effects, equipment, editing, music or location notes.

A Financial Plan (should the project budget be over the $30k grant amount) is a detailed description of how the team will raise funds necessary to complete the project.

 A Proposed Prep/Production/Post Schedule is a short document outlining the dates and action items the team is expecting to accomplish and when. This includes any prep and production calendars, shooting schedules and post timelines you might have.

Adjudication Procedures:

Upon receiving all submissions, DGC Ontario will appoint a mixed DGC member and third-party Short Film Fund Jury to review only the script, one-page synopsis, Director’s Vision Statement, budget and financial plan and prep/production/post schedule (with all creative names removed). The program and the jury will be administered by staff and a Short Film Fund Chair. The Chair will be the Ontario District Council Director’s Caucus Rep who has no vote and who will help run the initiative along with Ontario District Council Staff, set up meetings, distribute submissions to jurors, be available to clarify project guidelines, answer questions from submitting teams, etc.

The Jury will be selected based on their ability to accurately and fairly adjudicate the submissions based on their past experience from the industry. They will be comprised of, but not limited to: Producers, Distributors, Filmmakers, Film Festival Programmers, etc. and are not allowed to participate in the program, or be attached to any project submitted. The spirit and direction for this impartial blind jury process is to avoid any possible conflicts of interest and/or favouritism.

A dedicated website portal will be created for all submissions and will be administered by staff and the Chair to verify if packages are complete and meet all criteria. No one else will have access to this intake portal and only blind jury materials will be distributed to jury members. 

Once recipients are confirmed, their teams will participate in a one-on-one meeting with DGC Ontario Staff to sign the DGC Ontario Short Film Fund contract, discuss deliverables, in-kind sponsorships, payment drawdowns, insurance, DGC Member involvement and crewing, DGC Mentors and prep, production and post concerns.

At this meeting the following will be required:

  • A Chain-Of-Title document proving that the Director has creative control and final cut over the proposed project (at least 51% to maintain majority control).A Chain-Of-Title Document is a signed document that clearly states that the Director has creative control and final cut over the proposed project agreed to by the producer(s) and sometimes the writer(s).
  • Note: We encourage inclusion and diversity in casting and crewing. We also want best efforts to use DGC Ontario members in various creative roles and crew positions. Please feel free to include a description of how your projects reflect this goal in the Director’s Vision Statement (without using names – i.e.: “We have 8 DGC Ontario members already lined up for these crew positions… etc.).

Important Dates:

Criteria Available Online and submission link open: Feb 6, 2019

Submission deadline: April 8, 2019

Final 6 Longlist Announced: May 8, 2019

Final 3 Recipients Announced: May 15, 2019

Shoot & Post: May 2019 – March 2020 

Final Delivery: March 15, 2020

Any questions about the DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Fund, please contact Hans Engel at hengel@dgc.ca or shortfilm@dgcontario.ca.