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imagineNATIVE Releases Report on Growth and International Export of Indigenous Content.


Toronto/Ottawa- January 31, 2019 – imagineNATIVE and its partners, including the Indigenous Screen Office, announced today the release of a research report entitled Pathways to the International Market for Indigenous Screen Content: Success Stories, Lessons Learned from Selected Jurisdictions and a Strategy for Growth. The report will be presented by Jesse Wente, Director of the Indigenous Screen Office, at the 2019 Prime Time in Ottawa industry conference.

This report presents findings of a major examination of Indigenous screen-based content internationally, the factors contributing to its success and lessons to expand opportunities for Canadian Indigenous screen-based productions in the global market. It reveals a growing demand for Indigenous screen content. Furthermore, the number of festivals dedicated to Indigenous content is growing and 76% of Indigenous festivals worldwide present Canadian productions.

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • Increase Indigenous leadership at the highest levels of Indigenous screen organizations, as well as in non-Indigenous organizations.
  • Develop content that appeals to international audiences by ensuring sustained support through all phases of development and by removing barriers, increasing development for prime time television, and leveraging opportunities for Indigenous writers to hone their scripts and craft.
  • Produce content that appeals to international audiences such as different genres and formats at internationally competitive budgets as well as producing higher budget shorts to further build skills and advance careers of creators.
  • Build relationships with distributors and sales agents by leveraging attendance at festival and markets, and utilizing festivals and alternative distribution networks to promote content and build audiences.
  • Increase exports and sales in foreign markets at major international markets including the European Film Market (EFM), and leverage online opportunities to reach global audiences.

“This report reveals a substantial growing demand for Indigenous-made screen content,” said Jason Ryle, Artistic & Managing Director of imagineNATIVE. “As an organization firmly committed to the continued support of Indigenous creators, I am very pleased to present this report on behalf of imagineNATIVE and would like to take this opportunity to extend our deep appreciation to our partners that made this invaluable research possible.”

“It is important to examine challenges Indigenous creators face here in Canada and in a global market,” said Jesse Wente, Director, Indigenous Screen Office. “In order to succeed Indigenous creators must have the necessary tools to compete and this report’s in-depth insights are essential in helping us identify strategies and steps to create and export our content.”

This report is based on interviews with industry players, surveys of Indigenous festivals and alternate distribution networks, studies of national and international literature and case studies from Canada and around the world. To read the full report, click here or visit www.in-institute.org/publications.

This study was prepared by Maria De Rosa and Marilyn Burgess of Communications MDR.

Funding for this report was provided by the Indigenous Screen Office, Ontario Creates, Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board of Canada and the Canada Media Fund.

About the imagineNATIVE

Founded in 1999, imagineNATIVE is the international centre for Indigenous-made media arts. Its annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival celebrates 20 years in October 2019 and is the world’s largest showcase of film, video, audio, and digital & interactive media works created by Indigenous directors, producers, and screenwriters. Year-round imagineNATIVE presents a national tour, screenings across Canada and internationally, and a community screening series based in the Greater Toronto Area. Its recently launched imagineNATIVE Institute is committed to the professional development of Indigenous artists through its numerous workshops, labs, and panels through its festival’s Industry Days and through strategic partnerships internationally. imagineNATIVE showcases, promotes, and celebrates Canadian and international Indigenous filmmakers and media artists and is committed to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and artistic expressions. www.imagineNATIVE.org

About the Indigenous Screen Office

Funded in 2018, The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is dedicated to the of support Canadian Indigenous screen-based industry through the development, production and marketing of Indigenous content. The ISO is supported by The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC), the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Telefilm Canada, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Associated partners include Bell Media, the Harold Greenberg Fund and VICE Studio Canada.


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Alma Parvizian
Managing Partner
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