Diverse Languages Program
The Diverse Languages Program is designed to support independent production in languages that reflect the diversity of Canadians by funding projects in languages other than English, French, or Aboriginal languages. This program is part of the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Convergent Stream; thus, projects funded through this stream must include content to be produced for distribution on at least two platforms, one of which must be television and the other, digital media. Funding from this program is allocated according to a selective process using an evaluation grid.
The Diverse Languages Program committed $2.5M to ten convergent projects in Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and Italian, spending the total amount budgeted for the program. The program has supported 10 projects for the last four years running. Production activity triggered by this program has declined to $4.7M, due to increased funding to lower-budget documentaries. CMF’s share of financing has leapt to 52.2% of budgets on average compared to around 34% in previous years. A total of 51.7% of funding went toward five Spanish-language productions. Three Italian-language projects received 28.1% of funding. All projects funded were documentaries. All of the projects were complemented with digital media components receiving a total of $911K or a 36.9% share of total Diverse Languages Program funding, the highest level of the CMF Convergent Stream.
Broadcasters and CMF provided almost exactly the same share of financing to diverse language television projects at 44.7% and 44.6% respectively. The CMF contributed 73.6% of digital media financing and broadcasters paid a 23.5% share.