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NABET 700-M UNIFOR represents over 1000 Film, Television and New Media Technicians in the province of Ontario.

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Toronto, ON
M5C 1M3
Tel: 416-536-4827
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September 19, 2017

September 14 FilmOntario Update

UPDATE

Welcome back, everyone, from what I hope was a busy and productive summer. With TIFF in full swing, and Cinefest coming soon, this will be a short update with more to come in the next few weeks . . .

Save the Date! – AGM and FilmOntario Day at Queen’s Park
I am pleased to let you know that we will be welcoming the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, as this year’s guest speaker at our Annual General Meeting on the evening of Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Stay tuned for further details.

Also, please mark Tuesday, November 28, 2017 in your calendars as FilmOntario Day at Queen’s Park. We will be having a day full of meetings with MPPs, capped off with a reception at the end of the day. We hope that as many members as possible will join us for meetings to help spread the word about the economic impact of our industry.

Check out the New FilmOntario.ca
Some of you may have noticed tweets announcing a new look for the FilmOntario website. We are pleased to announce that we have brought Cass Enright on board as a communications specialist to help us enhance our digital presence and develop a communications strategy as we head in to a busy year. Since the beginning of TIFF, Cass has been highlighting the films that were produced or shot in Ontario, and has started a website re-design. Stay tuned as we continue to enhance the site’s content, and let us know if there are things you would like to feature on the site.

OMDC Film Fund Diversity Enhancement
The OMDC recently announced a diversity enhancement to the OMDC Film Fund. The enhancement will provide support to films that meet the provincial definition of diversity or, in the case of coproductions, projects that include non-traditional partners or jurisdictions. In order to reduce barriers to entry, the budget thresholds for projects applying to the diversity enhancement are lower than the usual Film Fund requirements and the funding commitments may exceed the usual caps.

To view the full set of guidelines and details on the enhancement, please visit the OMDC website. The next deadline for the Fund is 5:00 pm on October 10, 2017.

Welcome New Members Switch VFX & Animation!
We are pleased to welcome Switch VFX & Animation as our newest FilmOntario members. Switch is an award-winning VFX and animation studio, having worked on such projects as The Expanse and the Saw franchise on the VFX side, and George of the Jungle II and The Travels of the Young Marco Polo on the animation side.

And remember – it’s always better to do business with a fellow FilmOntario member!

WEEKLY UPDATE September 15th, 2017

Happy Friday everyone,

What a great week for Toronto! As another successful Toronto International Film Festival wraps up, Hollywood is also marveling at the smash success of It, which shot last year in the city. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, the movie took in a whopping $123 million in ticket sales in North America last weekend, doubling early industry expectations and crushing records for the biggest September opening and the largest launch for a horror film.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-fi-ct-movie-projector-it-20170913-htmlstory.html

One massive hit - or loss - can have a huge effect on a studio's financials, especially when the film has a tentpole-sized budget. That's why, the Times explains this week, film is becoming less and less a director’s medium, with cinematic auteurs presiding over movie sets like gods. As detailed below, in an industry financially dependent on an ever-smaller handful of films, studio executives are less willing to take chances and more willing to make big changes if needed, even if the moves generate ugly headlines or expensive re-shoots.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-directors-fired-from-franchises-20170913-story.html

Among the challenges that film faces today is increased competition from high quality content available via TV and streaming services. That is not likely to change anytime soon, as Variety reports this week that Hulu will spend $2.5 billion on content this year, behind Amazon ($4.5 billion) and Netflix ($6 billion).
http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/hulu-2017-content-spending-2-5-billion-1202558912/

Traditional television networks are still scrambling to catch up with the big three streaming services and news this week from Variety indicates they still have a ways to go. As detailed below, while there’s a growing push by networks to launch direct-to-consumer apps and services, new numbers show that the contribution they’re making to overall revenues for their parent companies are still pretty marginal — for now.
http://variety.com/2017/voices/columns/networks-streaming-apps-1202556138/

The Emmys are approaching and a look at the nominees makes apparent just how much streaming has disrupted the industry. In fact, Time magazine this week suggested the Emmys have become a showdown between new and old methods of watching TV.
http://time.com/4931073/emmys-becoming-a-battlefield/

Finally this week, we've been hearing for years how the growth of cable and streaming services has pushed boundaries and produced darker and increasingly explicit content, but as reported in the Times, family-friendly fare has now become an under-served market. As detailed below, channels like Hallmark have capitalized on the widening cultural divide in television and have been growing in popularity while rivals have seen ratings declines.
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-hallmark-red-state-20170914-story.html

Warmest regards,
Kelly

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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