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Documentary producers call for revamped funding rules as genre rises in popularity

News | 06/30/2003 4:00 am EDT

 Even as a new report shows that documentary production is on the rise in Canada, producers are warning that not all is rosy and changes need to be made to the funding system. A new report, Getting Real: An Economic Profile of the Canadian Documentary Production Industry, indicates that documentary production in Canada outpaced growth of the overall Canadian content production sector over the past six years. Total Canadian documentary production grew an average of 18% in the six years between 1996-97 and 2001-02 to reach $420 million. The share of viewing of Canadian documentaries also rose from 1.8% in 1998 to the current 4.4% (CCR Update, June 11/03). But there are complaints about how the public funding system is set up, the fact that the average budget for documentaries has nosedived, and questions on what was actually considered a documentary for the purposes of the report.

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