The NWT’s Film and Media Sector: The Next 5 Years

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In announcing a pilot Producer Incentive Program this week, Minister Caroline Wawzonek highlighted that the NWT’s film and media sector is poised for growth.

New Film Strategy Launches for Next Five Years with Producer Incentive Pilot

Ushering this bourgeoning sector of the NWT’s economy to the next level will be Rolling, Action! The Next 5 Years: NWT Film and Media Sector Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2026.

This new and exciting Strategy is designed to evolve the NWT’s film and media sector into a nationally competitive and sustainable element of the NWT’s economy.  It was developed after meeting with and hearing from individuals, organizations, and communities involved in all aspects of the NWT film industry.  

The plan includes fifteen actions and investments in three focus areas. Each of these actions and investments are intended to achieve both short and medium-term goals that will aid in positioning the film and media sector into the sustainable and competitive economic sector that it has the potential to be.

The Strategy’s three foundational areas of investment will focus on: improving GNWT programs and supports for the NWT film and media sector, enhancing recognition and awareness of the NWT’s potential and competitive edge locally and internationally; and increasing the capacity of the film and media sector itself.

In the area of managing and improving GNWT programming, the GNWT, through the work of the Department of Industry Tourism and Investment (ITI) and its NWT Film Commission (NWTFC), will:

  • review SEED film funding Program guidelines;
  • introduce a Producer Incentive Program;
  • evaluate the Film Rebate Program ;
  • streamline NWTFC data collection;
  • create a film location database;  and
  • continue to update the NWT Film Suppliers Guide.

To showcase and promote the NWT’s film and media sector, ITI and the NWTFC will:

 

  • promote and showcase the NWT film and media screen sector;
  • work to increase awareness in community governments and municipalities to opportunities in the NWT film and media sector; and
  • work to increase awareness of the economic potential of the NWT film and media sector

ITI, through its Film Commission, will also focus on developing skills and collaborating with the NWT film and media sector by:

  • supporting the development of a crew training program with co-op opportunities/incentives;
  • supporting  workforce development and professional development;
  • leveraging pan territorial and national partnerships;
  • working with current partners and seek out new opportunities for collaboration;
  • working with GNWT departments to identify common objectives and synergies; and
  • supporting opportunities for film and media sector infrastructure development.

It is worth noting that the strength of today’s film and media sector, on which this new strategy will build, is a direct result of the success of the GNWT’s first film strategy Take One: NWT Film Strategy and Action Plan which saw an increase in feature film production from 2015 until today.

Notable testaments to its success include The Sun at Midnight, Red Snow, and Elijah and the Rock Creature; as well as guest productions like the History Channel's popular reality series Alone.

The ongoing implementation of Rolling, Action! The Next 5 Years: NWT Film and Media Sector Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2026 will serve to support GNWT commitments to Increase economic diversification by supporting growth in non-extractive sectors and Increase employment in small communities.

Read the Strategy in its entirety here.