Local indie producers ask for support from Canadian broadcasters

Local film producers have urged Canadian broadcasters to feature more local movies on their schedules as opposed to Hollywood content.

“What we’re really worried about is that we’ve seen a reluctance on the part of cable operators and broadcasters to carry Canadian films,”

Victor Loewy, CEO of Canadian indie distributor Alliance Films, said at the Banff World Media Festival.

The plea came during a panel discussion at the festival that concerned itself with vertical integration.

“We’ve seen a huge erosion on Astral (Media) and a complete disappearance on Rogers/Citytv,” Loewy pointed out.

Indie producers here in Canada have voiced their concern at the decline in spending on Canadian films from the likes of Astral (The Movie Network), Corus Entertainment (Movie Central) and Rogers Media (Citytv).

However, David Purdy, vp of TV and video product at Rogers Communications, says he didn’t believe that Canadian broadcaster should bow to indie film distributors.

“Victor (Loewy) looks at Rogers as a giant piñata: the harder you hit, the more money falls out,” he told the vertical integration panel.

“Medium to long term, we’re not doing enough to protect the system. When the CRTC made a decision to not regulate over-the-top (U.S. platforms), they should have make a corresponding decision to deregulate the system.

“They haven’t done that. It’s okay for Netflix Canada to come into Canada, but not okay for us to launch a subscription VOD service on a set-top box.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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