Of the 43 applications to Canada’s Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund for this round, 24 projects received production funds totaling just under US$4.2 million.
As executive director Andra Sheffer noted, the budgets for the projects were down across the board for this round.
“People are focusing on what’s important in interactive content and building projects with audience engagement rather than spending on bells and whistles,” she says.
She also says that a lot of kids, youth and family-oriented projects also made the cut.
“That makes sense because that’s what’s working and that’s where the audience engagement is,” says Sheffer. “With kids projects, they can easily spend 15 minutes online and come back repeatedly. We don’t quite see that audience engagement with adults.”
Projects in the category include Zeros 2 Heroes Media’s Animism: The Gods’ Lake series and its digital offerings through Animism: The Sacred Sites; season three of In Real Life (pictured) from Apartment 11 Productions and Secret Location; Monster Math Squad from DHX Media and the preschool-targeted Monster Math Squad Interactive from the prodco’s interactive hub and season four of Tricon’s The Next Star with Pixel Pusher on board for interactive and mobile content.
Also in the kids category is season two of marblemedia’s Skatoony and Skatoony Interactive and season four of Tiga Talk! from May Street Productions, with its Tactica Interactive Communications-developed choose-your-own adventure story app.
On the French-language side, 13 projects received production and development funding, and Sheffer says that the Bell Fund board received more submissions in the category than usual.
In addition to the 24 projects funded in production, the Bell Fund is also supporting projects in development as well as professional development. Those details, along with the full list of Bell Fund recipients, can be found here.