Screenwriter Development Program


The Northern Ontario Screenwriter Development Program is designed to help Northern Ontario emerging and mid-level screenwriters sharpen their professional skills as well as encourage the development and production of projects that are originally conceived in Northern Ontario.



1. Bring more Northern screenwriters into the professional talent pool

2. Help screenwriters develop projects with commercial appeal

3. Encourage a community of Northern Producers and Northern Writers.

4. Provide Northern Screenwriters with access to Broadcast Executives

5. Continue to train and employ cast and crew from Northern Ontario through Production



The program remains open until the funds are exhausted.



Production companies and their projects must meet these minimum conditions to qualify for Development funding:

• The production company must be a Canadian corporation which is Canadian controlled with a Northern Ontario office, that employs at least one full time employee.

• The production company must own all of the rights necessary to exploit and produce the production.

• Any one producer or co-producer is limited to three applications per year

• Each producer must have a Northern Ontario writer attached to the project.

• Applicants must be in good standing with the NOHFC. Applicants or any owners, promoters or principals of a related company that are in default on any contractual obligations to the NOHFC are not eligible.

• Must have received a commitment from a Canadian broadcaster; commitment can be a development fee or a CMF regional predevelopment letter of interest **definition of Northern Ontario will follow same definition from the CMF.


Eligible projects include: English language made-for-television movies, television drama and comedy series (including children’s and animation).


Note: completed projects and returning series are not eligible.

Productions must meet appropriate quality-acceptance standards for broadcast and distribution. Pornography, sports events, news, games, industrial programs, reality programs and commercials are not eligible. Productions containing excessive violence, sexual violence, sexual or racial stereotyping or exploitation are not eligible.



If you’re adapting existing material (short story, novel, comic book, etc.) you must obtain permission to use the story for your project and provide a copy of the confirmed rights.


Eligible Costs:

Depending on the project, the following would be eligible development costs:

• Research

• Option fees paid to an unrelated party, or acquisition of rights fees

• Scriptwriting (1st draft scripts, polish, "story bible" etc.)

• Script workshops

• Story Editor

• Short non-broadcast demos

• Producer fees and corporate overhead (subject to the Producer Fees and Corporate Overhead Policy)

• Travel Expenses

• Accounting fees (if review engagement is required as per the Accounting and Reporting Requirements)

• Arms-length legal costs

• Pitch Document


Budget and Dollars:

Provides assistance in the form of a conditional grant up to 75% of eligible costs to a maximum of $25,000.


How to Apply?


Northern Ontario Screenwriter Development Program Application Form (460.2 KB)

• Only complete applications will be considered. This means you must fill out all required sections of the application form and must include all the documents listed below in PDF format.

• Development agreement with broadcaster or signed CMF regional predevelopment letter of interest

• Development budget

• Pitch Document which includes length, genre, logline, the characters, the pilot, series and season arc, tone and comparable shows

• Letter of intent from the Producer and Writer

• Complete chain of title documentation: refers to the underlying rights for your story. You need to provide documentation that demonstrates your right to develop the project whether it is a story idea of your own creation or an adaptation.

• Resume of each applicant clearly stating experience


For further information regarding The Northern Ontario Screenwriter Development Program, please contact MFM at

40 Larch Street, Suite 103, Sudbury, ON, P3E 5M7 | 705-885-9889 |