Welcome Independent Producers
Knowledge brings thought-provoking, commercial-free programming to 4 million British Columbians.
We’re filmmaker friendly here at Knowledge. Like you, we want great films to get made and be seen, and we’re committed to doing what we can to help make it happen.
As BC’s Public Educational Broadcaster, we play a vital role in supporting the independent production community at home - and abroad - through pre-licenses and acquisitions. The information here is designed to answer common questions and help independent producers understand our process. Before you pitch us an idea or program, please review this information and, if possible, spend some time watching Knowledge. Also, make sure you’re familiar with our program schedule and featured timeslots.
Who We Work With
We will accept proposals from independent producers across Canada, but preference will be given to British Columbian filmmakers. Proposals must come from an incorporated company. Inter-provincial co-productions are welcome, as are international treaty co-productions. With the latter, ownership of the film needs to rest with the Canadian co-producer. Commissioned programs must qualify for certification as 100% Canadian productions or International Treaty co-productions. Emerging filmmakers without television experience are encouraged to work with an experienced executive producer and/or story editor.
What We Look For
In a word, passion! We’re interested in finding stories that will captivate our viewers. Are they unique? Challenging? Well crafted? Do they take creative risks? Offer a perspective not seen in mainstream media? Do they inspire personal reflection? Engage viewers in an important dialogue? We’re looking for memorable programs that will reinforce the notion of the value of public television.
When reviewing proposals, we consider how well your idea meets the following criteria:
- Priority for programming plans and timeslots
- Appeal and direct relevance to a BC audience and the world
- Creativity, originality, clarity of focus, good writing and a stimulating presentation
- Ability of the creative team to deliver a quality production
- Appropriate budget and a demonstrated ability to finance in a timely manner
Deadline for Submissions
There are no deadlines. Proposals are accepted on an ongoing, continuous basis and reviewed as they are received. Please note that proposal materials including demo reels will not be returned. Allow 6-8 weeks for a response.
What We Pay
Knowledge’s license fees are meant to represent only a portion of the total production budget. On first window commissions, we may invest up to $60,000 in license fees and will negotiate a prominent role in the development and production of the film. Second window license fees of up to $10,000 are also possible for projects which have secured a lead broadcaster elsewhere in Canada. In addition to license fees, Knowledge may allocate an investment from its Broadcaster Performance Envelope of the Canada Media Fund (CMF) should the producer meet the thresholds required.
Producers are responsible for raising the total budget. We encourage you to be entrepreneurial with your fundraising. Financing scenarios can include (but are not limited to) second window licenses with other broadcasters, international pre-sales, public and private film funds, co-productions with the NFB, provincial and federal tax credits, arts council funding, distribution advances and arms-length private investment.
PLEASE NOTE: Documentary projects with Canada Council funding attached are not eligible for a commission from Knowledge. The requirements of the Canada Council around issues of final approval and creative control are incompatible with our involvement as a broadcaster. This applies to all versions of a film being made with Canada Council funding.
What We Require
Based on our contribution, Knowledge will negotiate broadcast and Internet streaming rights for its territory, creative approvals (treatment, budget, rough and final cuts) in the case of first window commissions, and prominent full-screen credit in the program credits and on all printed materials.
We’re Not Looking For
We do not commission or assist with the completion of dramatic features, series or shorts, student films, corporate videos, gallery installations, or sponsored films.