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Canadian Film Centre

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The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable organization founded in 1988 by filmmaker Norman Jewison in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Originally launched as a film school, today it provides training, development and advancement opportunities for professionals in the Canadian film, television and digital media industries, including directors, producers, screenwriters, actors and musicians.[1]


Windfields Estate in 2000

CFC was established in 1988 by Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison as the Canadian Centre For Advanced Film Studies;[2] the first program was attended by 12 residents.[3] The inaugural class included writer Robert Hunter, filmmakers Holly Dale, Gerald L'Ecuyer, Anne Petrie and Peter Raymont, and producer Ann Medina.[3] The school's campus was located at Windfields Estate, the former home of Canadian business magnate E. P. Taylor.[2]

In 1991, after producer Robert Lantos received a $250,000 prize from Telefilm Canada to honour Black Robe winning the Genie Award for Best Picture, he immediately donated the money to the Canadian Film Centre to help establish its film unit, which serves as the primary film studio for projects being developed by CFC students.[4]

Peter O’Brian was appointed as executive director of CFC by Norman Jewison in 1988 and remained in the role until 1991.[5] Wayne Clarkson served as the organization's executive director from 1991 until 2005.[5] At that point, Slawko Klymkiw, previously the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's executive director of network programming, became the CEO of CFC until he retired in the spring of 2021.[6][7][8][9] Maxine Bailey, former Vice-President of Advancement at TIFF, was appointed as Executive Director of CFC in May 2021.[10]

In 2014, CFC unveiled the new Northern Dancer Pavilion, a building to house its multidisciplinary study programs, on the Windfields campus.[11]

As of 2018, its 30th year of operation, CFC had more than 100 residents and participants in 16 programs annually. CFC has more than 1,700 alumni and 100 alumni partner companies to date.[citation needed]

Training and advancement


CFC offers a variety of programs in five separate media streams: film, television, music, screen acting, and digital media. Each stream offers practical, intensive, hands-on programs that are administered under the guidance of faculty and industry professionals, and are operated in conjunction with entertainment companies and educational institutions including Netflix, AMC, A&E, Cineplex Entertainment, the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm Canada, NBC Universal, Slaight Communications, WildBrain, Bell Media, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and OCAD University.[citation needed]

CFC's film programs include the Norman Jewison Film Program and CFC Features. Television programs include Bell Media Prime Time TV Program for series writers, and the WildBrain Experience for development of kid- and family-targeted content. CFC also runs the Netflix/CFC Global Project, which targets Canada's traditionally under-served creatives and communities[12]

Its main program for actors is the CBC Actors Conservatory, a six-month program. For musicians, the centre operates the Slaight Family Music Lab, a part-time nine-month program for composers and songwriters.

The CFC Media Lab is a digital media think tank and production facility that provides a research, learning and production environment for digital media content developers and practitioners, as well as acceleration programs and services for digital entertainment start-ups. Its programs include the Fifth Wave Initiative, to accelerate and sustain the growth of women-owned or led businesses in southern Ontario’s digital media sector,[13] Ideaboost, a digital entertainment accelerator, and VR Strategy, a program to develop virtual reality productions, and the UK-Canada Immersive Exchange, an immersive talent development lab and co-production fund for UK and Canadian artists and filmmakers.[14]

Work produced by CFC


CFC has been involved in hundreds of film, television, and interactive productions and has produced a large catalogue of works, including the below productions.[citation needed]



CFC has supported the development of 47 feature films to date[when?], including:

CFC has also accelerated the development of various TV series, including:

Short films


173 short films have been created through CFC's Short Dramatic Film Programs to date, including:

Digital media


CFC's interactive productions include:

  • Late Fragment: Canada's first interactive feature film co-produced with the NFB.
  • Body/Mind/Change: A transmedia experience starring David Cronenberg, co-produced with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
  • What's Your Essential Cinema: A dynamic mobile visualization project co-produced with TIFF.
  • VR Sketches Series: The first in a series of VR Sketches produced with Occupied VR, inviting the filmmaking community to learn about and discover the grammar and language of VR storytelling.
  • Small Wonders: The VR Experience: Allows a user to immerse themselves inside a prayer bead and explore the intricate carvings made visible through the power of micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and virtual reality. Produced by the Canadian Film Centre's Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) and Seneca College School of Creative Art & Animation, this artistic and technical collaboration between AGO conservateur, Lisa Ellis, and interactive artist and designer, Priam Givord (Seneca), marks the first time anyone will be able to move through, around and within one of these small wonders.


  1. ^ "Toronto: Indiegogo Pacts With Canadian Film Centre". Variety, September 7, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Canadian film centre opens School on Taylor estate to train elite filmmakers". Toronto Star, March 29, 1988.
  3. ^ a b "Canadian film centre debuts with a dozen moviemakers". The Globe and Mail, November 18, 1987.
  4. ^ "Film makers bank on the future of others". Toronto Star, December 20, 1991.
  5. ^ a b "Toronto: Highlights of the First 25 Years of the Canadian Film Centre". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  6. ^ Jennie Punter (2013-03-18). "Four That Soar for the Canadian Film Centre". Variety magazine. Retrieved 2018-12-21. Since 2005 the former CBC-TV exec has shaped the strategic vision of the center's initiatives, led the charge to grow its annual budget from $7 million to $13 million (60% from private investors), overseen several program launches and stoked the board of directors with industry and finance leaders keen to chime in.
  7. ^ "Klymkiw leaving CBC". The Globe and Mail. 2005-08-17. Archived from the original on 2018-12-21. Klymkiw began his CBC career in 1980 in Winnipeg where he produced award-winning supper-hour news shows there and in Toronto before joining CBC Newsworld in its early years.
  8. ^ "SLAWKO KLYMKIW: Biography". Canadian Film Centre. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  9. ^ "CBC program director leaves for Canadian Film Centre". CBC News. 2005-08-18. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  10. ^ Pinto, Jordan (April 29, 2021). "Maxine Bailey Appointed Executive Director of CFC". Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  11. ^ "Canadian Film Centre unveils new Northern Dancer Pavilion" Archived 2018-04-06 at the Wayback Machine. Canadian Architect, June 22, 2014.
  12. ^ "Netflix, Canadian Film Centre announce 4 films for development". CBC.
  13. ^ "An Incomplete List of Canadian Tech Events, Programs, and Organizations Supporting Women's Initiatives". Betakit. Archived from the original on 2021-03-05.
  14. ^ Grater, Tom. "Venice MENA WIP Projects; New Canada-UK Immersive Storytelling Initiative; NFTS Expansion Gets $4M Funding; San Seb Start-Up Lab – Global Briefs". Deadline.