Report on growth and export of indigenous content released by imagineNATIVE

TORONTO – imagineNATIVE and its partners, including the Indigenous Screen Office, announced the release of a research report entitledPathways to the International Market for Indigenous Screen Content: Success Stories, Lessons Learned from Selected Jurisdictions and a Strategy for Growth on January 31.

This report itself presents findings of a major examination of Indigenous screen-based content internationally, the factors contributing to its success and lessons to expand opportunities for Canadian Indigenous screen-based productions in the global market.

It reveals a growing demand for Indigenous screen content and furthermore, the number of festivals dedicated to Indigenous content is growing and 76% of Indigenous festivals worldwide present Canadian productions.

The report will be presented at the 2019 Prime Time in Ottawa industry conference by Jesse Wente, Director of the Indigenous Screen Office and the study was prepared by Maria De Rosa and Marilyn Burgess of Communications MDR.

Key recommendations from the report include: increased Indigenous leadership at the highest levels of Indigenous screen organizations, as well as in non-Indigenous organizations; develop content that appeals to international audiences by ensuring sustained support through all phases of development and by removing barriers; increasing development for prime time television, and leveraging opportunities for Indigenous writers to hone their scripts and craft; produce content that appeals to international audiences such as different genres and formats at internationally competitive budgets as well as producing higher budget shorts to further build skills and advance careers of creators; build relationships with distributors and sales agents by leveraging attendance at festival and markets, and utilizing festivals and alternative distribution networks to promote content; and build audiences and increase exports and sales in foreign markets at major international markets including the European Film Market (EFM), and leverage online opportunities to reach global audiences.

“This report reveals a substantial growing demand for Indigenous-made screen content,” said Jason Ryle, Artistic & Managing Director of imagineNATIVE. “As an organization firmly committed to the continued support of Indigenous creators, I am very pleased to present this report on behalf of imagineNATIVE and would like to take this opportunity to extend our deep appreciation to our partners that made this invaluable research possible.”

This report is based on interviews with industry players, surveys of Indigenous festivals and alternate distribution networks, studies of national and international literature and case studies from Canada and around the world. The full report is available via

“It is important to examine challenges Indigenous creators face here in Canada and in a global market,” said Jesse Wente, Director, Indigenous Screen Office. “In order to succeed Indigenous creators must have the necessary tools to compete and this report’s in-depth insights are essential in helping us identify strategies and steps to create and export our content.”

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