I just found out that a wonderful program is closing due to lack of government funding. I don’t usually do political things but this hit rather close to home for me.
A few years ago I decided to become a producer, it’s been an uphill battle and I’m still struggling with it, leaning more to getting out of this and finding something new to do however that is a different blog!
About 3 years ago I heard about this program in Ottawa called SIFT – Summer Institute for Film & TV, it’s run by the Canadian Screen Training Centre. The summer sessions are a week long and they have all these great programs where you can go and take a class with a professional in the industry, learn at the knee, so to speak.
I took the lifestyle producing workshop. From day 1 it was fabulous not only did the 8 of us in our course bond like crazy, we adopted 2 people from other workshops, the 10 of us were inseparable. I spent the week learning from the producer who was teaching us (although I’ve since learned he doesn’t even follow the steps he taught us) and bonding with my fellow classmates. We did everything together and when it was over it was weird not having them around. Phone calls and emails started to fly, it was nice to be so involved with other like-minded people.
As was to be expected that bonding grew apart and some of us disappeared back into their daily lives. I’ve stayed really close with 2 of the girls that were there, 1 I knew a little before we got there and that experience just made us closer and the other I’ve become close with her and her family (she lives in PEI). A few of the others I have Facebook friendships with.
I was appalled to read that the program is closing from lack of funding, Harper’s agenda for ridding Canada of it’s entertainment community rearing its ugly head once again. This was a place that budding film makers could go and learn, in the past 29 years they have taught, nurtured and encouraged hundreds of talented Canadians. I am incredibly sad and angry that this option will no longer be available to future generations of film makers. Why does he want to make us into the US? Where their film makers are in envy of us that we have funding available. Does he not realize how many Canadians are the heros of the US Entertainment industry? James Cameron springs to mind as the most recent obvious choice! These types of successes are good for us and our economy. Why does this government NOT see this?
I’m hoping that some sort of phoenix will rise from the ashes of this program, I had a wonderful experience there and I know I was not the only one. I know this only 1 program in a long list that is begining to be cut from our options, I realize that there are all sorts of programs that need funding and there is only so much money to go around but Mr. Harper would be wise to check his history books, one of the few industries to stay alive during the depression, was the entertainment industry, people NEED to be able to laugh and be given hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not always the train. The Entertainment industry fuels that hope.
Canadian Screen Training Centre and it’s Summer Institute for Film and TV programs will be sadly missed!