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Early-Stage Development Program Webinar Now On YouTube

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The October 12, 2023 deadline for this year's edition of the Early-Stage Development Program (ESDP) is fast-approaching. To help applicants prepare their submissions, the WGC held a Zoom webinar and Q&A in conjunction with the program's administrators from Telefilm.

You can watch the video here.


The ESDP is a program exclusively for screenwriters that allocates funding to eligible projects at the beginning of their creative process. The program is very similar in structure to last year’s ESDP, with a 10-hour written-by requirement (with some caveats) and successful projects being chosen by a jury. The CMF may contribute financially to an eligible project at the level requested by the applicant up to a maximum of $40,000. The only changes noted by the CMF this year are as follows:

Beginning in 2023-2024, directors of Documentary Projects may be eligible to apply to the Early-Stage Development Program if they meet the Program requirements by being credited as “Director” or “Filmmaker” or “Film By” in qualifying projects that do not have any other writing credits.

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