Canadian film and TV financing agency Telefilm Canada has advised producers it is implementing new standards for its selective investments in the English market starting with 2009-2010.

The new measures will incorporate 'Best Practices' into its Canada Feature Film Fund (CFFF) decisions that concentrate on identifying target audiences and developing marketing campaigns earlier in the development and production cycle.

In an announcement, the agency said, ' Findings confirm that the most favourable box office results were consistently achieved by higher-budget Canadian films with strong market interest. In response to this, national production investment decisions will focus on films with strong, realistic box office projections relative to the size of the CFFF's investment.'

Telefilm said preference will be given to projects with budgets greater than $4m (C$5m) and with at least C$1m in marketing commitments from the distributor along with a detailed plan of how the project will realise its box office ambitions.

The agency said genre will be a factor in decision-making.

'Risk associated with the financing of feature films and the rewards flowing from their commercial success should be appropriately allocated amongst all the project's financial stakeholders,' read the announcement.

At the regional level, Telefilm said it will give preference to films with budgets under C$2.5m and seeking less than C$750,000. While a distributor's commitment to marketing spend will not be the deciding factor, a marketing plan will be required.

The new approach was hatched through the work of the CFFF English-language working group, consisting of 'key industry stake-holders' representing performers, writers, directors, producers, distributors and exhibitors.