Radio-Canada, the French-language arm of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has announced it will invest $11.3m (C$12m) in French-language feature film production through 2010.

It will mark the third multi-year cycle of production financing via Radio-Canada's 'cinema d'ici' initiative begun in 1999.

Francine Allaire, director of dramatic programming for the public broadcaster, told Screendaily that the financing will be directed into development and production, including both pre-sale licence fees and equity investment, as well as promotion.

Said Allaire, ''We get involved at the script stage but we're an integrated group - with radio, TV and internet - so once a film enters Radio Canada it becomes nurtured by us. Our talk shows, our website contribute to maximize the film's exposure once it's financed. We think it's important they get all the visibility.'

Radio-Canada broadcast window will be no less than two years after the theatrical window, a factor of the public broadcaster's mandate as a national television network in French. Given that 95 per cent of French-language production occurs within Quebec, the extra money puts the province head and shoulders above the rest of the nation when equity financing from Telefilm's Canadian Feature Film Fund and Quebec's SODEC are included.

Recent films financed with help from Radio-Canada include Denys Arcand's Cannes closer The Dark Age, and top-grossing franglais cop thriller Bon Cop, Bad Cop. Still, Allaire said 50 per cent of the films in which Radio-Canada has invested are first and second features as well as documentaries.

A smaller portion of the fund will be devoted to the acquisition of English-Canadian titles to be dubbed.