Telefilm Canada has announced the renewal of the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program. Designed to assist the production and post-production of feature-length documentaries intended for Canadian theatrical release, the $1.875m initiative is co-financed by the National Film Board of Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds, a foundation underwritten by Canada's largest cable operator.

One of the first projects greenlit under the program was the upcoming 27, by Stuart Samuels (Midnight Movies: From The Margin To The Mainstream), a look at three pop stars all of whom died at age 27: Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The film is produced by Sandra Cunningham of Toronto-based Strada Films.

Telefilm's total financial commitment of $1 million is allocated two-thirds for the English-language market and one-third for the French-language market: $500,000 for the production of English projects and $275,000 for French projects. For post-production, Telefilm is investing $165,000 for English-language projects and $60,000 for French-language projects.

The NFB is committing $500,000: $335,000 for English-language projects and $165,000 for French-language projects at the production stage for producers who wish to co-produce with the NFB. The Rogers Group of Funds is committing $375,000: $250,000 for the production of English-language projects and $125,000 for French-language projects.

'It is an exciting day for our organisations,' said Wayne Clarkson, executive director of Telefilm Canada. 'The partners' distinct but complementary mandates have created a unique situation whereby eligible producers have increased access to financial resources, more flexibility and greater autonomy. Most significantly, there is the added advantage of drawing from the financial savvy of Telefilm Canada, the market expertise of Rogers and the co-production experience of the NFB.'