The Contradictions of Culture and Commerce in Telefilm Canada's feature Film Fund 1981-1998

James Piecowye
Communication, University of Montreal
April, 2002
 

Abstract


Abstract


This thesis argues that Canadian feature film policy, as exemplified through Telefilm Canada’s feature film fund’s production assistance plan, has and continues to be a public policy vehicle with the prime objective of commercial/industrial development of the Canadian feature film industry and not cultural development as both the Canadian government and Telefilm Canada themselves have suggested. Using a sociocritical methodology to examine the evolution of Telefilm Canada’s feature film fund’s production assistance plan, it becomes possible to understand the multiplicity of influences on this particular piece of public policy and make inferences about public policy development in general. Through this thesis we trace the interventions of the state, industry, and public in the development of this particular public policy. A question continually returned to throughout this thesis is: How can public policy analysis link both the creative and analytical elements that arise out of economic, political and social forums as they interact with one another? This thesis suggests that to understand public policy, a synoptic type analysis needs to be undertaken, one that looks at a particular public policy, in this case feature film policy and the influences upon it over an extended period of time. The synoptic analysis undertaken through this thesis examines the role of state, industry and public interventions in the development of both Telefilm Canada’s policy with respect to the feature film fund’s production assistance plan and Canadian feature film policy from 1981 through 1998, when the review of Canada’s feature film policy was initiated. By considering how both culture and economics are intertwined in the definition of Canadian feature film policy and Telefilm Canada’s feature film fund’s production assistance plan, we are able to suggest who gets what, when and how from Telefilm Canada and Canadian feature film policy in general.



Keywords: Telefilm; Feature Film; Public Policy; Culture; Economy
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