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What makes a film or series Canadian?

Under the current rules overseen by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), a “Canadian” production can only qualify for financial incentives – such as tax breaks – if it has Canadians in key creative positions (director, writer, lead performer), and is at least 75-per-cent financed by Canadians or Canadian companies that retain the IP rights.

The recently passed Bill C-11 will likely update the definition of Canadian content, even as it seeks to ensure that streaming platforms such as Disney and Netflix genuinely contribute to such productions.

Your favourite film or show that centres on a Canadian storyline may not be considered Canadian on paper, but The Globe’s art critic Kate Taylor argues that the specifics are less important than Canadian art existing for arts’ sake.

So, can you spot the difference between a Canadian production on paper and a Canadian production, only in spirit?

Take our quiz to see if you can tell what is – and isn’t – a Canadian film or series.

1Turning Red is a Canadian film

False. Although director Domee Shi is from Toronto, and the film is set in the city and stars Canadian actors Sandra Oh and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, this Disney+ title is not Canadian, because it’s … well, a Disney movie.

2Women Talking is a Canadian film

False. Yes, Sarah Polley is the director, and, yes, the movie is based on bestselling author’s Miriam Toews’s beloved novel. But this is not a Canadian film (although the country rejoiced when Polley won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay): its financial backing came from Plan B and Frances McDormand’s Hear/Say Productions, technically making it a U.S. production.

3BlackBerry is a Canadian film

True. This brilliant look at the Canadian device that revolutionized the way the world works is indeed certified Canadiana at its finest. Bonus: director Matt Johnson, producer Matthew Miller and star Jay Baruchel (all Canucks) loosely based it on the book, Losing the Signal, by Globe and Mail journalists Sean Silcoff and Jacquie McNish , showcasing the raging personalities and soul-testing temptations that come with success.

4Schitt's Creek is a Canadian show
5Umbrella Academy is a Canadian show

False. The series’s showrunner, writer and executive producer, Steve Blackman, grew up in Edmonton, and star Elliot Page hails from Nova Scotia; it’s even filmed in Toronto and Hamilton. But despite all that, this is a Netflix production and is therefore not Canadian.

How well did you do?

Answer all of the questions to see your result
Congratulations, you know your Canadian content. Check out our critics pics for more Canadian shows and films to watch.
Good effort. You’re no Barry Hertz but you do know a thing or two about Canadian film and shows. Check out our streaming guide for more Canadian shows and films to watch.
This wasn’t your quiz, but that’s okay! Check out our streaming guide for more Canadian shows and films to watch.

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