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.
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.
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.
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.
True. Created by Dan and Eugene Levy, this show – which first aired on the CBC and then moved to Netflix, where it quickly gained a devoted global following and garnered numerous awards – qualifies as Canadian.
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.