I really have to pay more attention to the gravy train. A new friend of mine is participating in one of the many "Industry Initiatives"
at the Toronto International Film Festival. I am not sure why she needs to -- she's already produced a film. But Canada supports its filmmakers with a bewildering array of organizations, grants, subsidies and other programs. They're not restricted to newbies, either. Some are explicitly for experienced filmmakers. You're a fool if you don't take advantage of them when you have the time. I'm kicking myself I didn't sign up for any of these.
One might well wonder why, if we have so much support, we're not getting more success in our film industry. Part of the problem, I think, is the lack of money for marketing. People just don't go to see movies if they don't see ads for them.
But I would also argue that with L.A. on our doorstep, if we didn't have all the support, we might well not have any local industry. The alternative to support isn't a more vibrant, populist, commercially-driven business. The alternative is, I think, what Ohio or Illinois have: no movie industry. Without the support, why would any filmmaker stay here? Why not just go to LA and try to make it there?