The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) wants to see Canada through a new lens. The Society has teamed up with iconic adventure outfitter Mountain Equipment Company (MEC) to offer a new Exploration Film Grant aimed at supporting emerging Canadian filmmakers' vision to inform, inspire and capture their personal story in relation to Canada’s unique and diverse landscapes.
For over 90 years, the Society has been funding expeditions across the country with the goal of making Canada better known to Canadians and the world. In 2021, its production arm, Canadian Geographic Films, launched its first feature documentary, Returning Home, directed by Secwépemc filmmaker Sean Stiller. The film was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, winning several awards on the Canadian film festival circuit. The Exploration Film Grant builds on this success.
“Through this grant program, we will provide a launch pad for emerging filmmakers who are rethinking how we tell stories about Canada and the greater world,” says John Geiger, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Geographic and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
This collaboration between the RCGS and MEC will encourage the next generation of explorers to share their stories from the field: stories of adventure and scientific discovery, diversity and inclusion, truth and reconciliation. “MEC and the RCGS share a history of supporting Canadian explorers. We’re excited to support this grant, which celebrates Canada’s community of outdoor explorers and filmmakers, providing them with the space to share their diverse stories of adventure and exploration,” says Caitlin Brown, Community Manager for MEC.
The Exploration Film Grant will have two granting schemes: the Exploration Feature will provide support towards the creation of a documentary film during an expedition, while the Exploration Short will provide funding for shorter films that entered post-production in the latter half of 2021. The grant program is currently open to independent filmmakers, production companies or groups and will accept submissions until February 25, 2022 at 5 p.m EST.