Telefilm Canada provides update on diverse language films

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge recent discussions regarding films in diverse languages. I know that this subject is an important one, and Telefilm and I have heard you.

A truly more equitable industry should allow for our country’s talent to create their work in their own voice as well as their own language. Without a doubt, supporting films in diverse languages is a vital part of Telefilm’s goal of achieving an inclusive industry.  As a Partner of Choice, Telefilm continues to modernize its programs and processes to be more inclusive to all. A framework to support films in diverse languages is a priority.

While many advancements have been made over the course of the last year to create an environment that is inclusive and representative of all Canadians, we understand that long-term change does not come fast enough. There is still more work to be done.

Language and identity are intertwined. At Telefilm, we are committed to actively working to support our country’s filmmakers in the ways that they need to authentically tell their stories. We believe that a proper framework should be put in place to finance films in diverse languages, taking into account the filmmaker’s chosen voice and being reflective of the richness of Canadian society.

We believe in order to have long-term, sustainable change, a framework is necessary and cannot be done without consultation.

Our current Production Program guidelines support projects that are primarily in English, French or Indigenous languages. I know that inconsistencies involving support for diverse language projects have understandably caused confusion and frustration, and we are working to address this.

Our Diversity & Inclusion Working Group is next scheduled to meet on June 8, and an agenda item for this meeting includes the creation of a Diverse Languages Subcommittee. Once established, this subcommittee will collaborate and gain insight with a variety of voices and perspectives from leaders in our film community.  While these conversations are essential, this process will also involve steps with different levels of government.

Our commitment is to have a framework for films in diverse languages ready for the Fall 2021 in order to welcome projects in all languages under the Production program.

This work continues to be led by the Cultural Portfolio team who will be supported by our new VP, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, once they are onboarded.

As we continue to shape the industry of tomorrow together, I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your unwavering dedication.

Christa Dickenson
Executive Director & CEO
Telefilm Canada