Black Screen Office Launches Nationwide Consultation to Develop Best Practices for Creating Authentic and Inclusive Content with Underrepresented Groups in Partnership with Telefilm Canada

The Black Screen Office (BSO), in partnership with Telefilm Canada and with the assistance of the Bell Fund, are pleased to announce a national consultation called ‘Being Seen: A Directive for Authentic and Inclusive Content,’ focused on the representation of Black, People of Colour, LGBTQ2+ and Persons with Disabilities in the screen-based sectors.  The consultation will engage with underrepresented communities to determine how they want to be seen and represented and will then provide a set of Directives to the industry.

“The goal is to galvanize the screen industry so that all creators can feel supported to do their best work and audiences can see themselves reflected and hear their stories told,” says Joan Jenkinson, BSO Executive Director. The Directives are an important step towards that goal and will provide creators, producers, broadcasters and funders with high level data to create, evaluate and support authentic and respectful screen-based content that reflects and includes underrepresented voices.

The consultation will be conducted through virtual focus groups and one-on-one interviews with representatives of the industry and the general public who are members of the target communities. They will be conducted in English and French and will consider intersectionality and regional representation. The Indigenous communities are not part of the consultation as they have developed the ‘On-Screen Pathways and Protocols’ guide to address their needs.

“Telefilm Canada is firmly committed to the development of an equitable and representative screen sector,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director and CEO of Telefilm Canada. “We believe that ‘Being Seen’ will be an essential tool towards achieving that goal. The industry is ready to see these stories told, and to support them with respect and openness.”

While there are many issues to address, ‘Being Seen’ will advise members of the industry about how they can work with communities other than their own, work with culturally sensitive content, identify when a story is theirs to tell and create content that avoids stereotypes.

The work on the directive will be helmed by Lead Researcher, Kelly Lynne Ashton together with a team of researchers and interns. Consultations will take place from May to September 2021. The team will work with an Editorial Committee, who will provide guidance throughout the research.  Both the Research Team and the Editorial Committee have been staffed with representation from the targeted communities with a focus on intersectionality.

About Black Screen Office
Black Screen Office (BSO), a not-for-profit organization, offers support to the Black community to build their careers, strengthen their networks, and share their stories. Serving as a unified front for Black Canadians working within screen industries, BSO creates conditions for long-term success by addressing racial equality and inclusivity. Through advocacy, research, and career development programming, BSO will positively impact Canada’s screen sector through its leadership, global awareness and growth as a national organization.

About Telefilm Canada 
Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund raises private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada.

 

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Media contact: 

Kelly Lynne Ashton
Lead Researcher
647-273-6906
klashton@rogers.com

Joan Jenkinson
Executive Director, BSO-BEN
416-917-8291
joan@bso-ben.ca

Joyce Richards
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market, Téléfilm Canada
647-475-4903
joyce.richards@telefilm.ca