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Telefilm Canada announces, in partnership with the industry, gender parity measures for feature film production financing

11 November 2016

Montreal, November 11, 2016—Following its announcement of September 8, 2016—to build, by 2020, a representative and diversified feature film portfolio that better reflects Canada’s population—Telefilm Canada, as a first step, is pleased to reveal its gender parity measures for feature film production financing, developed in collaboration with the industry. Telefilm aims by 2020 to achieve a balanced production portfolio (at all budget levels) that reflects gender parity in each of the key roles of: director, writer and producer.

“We’re extremely proud that, together with the industry, we’re moving to quickly and concretely foster gender parity in Canadian cinema,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director. “Our goal is to level the playing field for Canadian female talent, and we encourage creators to submit projects directed and/or written by women. This can only benefit the industry as whole; increased competition can lead to better quality projects that connect with audiences whose tastes and interests are changing along with the cultural landscape.”

Brabant added: “I want to make it clear that this is just a first step. We will now take the same measured, consultative approach to ensuring our feature film portfolio also better reflects cultural diversity and Indigenous communities. We have already begun work with Indigenous creators, and are taking steps to address the challenges faced by creators from culturally diverse communities. Sustainable long-term solutions are key, not interim initiatives.”

Telefilm’s five-pronged action plan to achieve gender parity is as follows:

  1. Encouraging a diversity of projects: Telefilm will encourage producers to submit projects that reflect the diversity of Canada’s population.
  2. Evaluation of projects: Telefilm will now, for projects of equal quality, favour projects that have a woman as director and/or a woman as writer (as per guidelines). Based on industry recommendations that these two roles require immediate critical attention, gender parity amongst directors and screenwriters was identified as a priority. In September 2017, once Telefilm reviews its survey data (see below), the challenges of women producers will be addressed.
  3. Transparency and reporting: Telefilm will continue to respect government privacy laws. However, in order to regularly report back to the industry, other means of data reporting have been created. Industry representatives have agreed to encourage their members to provide information, via a voluntary questionnaire at the application stage, which will identify key creative members of the team (director, writer, producer). This questionnaire will also address questions regarding cultural diversity amongst key creatives, and if members are from Indigenous communities. Based on the collected information, we will re-evaluate each year what our priorities should be in order to reach our global diversity objective.
  4. Continued targeted promotion of female talent to raise their professional profile and market appeal (ex. St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, Birks Diamond TributeHot Docs’ Don Haig Award Pay It Forward Prize). Telefilm will continue to promote all talent in its general promotional activities.
  5. Continued support of the conversation on gender parity via research and professional development initiatives (ex. Women in the Director’s Chair, Women in Film & Television, Women in View—2 x More, CMPA study Women & Leadership: A study of global policies and programs to advance gender parity in the screen-based industries)

In collaboration with the Canadian industry

In September, Telefilm created a pan-industry working group to identify areas where collective efforts should be placed in priority. Based on this consultation, for 2017, Telefilm’s first goal will be to favour projects directed or written by women, while continuing to support the works of Indigenous creators and members of communities representing Canada’s cultural diversity.

Telefilm would like to thank the members of the working group on their dedication to establishing a clear target and defined measures towards gender parity in feature film production financing.

Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) (also representing CUES (Canadian Unions for Equality Onscreen))
Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM)
Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)
Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)
Directors Guild of Canada (DGC)
Réalisatrices Équitables
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinema (SARTEC)
Union des Artistes (UDA)
Writers Guild of Canada (WGC)
Women in View
Women in Film + Television Vancouver

About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.

Celebrating 50 years in 2017, 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 2013, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at


Media enquiries:
Douglas Chow, Head, Public Relations, Telefilm Canada
(514) 283-0838 ext. 2048 or 1-800-567-0890