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Telefilm Canada releases latest gender parity statistics for funded feature film productions

22 July 2020

Over the past three years, Telefilm has seen an ongoing and significant increase in overall funding for women creators

Montréal, July 23, 2020 – Telefilm Canada has released the results of its gender-parity initiatives for projects funded during the 2019-20 fiscal year. The statistics show continued growth in Telefilm funding for productions directed or written by women, and all three key roles have reached the parity zone (40%+) in terms of number of films. The figures show that 47% of Telefilm-supported projects had at least two women in a key role, surpassing the previous year’s result of 41%.

The largest increase is seen in support for directors, rising from 29% to 42% of total funding. A significant improvement is also seen in women-helmed projects with budgets exceeding $2.5 million, in terms of both project volume (41%) and funds invested (42%).

For the complete figures, click here.


In 2016, with the industry’s collaboration and support, Telefilm Canada set itself the goal of building a more representative and diversified feature film portfolio that better reflects Canada’s population. With respect to parity, the goal was to achieve, within three years, a balanced production portfolio (at all budget levels) that reflects gender parity in each of the key roles of director, screenwriter and producer. A working group made up of industry members advised Telefilm and enabled the implementation of a joint action plan to achieve this objective.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed the ability of our partners and clients, as well as ourselves to create a meaningful impact on the Canadian film industry,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “The industry’s critical collaboration, combined with our concerted efforts, has resulted in a marked increase in the funding of projects led by women, notably bigger-budget films. These figures are encouraging and demonstrate that we are headed in the right direction, albeit the current pandemic highlights the fragility of such results. Moreover, women from underrepresented communities still face barriers to access financing. Consequently, our work is far from over and we must concentrate our efforts to build inclusiveness in order to ensure truly lasting change.”

An important aspect of the action plan is the ongoing targeted promotion that elevates the profile of female talent and generates market interest. Telefilm has long invested in initiatives designed to raise the visibility of women and their projects in the Canadian and international marketplaces. Telefilm has invested in 13 industry partnerships geared toward female filmmakers, including panels and workshops with organizations such as Women in Animation, Women in View, Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC), St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival and Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques (FCTMN) and targeted programs as Creators of Colour Incubator Program of Caribbean Tales. Telefilm also collaborates internationally on global initiatives such as the Australia-lead Attagirl lab, as well as events at festivals like the ACTION FOR CHANGE – Reframe and Activate New Narratives panel Cannes, and co-hosting a Canada/France networking event at MIPCOM.

Based on the success of the gender-parity process, a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group was formed to work with the industry to achieve greater representation in Telefilm’s production portfolio. The group held its first meeting in March. As well, an Indigenous Working Group has been active since 2017. Telefilm recently unveiled its Equity and Representation Action Plan reinforcing its commitment to an equitable screen-based industry.

COVID-19 emergency fund
Telefilm Canada is responsible for allocating a portion of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for cultural, heritage and sport organizations. Working with the federal government, Telefilm recognized the need to provide added support to clients that have faced, and continue to face, systemic obstacles to funding access and that, historically, have been disadvantaged. Companies majority-owned by women were among the clients eligible for this additional assistance.

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 coproduction treaties to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund accepts private donations which principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at


Media enquiries:

Brian Mullen
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market
Telefilm Canada