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Telefilm Canada releases latest gender parity statistics for funded film productions

21 July 2021

Telefilm Canada has released the results of its gender-parity initiatives for projects funded during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The statistics show that parity (50%) was achieved for all three key roles (director, screenwriter and producer) in terms of number of films financed, and that the parity zone (40%+) was reached for the percentage of funding of all three key roles. In addition, 70% of the projects supported have at least one woman in a key role, which is comparable to the average over the last three years. Projects having at least two women in a key role rose to 54%, exceeding last year’s result of 47%.

Complete figures and analysis are available on Telefilm’s website.

“We are proud of the progress that has been made to date, but it doesn’t stop here. There is still a great deal of work to be done to further support and elevate female and non-binary filmmakers from Indigenous, Black, and Racialized backgrounds,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director & CEO of Telefilm Canada. “A key factor in making this happen was the collaboration and support of our industry partners. We also recently shared the data collected for our inaugural Development Stream for Racialized Persons. It gives us a more detailed portrait of our project pipeline and helps us identify the improvement needed in sourcing and supporting projects from Black women and Women of Colour. With greater enhancements to our data collection methods and intersectionality as a priority, we will be able to focus on more targeted results to guide us going forward.”

“We at Réalisatrices Équitables are pleased to continue working in partnership with Telefilm on the priority issue of parity,” said Anik Salas, President of Réalisatrice Équitables. “Having access to accurate statistics is vital to tracking the evolution of progress and targeting future actions. Telefilm’s transparent, detailed reporting helps us better identify the challenges, such as inclusion. There are still too few films directed by Indigenous and culturally diverse women. We must pursue our efforts to ensure that mindsets are permanently changed, and that the rich spectrum of creativity that exists in our society is represented on our screens. Because parity is not just a matter of gender, it’s a question of fair representation.”

Working Group
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 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 provided feedback to Telefilm and facilitated the implementation of a joint action plan to achieve this objective.

Gender Parity Action Plan
The Five-point action plan also involves ongoing targeted promotion of talent that elevates the profile of female talent to generate market interest and audience awareness. 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 19 industry partnerships geared toward female filmmakers, including panels and workshops with organizations such as Black Women Film!, Women in View, Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC), St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques (FCTMN), Attagurl Film Lab, CineFAM: Women of Colour and Creators Worldwide, Women Making Waves, Dames des vues and WIFT – Vancouver, Toronto, Atlantic and Alberta.

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.



Media contact:

Joyce Richards
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market
Telefilm Canada