Telefilm Canada supports career development of Black women in film
Initiatives from organizations across Canada reach Black women creators at all career levels
Through its Promotion Program, Telefilm Canada is enhancing the career development of Black women at various experience levels and roles within the industry. It is supporting a dynamic range of workshops, trainings, and mentorship programs in both English and French. This direct support will help emerging and experienced Black women further their careers across Canada’s audiovisual industry.
“To increase the number of projects submitted to our pipeline, greater attention needs to be given to advancing Black women in Canadian film and television,” said Cathy Wong, Vice President, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Official Languages, Telefilm Canada. “By working with organizations across the country, we can help provide enhanced support to Black women at all career levels and position them for greater success within the industry. Mentorship, apprenticeship, and access are all essential components to making this happen.”
A panel discussion featuring each of the organizations’ leadership will be hosted by Telefilm on Wednesday, March 23 at 1:00 pm (EST). Panelists will discuss challenges that Black women are facing in the industry, and how their organizations are working to support them. Registration is free. Those interested in attending can register here.
Initiatives receiving financial support from Telefilm Canada:
- Black Screen Office’s BSO – DGC Black Women Directors Accelerator Program offers an opportunity for producers, broadcasters and experienced Black women directors to establish successful professional partnerships that sustainably diversify the film and television industry. The Accelerator offers training and mentoring to five experienced Black women directors culminating in the opportunity to direct an episodic TV show. Through this initiative, the BSO and the Directors Guild of Canada are introducing productions to the talent pool of Black women directors across Canada and helping them access that important first episode of a scripted series.
- Black Women Film! Canada’s M/othering in the Industry Symposium provides a cohort of Black women identified people who identify as m/others through a specialized Black-only residency, with master classes and mentored support network, alongside a public-facing symposium. Participants and the industry were given the opportunity to connect with funders, producers, broadcasters, production companies and future collaborators while helping to shift, celebrate and improve the current landscape of our industry to be more inclusive of the needs of m/others and specifically Black women.
- Emerging Lens Film Festival’s Breaking Through the Screens for African Canadians (Black Crew Matters) is a 300-hour film crew training mentorship program for African Canadians. Participants will be paid a living wage, as well as travel and childcare expenses, then move onto a five-week paid internship creating and producing original content that will be licensed on Light House GO streaming service. Past participants have completed their internship on Diggstown (Freddie Films) and Working While Black documentary (Akuna Studios).
- I.M.P.A.C.T.’s Empowering Black and Racialized Women in the Entertainment Industry –Reach and Teach Symposium, will be included in the three-day Foundational Building Conference. The Symposium is focused and created for those who identify as female of Afro-descent, Afro-Indigenous descent and who identify as Black and Racialized women students and alumnae of Quebec universities and colleges. It will feature top industry creatives from Quebec in a series of interactive sessions. The full day Symposium will celebrate Canadian Black Women Making History Now and will consist of webinars and panel discussions, live and in-person. The Foundational Building Conference will close with I.M.P.A.C.T.’s two-day summit “Magnify CommUNITY SUMMIT”. The event will deepen I.M.P.A.C.T.’s commitment to celebrating culture, as week as championing and advocating for proper representation by allowing students to learn from conversations and inspirational messages from notable talent and changemakers in the entertainment business.
- Producer training for emerging professionals from Vues d’Afrique, is a one-day intensive program for young professionals from African and Creole communities to facilitate their integration into the audiovisual industry. The session provides an overview of Quebec’s audiovisual ecosystem, addressing specific aspects such as the producer-director relationship. Case studies of documentaries, animation, fiction and web series are also presented. Links are being developed with the Quebec Film and Television Council (QFTC) to highlight the diversity of Afro-descendants working in front of and behind the camera, including the diversity of roles within the profession. Gender parity has always been a basis of Vues d’Afrique’s priorities.
Telefilm will highlight all projects receiving support from the Promotion Program later this spring.
About Telefilm Canada
As a Partner of Choice, Telefilm Canada is a Crown corporation dedicated to the success of Canada’s audiovisual industry, fostering access and excellence by delivering programs that support cultural resonance and audience engagement. With a lens of equity, inclusivity and sustainability, Telefilm bolsters dynamic companies and a range of 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 raises private donations which principally support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Telefilm_Canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada.
Advisor, Public Relations