Breaking Through Barriers to Equity in Canadian Film
Super-excited to share that I was awarded a $5,000 SRCA grant to collaborate with Breakthroughs Film Festival (BFF) to reduce gender inequity in the Canadian film industry. I’ll be applying my expertise to supervise a team of creative leaders who will tackle gender inequity in Canadian film.
BFF is committed to supporting emerging female directors through its annual film festival, grants, and professional development programming. The Sheridan-BFF collaboration seeks to find ways for the non-profit to expand its vision and resources to make an even greater impact on the Canadian and global film scenes.
Inequity in Canadian Film
Gender inequity is the most important crisis facing the Canadian film industry. #MeToo exposed widespread sexual harassment and exploitation. Similarly, a 2017 Canadian Media Producers Association study highlighted an alarmingly low-percentage of women in leadership positions. Their survey of 561 women working in Canadian film identified three barriers:
- pay inequity,
- not being recognized for accomplishments
- difficulty in finding financing
Students in Sheridan’s Bachelor of Film and Television program inspired the project. Several senior students created impressive projects that raised awareness about inequity in Canadian film; as graduating students, they were concerned there were few opportunities for young women regardless of their training, skill, and creativity. After attending a BFF fundraiser, I saw a pathway for Sheridan students to engage with a broader audience and become creative leaders in their industry.
The $5,000 budget is entirely devoted to training and resourcing Sheridan students, so they can mobilize their talents to make a significant impact on Canadian film. I’ll be training three students to facilitate the generation of the new strategic direction. They’ll apply creative problem solving processes during meetings with the BFF board of directors to craft a new, ambitious vision for the non-profit. The goal is not only to enhance BFF’s ability to support emerging female filmmakers but also to introduce the next generation of creative leaders to the Canadian film industry.
I’d like to thank Sheridan and the members of SGG Committee for recommending the project for funding; and a special thank you to my community partner, Breakthroughs Film Festival, for opening up this fantastic opportunity for Sheridan students and, more broadly, Canadian film.
Planning begins in May 2018 and the project will ramp-up after BFF’s film festival on June 8-9, 2018. So, please stay tuned to meet the three outstanding students who will contribute to the project and for updates over the next few months.