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Canadian industry pushes for more gender equality in film

Montreal by night Telefilm Canada is to implement the first step in its drive to ensure feature film financing better reflects gender parity.

The federal cultural agency had previously announced its commitment to building – by 2020 - a diversified feature film portfolio that better reflects the country’s population with a balanced production portfolio at all budget levels. A particular focus would be placed on the roles of director, writer and producer. This comes after close consultation with the local industry.

Telefilm Canada is actively encouraging creators to submit projects directed and/or written by women; for projects of equal quality, those with a female director and/or writer will be favoured. Further down the line it is likely similar will apply to those with projects produced by women too. 

This is one of five points of action that the organisation plans to adopt. Others include the continued targeted promotion of female talent to raise their professional profile; the collection of information via a voluntary questionnaire to identify key creative members of production teams at application stage and further support of the ongoing debate surrounding gender parity via development initiatives. 

Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s executive director, said of the plans: “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.”

Telefilm has been operating for nearly fifty years and administers the programmes of the Canada Media Fund as well as supporting creative talent through funding and promotional schemes. 

For more on filming in Canada, head over to our production guide