Top Women Industry Groups applaud Telefilm Canada’s efforts to reach parity

Réalisatrices Équitables (RÉ), Women in Film and Television Canada, (WIFT Canada) and Women in View (WIV) are heartened to see the progress Telefilm Canada has made in working toward gender parity across all of its programs. This is reflected in their newly released year-end financial statement.

The three organizations were also encouraged that the final report includes greater detail and transparency in reporting their numbers as requested by the Gender Parity Working Group.

“We are delighted to see that gender parity measures have resulted in an impressive jump in women directors in the higher budget filmmaking category of 2.5 million dollars and above. This is a significant increase over the last three years from 19% to 42% in 2019-20. As well in this same time period, overall projects with women directors increased to 42% of Telefilm’s complete funding an increase of 14%,” comments Réalisatrices Équitables. “These statistics debunk once and for all the myth stating that there are not enough talented women directors to helm feature film projects, especially at the higher budget level.”

However, in spite of this encouraging progress with women directors, the report reveals there has been a steep decline over the past year in the number of Telefilm funded projects with women producers. The percentage of projects with women producers dropped from 61% from 43%, and the amount of overall funding to projects with women producers dropped from 48% to 32%.

WIFT Canada points out that, “This decline is a concern to us, not only because of the inequity in financial support, but also because producers have the primary access to Telefilm and other funding. It is producers who hold the ultimate copyright and control over a film. Parity in the producer role as well as in the director and screenwriter roles is essential to building a gender balanced industry.”

“We were all hopeful 2020 would be the year we reached overall gender parity in the three lead positions -writer, director and producer - on Telefilm funded projects. The initiatives taken so far are having a positive impact, especially for directors. However, early analysis from our Women in View On Screen Report, which will be delivered in September, shows that Indigenous, Black and women of colour are woefully underrepresented in in all positions. We need to continue to be vigilant, working together to reach our goal of gender parity and equitable representation for all female voices in all leadership positions by 2021,” emphasizes Women in View.

As women make up 50% of every demographic in Canada, the three organizations are eager to see that all women can access the opportunities available within Telefilm Canada. Moving in this direction, the three organizations and their members applaud the Agency’s announcement establishing their new Equity and Representation Action Committee.

Réalisatrices Équitables (RÉ) is a non-profit organization founded in 2007. The organization strives to attain equity for women directors in Québec’s film industry, and to ensure that public funds earmarked for cinema, television and new media are allocated fairly to female film directors.

WIFT Canada is a coalition of the Women in Film and Television (WIFT) chapters across the country including WIFT Atlantic, Femmes du cinema, de la télévision et des médias numériques (FCTMN) Montreal, WIFT Toronto, WIFT Alberta and WIFT Vancouver, as well as Women in View.

Women in View is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening gender and cultural diversity in Canadian media both on screen and behind the scenes through a range of initiatives that seek to generate awareness, promote talent and spark dialogue across the full spectrum of production, policy and artistic arenas.

— Anik Salas, Réalisatrices Équitables

— Sharon McGowan, WIFT Canada

— AB

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