Count on filmmakers from underrepresented communities to extend their own rare opportunity behind the camera into an opportunity to elevate others from marginalized communities.
Filmmaker Amar Wala and directing duo Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn, all rising talents in their own right, have introduced paid shadowing opportunities on their recent productions to lend a helping hand to the next generation of filmmakers.
Wala is a Scarborough-raised director working alongside Chelsea McMullan on CBC’s In The Making, a documentary series that profiles Canadian artists. Speaking to NOW, Wala describes how the show allows him to touch on issues such as race and identity through the work of other artists.
He in turn spearheaded a directing program on In The Making’s second season to nurture BIPOC filmmakers who remain vastly underrepresented in Canadian television roles behind the camera. With funds secured from CBC, Finch Media, his own company Scarborough Pictures and more contributors, the program provided paid shadowing opportunities for filmmakers Sherien Barsoum and Isa Benn. They’re currently working alongside Wala and McMullan on a single episode each.