TELEFILM CANADA PLEDGES FINANCIAL SUPPORT TOWARDS CREATION OF A BLACK SCREEN OFFICE IN CANADA

Telefilm Canada supports calls for the creation of a Black Screen Office and has committed to investing $100,000 annually.

The action plan comes after criticism on social media from some in the Canadian screen world that Telefilm hasn’t moved quickly enough on its 2016 pledge to reflect more diversity onscreen and enhance diversity initiatives by 2020. ALVARO BARRIENTOS / THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP FILE PHOTO

Telefilm Canada supports calls for the creation of a Black Screen Office and has committed to investing $100,000 annually. The pledge was made on Monday during a meeting with filmmakers from the Black community who have called for the creation of a dedicated bureau.

“Telefilm supports the formation of an institution to expand the reach of stories and works by Black filmmakers,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “The creation of a Black Screen Office will be a concrete step in helping address the imbalances that exist within Canada’s film industry and will work towards dismantling the systemic racism that exists.”

“We commend Telefilm for being the first Canadian agency to contribute to the founding of the Black Screen Office,” said Jennifer Holness, Damon D’Oliveira, Joan Jenkinson, Tonya Williams, Clement Virgo, Charles Officer, Floyd Kane,  and Maya Annik Bedward , members of the Black Screen Office Ad Hoc Group. “This commitment will help to ensure Black screen-based content is made and seen in Canada and around the world. We could not be more thrilled with their support and financial investment!”

“A Black Screen Office in Canada will be another big step in helping create a more balanced and representative film industry in Canada,” added Kathleen Beaugé and E.J. Alon, co-chairs of the Equity and Representation Action Committee at Telefilm Canada. “As we continue the rollout of Telefilm’s Equity and Representation Action Plan, we look forward to continuing our conversations with Black creators.”

Earlier this July, Telefilm Canada released its Equity and Representation Action Plan, which outlines a series of Action Items dedicated to build a more representative film community within Canada for Racialized filmmakers. It builds on previous and ongoing conversations in collaboration with the industry, including an external Diversity and Inclusion working group since March 2019.

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