A recap of WIFTV’s submission to the CRTC

 

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Sharon & Susan at the CRTC making submissions on behalf of WIFTV members and supporters.

This is an edited version of an email I sent to WIFTV members and supporters. If you would like to become a WIFTV member, please click here. To subscribe to receive occasional updates like this in your inbox, please click here. 

Barely a week ago, I listened via live stream from my Vancouver office as WIFTV board members and advocacy leads, Sharon McGowan and Susan Brinton, made a presentation to the CRTC in Ottawa on behalf of our members and supporters.

In a nutshell, WIFTV traveled to Ottawa to challenge the Commission’s selective enforcement of the Broadcasting Act. Specifically, section 3.1.d.3, which stipulates that the Canadian broadcasting system should:

“…through its programming and the employment opportunities arising out of its operations, serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children, including equal rights, the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society.”

Despite the above, there has never been a Commission policy to support Canadian women’s aspirations and rights to equal opportunities in the productions triggered by Canadian broadcasters, or in the creative personnel who receive employment through those productions.

This being the case, Sharon and Susan challenged the Commission to do the following:

  • By March 2017, develop, file, and begin implementing a plan to achieve 50/50 gender equity in key creative positions of director, writer and producer across its programs of national interest programming by 2020;
  • Implement accurate metrics that track and compare male and female participation in the key creative roles annually and over the three year period; and
  • Present an evaluation report of the 3-year plan in 2020.

The commissioners responded with genuine interest and concern and, less than 24 hours later, I listened again as, using notes from WIFTV’s submission, they challenged broadcasters’ on the lack of gender equity in the key creative positions on the productions they license. The broadcasters were caught off guard and did not have good answers to these concerns.

Colleagues, this is the first time in decades, if ever, that these issues were raised in license renewal hearings.

Though we do not yet know the outcome of the hearing, given the response our presentation received, WIFTV made an obvious impact at the highest level of policy development in the Canadian film and television industry.

I truly believe that with the momentum of the National Film Board, Telefilm, and the CBC’s recent announcements, we are closer than ever to getting to gender parity in Canadian programming, but we will continue to need voices like WITFV’s at the table.

I urge you to read Sharon and Susan’s submission to the CRTC and, if you are moved as I was, I hope you’ll join me in publicly thanking and congratulating Sharon and Susan on WIFTV’s Facebook or Twitter for their hard work and generosity.

If you have not recently had the chance to, I’d like to invite you to chip in to support this work.  

Our advocacy work, including Sharon and Susan’s work and travel on WIFTV’s behalf has been 100% volunteer-led and funded. These efforts will continue in 2017, but with nominal financial contributions from our members and supporters – people like you – we can increase their frequency and impact. With your support, WIFTV can continue to bring the voices and perspectives of our members to forums as crucial as the Commission is proving to be.

Please chip in what you can here: http://www.womeninfilm.ca/donate.html.

As always, thank you for all the ways you support Women in Film and Television Vancouver and our mission.

By Sarah Kalil, President
Women in Film and Television Vancouver

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WIFTV announces #VIWIFF2016 Festival Awards

The exhilarating week that marked the 11th Annual Vancouver Int’l Women in Film Festival (#VIWIFF2016) kicked off with a bang on International Women’s Day, March 8. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) chose our venue to announce its groundbreaking initiative that 50 per cent of future NFB productions will be directed by women.

The festival week that ensued featured a plethora of films created by women from all over world, and offered numerous opportunities for networking and professional development.

The festival came to a close on Sunday, March 13, with the annual awards gala. Continue reading

NFB Announces Gender Equality Initiative at #VIWIFF2016

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From left: Sharon McGowan, Rina Fraticelli, Claude Joli-Coeur, Karen Day, Susan Brinton

Women in Film + Television Vancouver is proud to have provided the venue for the groundbreaking announcement by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in Vancouver on this International Women’s Day, March 8, 2016.

Coinciding with the start of the 11th Annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson Claude Joli-Coeur announced that at least half of its productions will be directed by women and half of all production spending will be allocated to films directed by women. Continue reading

From Our Dark Side Announces 2016 Winners

DarkSide-website_0000_headerWomen In Film + Television Vancouver’s (WIFTV) is delighted to announce the 2016 From Our Dark Side Genre Concept Competition and Mentorship winners!

The competition closed submissions on January 4th, 2016 with over 150 entries from across the country. Once again, women writers sent a powerful message that there is a large, untapped talent pool in Canada and a desire for more female-driven genre stories on our screens.

“We are very happy to be a part of this innovative initiative,” said Melissa Kajpust, Head of Creative Development for Super Channel. “We strongly support projects that advance the voices of women filmmakers in the industry and genre films are something we embrace on Super Channel, so this competition is a perfect fit.” Continue reading

Gender as Performance: the playful photography and life of Rosamond Norbury

Documentary filmmaker Joella Cabalu has a first look at WIFTV Board member Sharon McGowan’s upcoming documentary Bearded Ladies: the Photography of Rosamond Norbury, which will premiere at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival on August 18th.
***Update: The film will also screen at #VIWIFF2016 on Wednesday March 9th at 3:30 PM***

Rosamond Norbory's

Rosamond Norbory’s “Ismail” (aka past WIFTV board member Barbara Alexandre)

When was the last time you played?

As adults, we play league sports and Settlers of Catan but when was the last time you played “dress-up”? For women who want to dress-up as sexy, sultry, ultrafeminine versions of themselves there’s boudoir photography. And of course, there’s also Halloween – another reason to dress-up as a sexy, sultry, ultrafeminine version of a character or inanimate object (sexy Crayola Crayon, seriously?).

But how about dressing up as a male persona?
That’s not sexy at all for women, but it can be fun and silly! Such whimsy glows from the photography of Rosamond Norbury, the main subject of Sharon McGowan‘s documentary Bearded Ladies. Continue reading

Elizabeth Yake presents environmental Doc Hadwin’s Judgement at Hot Docs

Doug Chapman is Grant Hadwin in Hadwin's Judgement

Doug Chapman is Grant Hadwin in Hadwin’s Judgement

Producer and WIFTV member Elizabeth Yake and Director Sasha Snow enter a controversial and relevant conversation with their documentary Hadwin’s Judgement, which premieres at the 2015 Hot Docs Festival. Continue reading

#VIWIFF2015 Award Winners

Pauline Egan with the Legacy Awards trophy

Pauline Egan with the Legacy Awards trophy

The 2015 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is a wrap! It was a wonderful, five-day event filled with film screenings, workshops, parties and an award show.

Congratulations to all participating festival filmmakers for their magnificent work, many thanks to all sponsors, community partners, media partners, volunteers and organizers for the hard work and the social media shoutouts, which made all the difference!

The following awards were announced on Closing Night, March 8, at the Vancity Theatre. Continue reading

Inaugural From Our Dark Side genre writing competition announces top five winners

DarkSide-websiteVampires, werewolves, zombies, space travel, ghosts and suspense– Oh my! Women know their genre. Women In Film + Television Vancouver’s (WIFTV) inaugural #FromOurDarkSide genre writing competition has received over 250 imaginative film concept submissions written by Canadian women. The national English-language competition seeks to discover the best in Canadian women-driven Genre Film ideas.

“We were blown away by the sheer number of applications from across the country for this competition’s debut. It is exceptional and kudos to all that applied,” says Melissa Kajpust, Head of Development, Super Channel. Continue reading