News & Events
Posted on October 25, 2013
2013 Women in View on Screen report shows consistent underrepresentation of women in Canadian film industry
The findings of our 2013 Women in View on Screen report – released this morning at the St. John’s Women’s Film Festival – show that women continue to be under-represented in the key content-determining positions of director, writer and cinematographer in Canadian film. Despite a small increase in numbers from last year’s study, those receiving funding to create content for Canadian media in no way represent the diversity of the Canadian population.
In our second annual Women in View on Screen report, we examined 76 feature-length fiction films and 13 feature-length documentary films receiving production investment from Telefilm Canada in 2012.
Key findings from Women in View on Screen 2013:
- 23% of documentary directors
- 20 % of fiction writers
- 10% of fiction cinematographers
- 6% of documentary cinematographers
and, in their best showing,
- 30% of documentary writers
Racialized women were sharply underrepresented in all categories at only:
- 2 of 78 fiction directors
- 3 of 107 fiction writers
- and were altogether absent from documentary production.
“There is a sharp disconnect between the assumption that women have ‘come a long way’ and the hard reality behind these numbers,” said Fraticelli. “This report is intended to keep women ‘in the frame ‘ and to spark a policy discussion.”
“The underemployment of women cuts across the entire spectrum of media industries and professions,” said Ferne Downey, President ACTRA National.” By launching the Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen initiative this year, ACTRA is stepping up our commitment to keep gender on the agenda. It’s 2013 – is this where we thought we’d be?”
Noreeen Golfman, Founding Director and Chair of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival and Dean of Graduate Studies, Memorial University commented, ” We felt it was important to launch these annual reports at this festival.The lack of diversity behind the camera is more than an industry issue. It affects what we see on screen and that makes it an issue for every media consumer.”
Click here to read the report in its entirety.
Posted on June 7, 2013
Women in Film: Breaking through the Celluloid Ceiling
On June 7, CBC’s The Current featured a segment on women in film with guest speakers Stacy Smith, USC Annenberg and Head Researcher for The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Brave creator Brenda Chapman, and Women in View Executive Director Rina Fraticelli. They discussed the underrepresentation of women on screen and behind the scenes in both the American and Canadian film industries, with insight from Brenda Chapman’s experience in the industry. Recently, Chapman has been very vocal about the sexualization of Brave’s leading lady, Merida, now inducted into the Disney Princess Hall of Fame.
Posted on May 31, 2013
Our first annual report on the status of women in Canadian live action television series has been released.
We will continue to update this page including press coverage on the report.
Click here to read the report in its entirety.
Click here to read Executive Director Rina Fraticelli’s Toronto Star Commentary.
Click here to read Huffington Post coverage.
Click here to read Vancouver Sun article.
Click here to read our CBC coverage.
Posted on May 16, 2013
Higher Learning: Women in View – SEXMONEYMEDIA 2013
Tuesday, June 4 from 2:00pm-3:30pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
350 King St. West
Women are tipping the balance at the box office in both Canada and the US according to recent stats, finally displacing teen boys. So will we see a revolution in content and content creators? Our ever-expanding media landscape should offer the possibility of increased diversity on screen. It makes sense for “product” to reflect the increasingly diversified global audience, yet what’s on offer seems to be more of the same, by the same.
Join us for a lively discussion with a distinguished panel of media leaders. Panelists include Globe and Mail television critic John Doyle; ACTRA National President Ferne Downey; Head of Sundance Productions Laura Michalchyshyn, and Dr. Stacy Smith, USC Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism; Head Researcher, Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media. The discussion will be moderated by Rina Fraticelli, Executive Director of Women in View.
This event is a co-presentation between TIFF Higher Learning and Women in View.
SEXMONEYMEDIA will follow a 10:00 AM press conference to launch “Focus on Women 2013,” the first pan-Canadian report to examine the participation of women in Canada’s independent film, television and digital media production sector.
HOW TO OBTAIN TICKETS: Tickets to this event are free. Please contact Christine Webber firstname.lastname@example.org to book a ticket for the panel or for more information.
Posted on May 6, 2013
NSI Features First is the development launch pad for writer/director/producer teams looking to produce their first or second feature film with strong commercial appeal. The course is led by NSI senior program manager Brandice Vivier.
Karen Powell, partner in Perfect Circle Productions, brings 16+ years of experience to NSI Features First as an executive producer, producer and business affairs executive, working on over 10 treaty co-productions and closing over $145 million in financing. Karen is a member of ACE (ateliers du cinema european) and is a creative leader 2012 through Women In View.
Karen executive produced Short Fat Bald Man, provided production services on Nerds & Monsters and business affairs on recently-released The Colony. Previously she produced Edison & Leo, co-producedThe Timekeeper and Tail Lights Fade, and executive produced NSI Features First project On The Corner.
“I’m excited to join the National Screen Institute’s faculty,” said Karen Powell. “NSI is an extremely worthwhile organization with an excellent reputation for delivering industry training that gets results. It’s also filled with great people and I’m happy to join their ranks.”
“Karen Powell is a powerhouse in the Canadian film world and we are thrilled to welcome her to the NSI Features First team,” said Melissa Kajpust, director of programming at NSI. “We hope with the addition of Karen to our training faculty we can keep successes like the TIFF 2012 premiere of NSI Features First project I Declare War coming.”
All media enquiries
Lauren MacDiarmid, Communications & Programs Coordinator
Tel: 204.957.2999 or email: email@example.com
Posted on April 15, 2013
Creative Leader Ngozi Paul’s significant contribution to representing women on screen:
The 1st Time Project
The 1st Time project is an intimate trans-media initiative that centres around women’s 1st sexual experiences. An interactive website, feature documentary, and live performance piece, the 1stTime Project sparks conversation, crossing cultural, economic and generational boundaries. Offering women’s 1st time stories as an invitation, we welcome women into a real conversation about sex – one we hope they will then be excited to have with their daughters, sons, grandmothers and second cousin’s sister-in-laws.
The project began when director Ngozi Paul interviewed her own mother and grandmother about their 1st times as part of a Toronto International Film Festival talent lab. On camera her grandmother revealed the terrible truth she’d never shared: she had been raped. The conversation that followed was one she wished she’d had with her elders many years earlier. She began interviewing women about their 1st times, and in 2011 fellow team-member Melinda Deines, Brianna Brown and Ngozi Paul produced a bravofact! short on the subject. However, it felt as though they’d only just scratched the surface.
In 2012, Jennifer Shin and Catherine Faas joined the team, and the four of us sat down to brainstorm.
We all felt the power of the project lies in it’s ability to demystify women’s sexuality and to encourage a more open discussion about women and sex. This campaign will provide us with the funds to develop our feature documentary and interactive website.
Support The 1st Time Project through their indiegogo campaign!
Posted on March 1, 2013
Lisa Jackson is an award-winning filmmaker based in Vancouver. In her WIV interview, Jackson discusses filmmakers, filmmaking, and how to create theatricality in today’s media industry.
“I’m interested by the idea that now that we have screens everywhere and are engaging with media all the time, there may be a drive towards genuine experience, something that feels concrete and corporeal.”
Katie: Did you want to just start by telling me a bit about the industry that you work in and how you got there?
Lisa: I’m a filmmaker and I started in documentary. My first short film was Suckerfish. It was a stylized documentary about my relationship with my mother and my Native heritage and it did very well. My second film was a CTV one-hour documentary Reservation Soldiers. I’ve been filmmaking full-time since then, mainly in documentary but I’ve been also getting into fiction in the last two or three years. I’ve always tended towards mixing different genres.
In 2009 I made Savage, a short residential school musical which won a Genie award. It was a “challenge film” commissioned by imagineNATIVE Film Festival as part of the Embargo Collective. Seven international indigenous filmmakers were assigned restrictions by the other members of the group and we each had to make a film that fulfilled all of the requirements of the restrictions.
Katie: So what would an example of one of these restrictions be?
Lisa: I had to do a musical with heavy metal in it, working with at least one trained actor and one non-actor. It had to be heavily set-decorated. And for all of us there was a theme of “patience” and no English allowed.
After Savage I did the Director’s Lab in 2010 at the Canadian Film Centre and made the short film Parkdale there.
I’ve recently completed two films, How a People Live and Snare. The first is a one-hour documentary about the history of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw native band on Vancouver Island, including a forced government relocation from their traditional territories in 1964. In fact, this afternoon I’m going to Port Hardy for the community premiere. We’re submitting to festivals but the first place it’s going to screen is obviously in the community.
Snare is a short performance-based piece. It’s another commission by imagineNATIVE, as part of a project called The Stolen Sisters Digital Initiative, in partnership with Amnesty International, and it addresses the issue of violence against aboriginal women.
I’m also writing a fiction feature based on true events at a residential school in Ontario in the late 1940s. Most films that I work on are about aboriginal subjects, but not all of them. Parkdale, the one I did at CFC, is about foster kids in Toronto’s inner city and there are no native characters.
Katie: It sounds like you’ve been able to stay very busy directing.
Katie: So what made you decide to apply to the Creative Leaders program?
Lisa: I think this drive towards more theatrical work just sort of got hold of me and I’ve got a long-form idea I’m just developing. If you look at my recent short films, I did a music video Pow.Wow.Wow that was extremely theatrical, Snare is theatrical, and Savage is a musical.
With this program, although a lot of the push is towards how to embrace the digital realm and pushing forward into new areas that way, in my case, I’m pushing myself by asking can I bring theatricality and spectacle into my films? Which is kind of ironic given that I come from a documentary background and a lot of people who haven’t seen my work think of my films as being gritty, hard-luck stories. But anyone who’s seen my films knows that there has always been a lot of playfulness – animation and theatrical elements. So I thought Kim Collier was the perfect person to work with because she’s been a visionary theatre director who’s incorporated so much film into her theatre work. She’s brought film into the theatre and I want to bring theatre into film. And her way of thinking about story structure is really innovative—she’s been able to work collaboratively with people (such as choreographer Crystal Pite) to make a stage experience that’s larger than life.
“As part of the Creative Leaders program I was also able to see the ground-breaking opera Einstein on the Beach by Robert Wilson and Phillip Glass. Talk about non-linear narrative. It’s just a radical re-envisioning of the role of music, sound, mise-en-scene, dance and the use of tonal shifts in subtle ways. Impossible to describe but it was a real eye-opener for me.”
The project that I have in mind would be more theatrical but still a film so I wanted to learn about lighting and costumes and stagecraft. The other thing about the Creative Leaders is that it’s gotten me thinking—especially in the group discussions we’ve had—about where media is going now? And I’m interested by the idea that now that we have screens everywhere and are engaging with media all the time, there may be a drive towards genuine experience, something that feels concrete and corporeal.
Why do people love Cirque du Soleil so much? Because it’s physical and real. And there’s the spectacle too, which is Cirque, which is Game of Thrones. The idea of bringing a spectacle, where the design and the visual aspect of it is larger than life in this theatrical kind of world. And rather than thinking about how to make something that plays on a tiny screen where people can be doing something else at the same time, to kind of go the other direction, I’m thinking about how to create an encompassing experience.
Katie: How do you make people stop?
Lisa: Yeah, and I think even though it’s hard to get people to do it, they crave it. That’s where my idea for Creative Leaders came from and I think I’m a bit unusual in that a lot of people are looking at business models and distribution whereas I’m working creatively on something that might seemingly appear to go backwards in time.
Katie: But it’s a new model of an art form.
Katie: How has your relationship with Kim been developing?
Lisa: It’s good. I got to sit in on part of the script development process for a collaboration she’s doing with Chris Haddock (Boardwalk Empire, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Intelligence) and visual artist Stan Douglas. They’re collaborating on a piece that is sort of filmed theatre with complex CG backgrounds, very non-traditional. And when she put on Tear the Curtain in Toronto, I sat in on the prep week, to watch the mechanics of how putting on a show works.
As part of the Creative Leaders program I was also able to see the ground-breaking opera Einstein on the Beach by Robert Wilson and Phillip Glass. Talk about non-linear narrative. It’s just a radical re-envisioning of the role of music, sound, mise-en-scene, dance and the use of tonal shifts in subtle ways. Impossible to describe but it was a real eye-opener for me.
Kim and I have had conversations about what is non-linear narrative and what I want to do moving forward is host an informal gathering of people that she and that I know from different areas of the arts to talk about this idea of alternative structures for stories.
“It’s interesting, I know a lot of Native women directors and I don’t know as many non-Native women who direct. I find in the Native film community, women directors are way more represented as a proportion of the directing pool.”
Katie: Can you tell me about a woman in your industry that you think is doing really interesting work?
Lisa: I’m a big fan of Jennifer Baichwal’s intelligent and visually-striking films. She makes “idea” films—which often we think of as just talking heads—but she brings a real cinematic eye to it. And she takes on big subjects in such a sure-handed and creative way.
Someone who is doing some interesting work right now is Danis Goulet who is a Native filmmaker in Toronto. She’s had two shorts that have gone to TIFF in the last two or three years. And what I find interesting about her films is that she’s working with non-actors telling very authentic stories from native communities. Her style of storytelling is very upfront – it feels almost like documentary but there’s a lot of craft and subtlety.
It’s hard to think of women directors and you’re reminding me that there really aren’t that many. It’s interesting, I know a lot of Native women directors and I don’t know as many non-Native women who direct. I find in the Native film community, women directors are way more represented as a proportion of the directing pool.