New initiative aims to double number of women directing TV

The new program from Women in View and the Directors Guild of Canada is looking to increase the percentage of scripted TV shows directed by women from 17% to 35% within two years.
Mars

Women in View and the Directors Guild of Canada have announced plans to launch an initiative to double the number of women directing scripted TV in Canada within two years.

The project, entitled 2xmore, was unveiled at a CMPA Prime Time luncheon on Thursday and sets out to increase the percentage of scripted television shows directed by women from 17% (according to an On Screen study released in October by Women in View) to 35% over two years.

“My experience is that women get trained, men get hired. We’re trying to change that,” Rina Fraticelli, executive director of Women in View told Playback Daily.

Prior to the announcement Thursday, Women in View had tested the program with Sinking Ship Entertainment, which hired three women directors for its live-action kids series Odd Squad as a result. Fraticelli described the program with Sinking Ship as similar to a directors lab, with a female director shadowing a director for three of the four episodes in a four-episode shooting block, then directing the fourth episode herself. The program will now work with other production companies to establish a similar program.

The 2xMore program is a collaboration between between Women in View and the Directors Guild of Canada, in partnership with CBC, Bell Media, the Canadian Media Production Association, Creative BC and Telefilm.

The advisory group for the project consists of Gigi Boyd (Canadian Media Producers Association), Corrie Coe (Bell Media); Heather Conway (CBC); Val Creighton (Canada Media Fund); Christina Jennings (Shaftesbury); JJ Johnson (Sinking Ship Productions); Claude Joli-Coeur (Government Film Commissioner); Frank Siracusa (Whizbang Productions); Tim Southam (Directors Guild of Canada); Mimi Wolch (FilmOntario) and Phyllis Yaffe (Board Chair, Cineplex).

Photo: Director Mars Horodyski, who participated in a pilot version of the 2xMore program, on set at Sinking Ship Entertainment.