BANFF festival launches Diversity of Voices Initiative

The program aims to provide mentorship and market-access opportunities for 100 Indigenous, Francophone and female industry professionals.

The BANFF World Media Festival has launched a new program aimed at creating mentorship and market-access opportunities for 100 Indigenous, Francophone and female industry professionals.

The BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, launched Monday (April 9), will provide full registration access to the festival, a market introduction curriculum and networking opportunities to both emerging and established Canadian creators and creative producers. The goal of the program is to allow producers to build relationships and further their industry knowledge in order to get projects greenlit and sold into international territories.

As well, a sub-group of 25 of the program applicants will be chosen to take part in the Diversity of Voices Pitch Program. Participants will receive tailored advice from industry mentors and take pitch meetings with a roster of global buyers at the festival.

“We believe that supporting Canadian cultural and gender diversity goals is vital to sustaining a strong domestic content industry,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, executive director of the Banff World Media Festival, in a statement. “While good programs exist to nurture under-represented creators, this is the first of this magnitude to address the important ‘last-mile’ challenge of commercialization.”

The new initiative is launched with supporting partners the Canada Media Fund, SODEC and the Indigenous Screen Office.

This year marks the 39th annual edition of the festival, which runs from June 10 to 13, 2018 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Submissions for the program will be open on the festival website until April 27. 

 Image: Shutterstock