Playback stands in solidarity

Playback stands in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities and all people of colour.
BlackoutTuesday

Playback stands in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities and all people of colour.

As a publication covering film, TV and digital content, we are fortunate to have a platform to address the wider community involved in the business of Canadian production. Through our online and print publications and events, we strive to advocate for diversity and inclusion across all parts of the Canadian screen-based community.

We understand that our efforts are not enough though. We endeavour and vow to improve, not just today, or this week, or for the next few months, but on an ongoing basis. As a part of the media community in Canada, we realize we must work harder to be part of the solution, and we encourage all members of our community to use their voices to help effect enduring change.

Reports have shown repeatedly that Canada’s screen-based industry has a long way to go to give equal opportunity to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) creators. For example, a report from Women in View in 2019 showed that women of colour represented less than 1% of TV writing roles and 5% of directing roles between 2014 and 2017. This is not the fault of any one institution or entity, but the result of a system that continually disadvantages BIPOC creators and voices.

In as many ways as we can, we want Playback to be a vehicle to boost and showcase underrepresented voices. Voices whose ideas, stories and vision are all too often overlooked, passed over or never make it to the screen. With that in mind, we’d like your help in uncovering these talents and ask you to get in touch with us (email jp.pinto@brunico.com).

There are a number of organizations within the Canadian film and TV industry that have already been putting in the work to support BIPOC filmmakers. We’ve named a few of them below. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we encourage you to reach out with the names of other Canadian organizations that support and showcase BIPOC creators and perspectives.

Organizations:

BIPOC TV & Film was founded by writer/director Nathalie Younglai in 2012 to help provide opportunities for the BIPOC community and increase representation in Canadian media both in front of and behind the camera. It hosts panels, Q&A sessions, workshops and networking events that are targeted to BIPOC, and created the website Film in Colour, which helps producers find BIPOC talent in Canada.

The Indigenous Screen Office was created in 2017 to support the growth of Indigenous voices in Canada’s screen-based industry and is led by Jesse Wente. Its mission is to “support and develop Indigenous screen storytellers and Indigenous stories on screens and increase representation of Indigenous peoples throughout the screen industries.”

Toronto’s POV 3rd Street, founded in 2007, is dedicated to helping marginalized youth break into the film industry through training programs and job placements. According to POV, 62% of its graduates are still active within the screen-based industry and its program has resulted in 70 full-time jobs.

Wapikoni Mobile is a traveling studio that gives Indigenous youth in remote communities access to film equipment, along with the training to create shorts and record music. Approximately 70 short films and 30 musical recordings are created each year with some going on to earn awards at national and international film festivals.

The Black Youth! Pathway 2 Industry (BYP2I) is a three-year initiative that gives Black youth access to the film industry on-site training with film department leads, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities. It is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Social Services.

Festivals:

The Toronto Black Film Festival and Montreal Black Film Festival, created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF), run annually to showcase the work of local and international Black filmmakers. The festival’s work with the FCF to provide mentorship opportunities and grant programs for young artists.

The Reelworld Film Festival was launched by Tonya Williams in 2001, along with the  Reelworld Foundation in 2002. Reelworld showcases films from Indigenous and racially diverse filmmakers and provides professional development opportunities, as well as being a partner of Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program.

As the world’s largest Indigenous film festival, imagineNATIVE has worked for 20 years to promote the voices of the world’s Indigenous population in both film, TV and digital media. Its work includes professional development workshops and panels and education packages for secondary schools.