Continuing its commitment to promote gender equity throughout all aspects of the film industry, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) recently launched of the second year of the planned five-year Share Her Journey campaign. Through both corporate and private donations, a fundraising goal of $1 million has been set for 2018, adding to the $1.3 million already raised.
Begun in July 2017, Share Her Journey’s primary objective is championing the inclusion, increased participation and promotion of women in all aspects of the film sector, from the technical disciplines, to the creators behind the camera, in front of the camera, writers, producers and film-based entrepreneurs.
According to the TIFF website Share Her Journey “will prioritize gender parity with a focus on mentorship, skills development, media literacy, and activity for young people.”
Money raised through the campaign will be poured back into special programs, speakers, promotional activities, and practical support to help women creative innovative, insightful and important works of cinema.
“2017 was a landmark year for women in film,” said maxine bailey, TIFF’s vice-president of advancement in a press release.
“Discussions around gender parity were front and centre of the news cycle, and the important issues raised still ripple around the world. Thanks to the generosity of more than 1,000 individuals, Share Her Journey, which launched in July last year, continues to make a different on a very practical level for female creators.”
As part of the 2018 campaign launch, TIFF announced an impressive collection of artists who will fulfill the role of official Ambassadors for the Share Her Journey program. They included award-winning writer/director Amma Assante, writer/director Molly McGlynn, actor/producer Shohreh Aghdashloo, actor Ellen Wong, actor/producer Jennifer Podemski and writer/director Joyce Wong. Part of their role is to encourage solidarity between all women working within the screen industry.
The RBC Foundation has also pledged $450,000 to be dedicated to the RBC Female Creator Initiative, which supports professional development opportunities for women in the creative sectors. The funds will go towards fostering skills development, mentorship and year-round networking opportunities as well as funding for the new TIFF Producer Accelerator Programme, enhancing female participation in the TIFF Filmmaker Lab and increasing access to TIFF Industry programming.
Canadian writer Nikki Salz was also confirmed as the inaugural Micki Moore Resident for her feature comedy screenplay Work It. The Residency was created through the Share Her Journey campaign to support female screenwriters telling Canadian stories, and is supported by Moore, a noted broadcaster, film journalist and actor.
In the near future TIFF will be announcing the Share Her Journey Moment for the 2018 edition of the festival.
The Toronto International Film Festival is considered to be one of the largest film festivals in the world, attracting nearly half a million patrons. It was created in 1976, and now rivals Cannes for the selection of high-profile films, celebrity interaction and industry buzz it creates. The 2018 edition runs from Sept. 6 to 16 at venues throughout Toronto’s entertainment district.
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