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National Film Board Of Canada to give half of its funding to female directors

Kathryn Bigelow (Photo: Getty Images)

Between the gender pay gap for actors and the obstacles female directors face, the evidence of Hollywood’s institutional sexism is mounting. And Canada has something to say about it: The National Film Board Of Canada has announced that at least half of its productions will be directed by women, and half of its funding will go toward films directed by women. The plan will be rolled out over the next three years, and the board will remain completely transparent in its budgetary allocations by making all production spending information publicly available online. For the current fiscal year, 43.4 percent of the board’s production spending will go toward projects directed by women, and 43.5 percent will go toward projects directed by men. Additionally, 11.3 percent of the board’s production spending will go toward projects directed by mixed teams, and 1.8 percent hasn‘t been allocated yet.

The announcement was made at a panel at the Vancouver International Women In Film Festival, where National Film Board chairperson and film commissioner Claude Joli-Coeur said that the board “has always taken a leadership role in women’s filmmaking.” The board’s makeup reflects that commitment: 55 percent of the board’s producers and executive producers are women, and 66 percent of the upper management positions are filled by women. The NFB funds a lot of films directed by women every year, but Joli-Coeur acknowledged that numbers can fluctuate if no firm measures are put into place. “There have been good years and lean years for women’s filmmaking at the NFB. No more,” Joli-Coeur said. “Today, I’m making a firm, ongoing commitment to full gender parity, which I hope will help to lead the way for the industry as a whole.” Good work, Canada!


[via Cartoon Brew]

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