Toronto International Film Festival today revealed that they’ll be spending $3million over the next five years to push gender equality in the North American film industry.
The Festival, which first took place in 1976, has been conscious making steps towards gender equality with their choices of films to show at the festival in recent years with nearly 30% of 2016’s entrants being led by female filmmakers. This new scheme, officially branded as Share Her Journey, will look to further their pledge to female centred movies by funding three-month residency programs for female creators as well as designing classroom resources geared towards assisting those who wish to teach about women and gender in cinema. TIFF is also going to use the fund to finance a speaker series about gender equality and identities in film.
The festival’s artistic director Cameron Bailey had the following to say:
“We acknowledge that gender inequity is systemic in the screen industries, so change has to happen at every level. That includes getting more women into key creative roles. We plan to seek out, develop, and showcase top female talent in the industry through our festival and year-round initiatives. Our mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. One of the most powerful ways to do that is to foreground the perspectives of women.”
The festival is looking to fund this campaign via donations from individuals and corporations, with the first $70,000 worth of donations being matched by Bettie-Ann Heggie of PotashCorp and Anne-Marie Canning, a Toronto based philanthropist.
To “join a movement to empower female storytellers”, please visit the Toronto International Film Festival website.