A new initiative launched by Women in View and the Directors Guild of Canada aims to double the number of women directing scripted TV in Canada. Their timeline is ambitious — the hope is to bring the current number of female-helmed shows from 17% to 35% over two years.
The 2xMore project was announced at the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) Prime Time luncheon last week.
Our neighbors to the north are generally considered more progressive when it comes to social issues, but as the current stats attest to, there’s much work to be done when it comes to gender equality behind the scenes on Canada’s small screen. (The same can be said of the nation’s big screen. As we previously reported, Telefilm, Canada’s tax-payer funded federal cultural agency, invested in 91 feature-length films in the 2013-14 fiscal year. Women represented only 17% of directors, 22% of writers and 12% of cinematographers.)
"My experience is that women get trained, men get hired. We’re trying to change that," said Rina Fraticelli, executive director of Women in View.
2xMore tested the program with Sinking Ship Entertainment, which consequently hired three women directors for "Odd Squad," their live-action kid-centric series.
Playback writes, "Fraticelli described the program with Sinking Ship as similar to a directors lab, with a female director shadowing a director for three of the four episodes in a four-episode shooting block, then directing the fourth episode herself."
Now 2xMore will work with other production companies to enact similar programs.
The advisory board for the project includes Phyllis Yaffe (Board Chair, Cineplex), Heather Conway (CBC) and Val Creighton (Canada Media Fund).