The National Film Board of Canada is an agency of the federal government that reports to parliament, via the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries, and alternative dramas. Its 13,000+ productions have won over 5,000 awards. The NFB is arguably the biggest player in Canada’s film industry.

This week the NFB has announced a gender parity initiative that will ensure “projects with women directors will represent half of its productions, and half of all the projects it funds.”

​The National Film Board of Canada says its new gender parity initiative is in part a response to reports by Women in View, an organization who works with the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival to diversify Canadian screen media.

“Reports by Women in View, an organization dedicated to achieving greater diversity on and behind the screen in Canadian media, played a central role in The National Film Board’s decision to launch a new gender equity initiative.”

“Women in View have been presenting their Annual On Screen Report on the representations of women and racialized minorities in Canadian media at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival since 2012. Last year, the Festival collaborated with Women in View on the St. John’s Summit On Women In Media, which was the first national gathering to bring together delegates from Canada’s major organizations that represent women in screen media to develop strategies to address gender disparity in Canada’s screen industries.”

Founder and chair of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, Noreen Golfman, says ,”It has been such an honour to have Women in View unveil their reports at the Festival each year, and to partner with us on the Summit.”

“The National Film Board’s response to the reports is extremely encouraging, and we hope that their forward­thinking gender parity initiative will inspire other organizations in the Canadian film industry to make similar commitments.”