Netflix signs on to program that supports emerging Black filmmakers in Canada

Click to play video: 'The National Black Arts Fund'
The National Black Arts Fund
A major crowdfunding campaign has just launched to benefit Black Canadian festivals and arts initiatives. – Jul 29, 2020

More diverse voices will be heard across Canada thanks to a new cross-country partnership to promote Black filmmakers.

Netflix has partnered with the Fabienne Colas Foundation to support the Being Black in Canada program, which benefits Black filmmakers through mentorship and training.

The sponsorship announcement, made earlier this week, will see the world’s leading streaming service collaborate with National Bank and Canada Media Fund to expand this year’s program, which includes participants from Montreal, Toronto and Halifax, to grow to embrace filmmakers in Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver over the next two years.

READ MORE: Something for everyone at 4th Annual Halifax Black Film Festival

“Creating more stories that generate empathy and understanding of the Black experience starts with providing more opportunities for Black creators to hone their storytelling craft,” says Netflix Canada director of public policy, Stéphane Cardin.

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“Being Black in Canada provides a meaningful platform for the development of young Black artists in Canada and Netflix is proud to support the expansion of this program.”

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Being Black in Canada is an initiative created in 2014 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation to address the lack of diversity on and off-screen. It supports Canadian filmmakers aged 18 to 30 from Black communities by helping them create documentaries for national Black film festivals, including the annual Halifax Black Film Festival, sponsored by Global News.

Emerging filmmakers in the program get first-hand training on film production from established industry professionals and program alumni receve ongoing professional development.

The new partnership will support a total of 70 new filmmakers and 55 alumni in 2021 and 2022.

In an interview with Global News during the 2018 Halifax Black Film Festival, Fabienne Colas, president and CEO of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, said she hopes an environment of inclusivity, diversity and togetherness will be fostered and grow through programs like Being Black in Canada and Black film festivals.

“This is a time to discover Black history and Black stories,” she said. “But Black history and Black stories are part of the human story as well. I’m hoping we’ll have more white people, brown people, yellow people, and Black people coming to this festival and we can experience those films together.”

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READ MORE: Fabienne Colas talks diversity as Montreal’s strength and her hope for the Haitian community

For more information on Being Black in Canada, visit the Fabienne Colas Foundation website.

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