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National Film Board Commits to 30% Funding for Films by Black Artists and People of Colour

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) says that by March 2025, more than 30 percent of its productions will be directed by filmmakers and artists who self-identify as black and “People of Colour.”

The federal agency said it is delivering on its commitment to “equity, diversity and inclusion commitments,” in an Aug. 31 news release.

The board said that the 30 percent commitment represents the “minimum expected outcome.”

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“The NFB continues to evolve and adapt to Canadian society’s dynamism and diversity,” said the film board. In April 2022, the NFB distributed a self-declaration questionnaire to “respectfully collect data on the community of creators and creative partners.”

The film board said the data gathered will help “those who have been historically underrepresented.”

According to the NCB, the term “Black and People of Colour refers to individuals who are non-white in race and not Indigenous.”

The definition includes, but is not limited to, “those who identify as Black (including Black African, Black Caribbean, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Arab, Afro-Latin), Asian (including West Asian, East Asian, South Asian, South-East Asian, Central Asian, Pacific Islander), Latin American, Middle Eastern, North African, people from the Arabian Peninsula, and individuals who are of biracial or mixed-race backgrounds,” said the NFB.

It said the definition is “inclusive of international Indigenous nations and those who identify as both Black and a Person of Colour.

The NFB released its fall line-up of programming, which includes a Residential Schools channel starting on Sept. 30 and a Representing Gender Equality and Diversity Channel.

“To help mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the NFB’s Residential Schools channel features a powerful selection of films about the tragic impact of residential schools in Canada,” said the NFB.

“Included in this 18-film collection are such classic works as Gil Cardinal’s profoundly personal Foster Child, alongside newer films like Marie Clements’ rousing musical documentary The Road Forward.”

The final week of September will see the film board showcase a channel to mark Gender Equality Week in Canada, broadcasting “a selection of films on the important contributions of women and gender-diverse communities in Canada.”

One of the first showcased shows is “Abortion: Stories from North and South.” Promotion for the show said the film is about “women’s right to safe medical care.”

Another is titled, “Do I have boobs now?” which is a 2017 film about a trans activist who posted topless photos on gender transition while taking hormone replacement therapy drugs.

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