Starting this February, 50% of the funds awarded through Canada’s BravoFACT and BravoFACTUAL funding programs will go towards female-led film projects.
The change, made in perpetuity, is meant to help foster up-and-coming female filmmakers in Canada. In order to qualify as female-led, a submission must have a director or producer attached who is a woman. In addition, every BravoFACT and BravoFACTUAL jury in 2015 will include a female filmmaker as a guest juror.
Under this initiative, writer/director Amy Jo Johnson (Flashpoint) will serve as a guest juror for the February 2015 BravoFACT jury.
The idea to dedicate 50% of the funds to female filmmakers came after a BravoFACT jury meeting held this past August, said Rachel Goldstein-Couto, director of programming, entertainment specialties at Bell Media, which oversees the funds. None of the submissions that were chosen to receive funding in that round had female filmmakers attached, Goldstein-Couto said.
“In looking back at our stats over the past two years, it actually is quite balanced,” Goldstein-Couto told realscreen’s sister publication Playback Daily of the male-female funding recipient ratio. “I think that was a bit of an anomaly. But I think it was enough to let us know that this could happen, and we wanted to have it in our mandate going forward that it should be evenly split.”
The BravoFACT and BravoFACTUAL funds will award more than CAD$2 million in financing in 2015, with about $1 million of that money funneled towards female-led projects.
BravoFACT also recently announced a partnership with Women In Film & Television – Atlantic to create a female-only pitch contest. The first edition of the pitch contest will be held this March at the WIFT-AT: Women Making Waves contest, where WIFT-AT members can pitch their short film and compete for a $35,000 prize.