New Cross-Industry Partnership Supports Expansion of Being Black in Canada

Montreal, July 22, 2020

 Netflix, National Bank and Canada Media Fund support multi-year partnership

Today, the Fabienne Colas Foundation announced new support for the Being Black in Canada program from presenting sponsor Netflix, in collaboration with National Bank, and the support of Canada Media Fund.

As a result of this cross-industry partnership, the 2020 program will expand to include 20 new participants from Montreal, Toronto and Halifax. Over the following two years, the program will further expand to include Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver and support a total of 70 new filmmakers and 55 alumni in 2021 and 2022.

Program participants benefit from mentorship and training by established experts across multiple areas of film production including screenwriting, directing, editing and post-production. They will also be provided with the opportunity to create individual documentary shorts that address the issue of social integration of people from Black communities in Canada.

In 2019, the program included 15 filmmakers, ages 18 to 30, from the Black communities of Montreal, Toronto and Halifax. All of the filmmakers presented their documentary shorts as world premieres at last year's Montreal International Black Film Festival as well as an Ontario premiere at Toronto Black Film Festival and the Atlantic Canadian premiere at Halifax Black Film Festival.


"Black artists represent the most marginalized and underserved group in the Canadian arts community. We are therefore thrilled to be partnering with Netflix alongside the National Bank of Canada and the Canada Media Fund to expand the Being Black in Canada Program from coast to coast. This will amplify the voices of emerging Black filmmakers all over Canada at an important time of our history. It marks a concrete step towards greater inclusion of diversity in the Canadian Film Industry."

Fabienne Colas, President and CEO of the Fabienne Colas Foundation

"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. 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."

- Stéphane Cardin, Director of Public Policy, Netflix Canada

"By promoting the inclusion of black filmmakers and supporting the next generation, we can help demonstrate that the future is promising, economically and socially, for the black community and beyond. As a major partner of audiovisual production in Canada, National Bank is proud to work with a number of other organizations to support the Fabienne Colas Foundation's Being Black in Canada incubator program."

- Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank

"The CMF recently made a commitment towards combating systemic racism in Canada's screen-based sector. Training and mentorship are fundamental for meaningful and lasting change to happen. Supporting the Fabienne Colas Foundation's Being Black in Canada initiative is a key step on the road towards representation and racial equity. We're deeply committed to supporting change that lasts. We look forward to seeing the next generation of Black Canadian storytellers change the narrative and eliminate stereotypes for audiences here in Canada and around the world." 

- Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF

About the Fabienne Colas Foundation
The Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF) is a not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to building bridges and advancing education through the arts as well as to support the creation, production, promotion and dissemination of cinema, the arts and culture in Canada and elsewhere. To fulfill its mission, the Foundation put together 9 festivals and programs to break barriers, celebrate diversity, foster togetherness, understanding and inclusion. Since its inception in 2005, its initiatives/festivals have showcased and supported over 2,000 artists and attracted close to 1 million festival goers in Canada, the USA, Haiti and Brazil. The Foundation mostly promotes Black culture in Montréal, Toronto, Halifax, New York City et Salvador de Bahia (Brazil); and Quebec culture in Port-au-Prince.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

About National Bank of Canada
With $317 billion in assets as at April 30, 2020, National Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada's leading integrated financial groups. It has more than 26,000 employees in knowledge-intensive positions and has been recognized numerous times as a top employer and for its commitment to diversity. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA).

About Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada's cable, satellite and IPTV distributors.

Being Black in Canada
 - Backgrounder

About Being Black in Canada
Being Black in Canada is a pan-Canadian initiative created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation's Youth and Diversity Program - initially created in 2014 in Montreal to address the chronic lack of diversity on and off-screen. Since then the program has been developed in Toronto and Halifax with plans to soon expand into Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver, becoming a true coast to coast diversity initiative.

Being Black in Canada supports Canadians, 18 to 30 years old, from black communities in the creation of a short documentary film and broadcasts them at prestigious Black Film festivals in select cities nationally. The emerging filmmakers are provided with training and mentorship from established industry professionals such as producers, directors, production crew, editors and workshops to perfect their craft. The program also includes ongoing strategic professional development for alumni.

By training young black filmmakers, Being Black in Canada is changing the stories and the narrative of what is seen on screen, making it true tangible impact for diversity in Canada by providing equal opportunities for Black Filmmakers and increasing representation in front of and behind the camera.

With this new support from Netflix, National Bank and Canada Media Fund, Being Black in Canada will expand the program as follows over the next three years:

Being Black in Canada 2020:

  • Montreal, Toronto, Halifax
  • A total of 35 Black filmmakers
  • 20 new filmmakers will join the program
  • 15 alumni filmmakers from the 2019 program will receive personalized mentorship and training including how to prepare funding submissions for their next projects, best practices in marketing, networking, and possible production collaborations.

Being Black in Canada 2021:

  • Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver
  • A total of 55 Black filmmakers
  • 35 new filmmakers will join the program
  • 20 alumni filmmakers from the 2020 program will receive personalized mentorship and training including how to prepare funding submissions for their next projects, best practices in marketing, networking, and possible production collaborations.

Being Black in Canada 2022:

  • Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver
  • A total of 70 Black filmmakers
  • 35 new filmmakers will join the program
  • 35 alumni filmmakers from the 2021 program will receive personalized mentorship and training including how to prepare funding submissions for their next projects, best practices in marketing, networking, and possible production collaborations.


Marie-Pierre Jodoin
Senior Manager, Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility
National Bank of Canada