Gender Parity at the NFB

In 2016, the NFB made a formal commitment to ensure that by 2019, half of its productions would be directed by women and half of production spending would be allocated to projects directed by women. In 2017, the NFB added new objectives for parity by 2020 in key creative positions—including screenwriting, editing, cinematography, and music composition.

In 2020–2021, for the fifth consecutive year the NFB achieved its goals in terms of both the number of productions and budget allocation. Women from a variety of backgrounds and places continue to participate fully, especially since the public producer and distributor has increased its total number of projects in progress, from 269 in 2019–2020 to 298 in 2020–2021.Footnote 1  

If parity is well entrenched within the NFB today, it will always remain a priority objective. The NFB will continue its efforts, particularly with respect to certain key creative positions, especially in the areas of cinematography and music composition, where objectives have not been met. These efforts will be coordinated with those of our industry partners.

In 2020 and 2021, Women in Governance awarded the NFB Platinum Parity Certification, the organization’s highest gender-parity certification level. 

 

Comparative results over five yearsFootnote 1

DIRECTORS – ONGOING PROJECTS  2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016
WOMEN 46% 46% 48% 47% 44% 45%
MEN 40% 40% 38% 38% 51% 47%
MIXED 13% 14% 14% 15% 5% 7%
UNCODEDFootnote 2 Footnote 1%          
EXPENDITURES OF ONGOING PROJECTS  2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016
WOMEN 41% 44% 44% 46% 43% 44%
MEN 40% 42% 35% 38% 40% 39%
MIXED 19% 14% 21% 16% 15% 14%

Creative positions

N/A: Due to a computer virus, the NFB does not have statistics for the year 2018-2019.

SCREENWRITING 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016
WOMEN 45% 61% N/AFootnoteFootnote 47% 27% 53%
MEN 46% 35% N/A 44% 45% 33%
MIXED 8% 4% N/A 9% 21% 13%
UNCODEDFootnote 2 Footnote Footnote 1%          
EDITING 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016
WOMEN 47% 55% N/A 38% 24% 27%
MEN 49% 41% N/A 56% 61% 49%
MIXED 4% 4% N/A 6% 2% 24%
CINEMATOGRAPHY 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016
WOMEN 14% 22% N/A 13% 12% 14%
MEN 77% 72% N/A 77% 80% 83%
MIXED 8% 6% N/A 10% 5% 3%
UNCODEDFootnote 2 Footnote 1%          
MUSIC 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019 2017-2018 2016-2017 2015-2016
WOMEN 23% 19% N/A 4% 13% 3%
MEN 73% 73% N/A 86% 67% 94%
MIXED 4% 5% N/A 10% 2% 3%
UNCODEDFootnote 2 Footnote   3%        

 

We’re proud of the women who have made the NFB what it is today.

From Evelyn Lambart to Torill Kove, from Sarah Polley to Alanis Obomsawin, and from Manon Barbeau to Anne-Claire Poirier, there is a history of women filmmakers who have produced important and award-winning work, much of which, from 1974 until the mid-1990s, was done under the umbrella of Studio D, the world’s first publicly funded production unit dedicated to making films by and for women.

Though Studio D was disbanded in 1996, it has left an important legacy: a commitment to women’s filmmaking and cultural diversity that is now deeply engrained in every studio.

 

The numbers tell a story.

But the films are the stories.

 

We’re looking forward to a number of upcoming releases of films spearheaded by women. In the meantime, to view a selection of recent works by some of Canada’s greatest women filmmakers, click here.

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