Netflix Just Signed a Deal Supporting the Canadian Film Industry

Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

“New voices are important to the future of film, and we share TIFF’s confidence in the emerging talent coming out of Canada.”

Netflix has signed a three-year deal to support the Canadian film industry and filmmakers. The streaming service’s funds will be directed towards the Toronto International Film Festival’s Talent Accelerator program, where six female filmmakers will receive subsidies in order to access TIFF’s Industry programmes, which are committed to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera. It will also provide subsidized access to the festival’s annual Filmmaker Lab—a four-day intensive workshop for emerging filmmakers—as well as its five-day Industry Conference, which brings speakers from various film industry fields on stage for panel discussions during the festival’s run.

“New voices are important to the future of film, and we share TIFF’s confidence in the emerging talent coming out of Canada,” said Scott Stuber, Netflix’s head of film, in a press release. “This investment will help TIFF increase representation in the industry, and expand opportunities for these filmmakers that will allow them to deepen their craft and advance their projects.”

According to The Star, “the Netflix investment reportedly comes from a $25-million fund created as part of a deal with the Canadian government in 2017.”

Additionally, Netflix will be working with TIFF to develop three events specifically aimed towards the professional development of Canadian film industry creators. “Netflix’s agreement to support both the Festival and TIFF’s year-round work with the Canadian film industry signals a meaningful commitment,” said Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente, TIFF co-heads, in a press statement. “TIFF Industry is dedicated to developing filmmaking talent and these resources will be directed towards expanding our efforts towards gender parity, under-represented voices in cinema and championing the very best in Canadian film.”

Although Cineplex refused to screen any Netflix films at its festival-participating theatre this year, TIFF remains one of the few film festivals in the world to embrace Netflix and other streaming services. It has screened several Netflix films in recent years, including the Oscar-winning Roma last year and Marriage Story and The Laundromat this year, and with this latest move, continues to strengthen its relationship with the platform, supporting local film talent in the process.