TIFF Sets a Higher Standard for the Inclusion of Female-Fronted Productions

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The Toronto Film Festival wants to make it a priority to, not only showcase women in front and behind the camera, but nurture their journeys towards their careers.

On September 6th, the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) will begin its 2018 season to premiere some of Canada’s, and the world’s, top films and television programs of the year. This year, the festival has made many changes in hopes to propel the film industry into a new era, one that includes women at the forefront.

The festival's numbers in 2017 indicate that of 250 of the top-ranked films, only 18% included women behind the camera, and a third of those films contained only one or no female crew. TIFF did its part to include films and television directed by women in a third of its line-up last year.

This year, TIFF hopes to increase its own percentage. Of 343 films, 36% are directed by women. Its Red Carpet Gala will feature six films directed by women. In July, they relaunched the “Share Her Journey” project that helps finance young female filmmakers in education, work, and networking. The festival is also hosting a women’s rally on Saturday, September 8 to champion women supporting women in the arts and in life.

With TIFF's example, many other festivals around the world are following suit. Here's hoping films by women, and about women, will become a norm, not only in the festival circuit, but in theaters as well.