Sharon McGowan & Jan Miller: Canadian Tax Credit Changes to Benefit Female Filmworkers (Guest Post)

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As women who have been working in the Canadian film and television industry for over three decades (on opposite sides of the country!), we are heartened by recent gender equity advancements in creative leadership positions in productions funded by Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, CBC and the NFB.

We believe the recent commitment by the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage to examine the federal tax credit program which supports the wages for women working below-the-line positions could be a game changer.

The tax credit program distributes close to one billion dollars annually to Canadian and foreign-service production but does not include policies to address gender equity or inclusion of workers who are currently marginalized in the screen industry workforce (including Indigenous, racialized, people with disabilities and 2SLGBTQ+ peoples) as part of its review criteria and eligibility requirements. As such, it remains the last and largest pillar of federal government funding without such criteria.

The Honourable Minister Stephen Guilbeault has agreed that this inequity must be addressed. Speaking live across the nation, at a virtual town hall held by WIFT Canada on June 19, 2020, he made a firm commitment to start the process and asked us to hold him to this promise. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).