The Canadian Academy’s successful women-focused program prepares for third edition with new sponsor, Pinewood Toronto Studios.

TORONTO – (May 23, 2019) – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) today announced it is accepting applications for the third edition of its Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women. This year, Pinewood Toronto Studios joins the program as a sponsor, along with the continued support of Netflix, The RBC Emerging Artists Project, and Canada Media Fund. Submissions will be accepted starting today until Friday, June 21, 2019.

“The Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women was created to deepen the professional development of a select group of highly talented Canadian directors,” said Beth Janson, CEO, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. “There is no shortage of compelling female voices in this country; what is in short supply are opportunities to learn the filmmaking trade in a non-academic context. We are excited to introduce a new group of directors to the industry through this program.”

Formerly known as the Academy Apprenticeship for Women Directors, the Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women is designed to bolster the professional development of Canada’s women directors. Its activities provide invaluable and engaging hands-on experiences, including an exclusive professional development symposium, an online learning module, and curated on-set placements with high-profile directors and established production companies.

“Netflix is thrilled to continue supporting this progressive program which provides invaluable opportunities to women directors across Canada,” said Lisa Hamilton Daly, Director, Original Series at Netflix. “As a partner, we support the goal of achieving gender parity and representation in Canada’s screen-based industries.” Netflix’s support of the Directors Program for Women comes from its fund to develop the next generation of Canadian creators and talent.

“At RBC, our commitment to the arts includes supporting artists in the earliest stages of their careers and helping them bridge the gap from ’emerging’ to ‘established’,” said Valerie Chort, vice-president, corporate citizenship, RBC, in a statement. “As a returning partner, we know there is tremendous power in diversity and inclusion. Enabling more women directors to share their unique voice and talent adds an important dimension to the storytelling industry.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Canadian Academy on this program to support emerging female storytellers,” said Nanci MacLean, President, Pinewood Toronto Studios. “Talent is the life-blood of the film and TV industry and we all need to do more to ensure diverse perspectives and representation across the industry. We look forward to working with these up-and-coming directors and watching their continued success.”

“The CMF is delighted to support this program for the third year in a row. Sector development initiatives such as this one are part of the CMF’s broader strategy to increase gender balance in Canada’s screen-based industries,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “I look forward to seeing more of Canada’s extraordinary women directors thrive, as they bring their stories and uniquely female perspectives to our screens.”

The 2019 Selection Committee comprises: Tracey Deer (Filmmaker/Director/Writer); Bill Evans (Executive Director, Alberta Media Production Industries Association); Moira Griffin (Producer & Strategist, New Bumper and Paint Productions); Caroline Habib (VP Development, New Metric Media); Christine Haebler (President & Producer, Terminal City Pictures); Kadidja Haïdara (Writer); Floyd Kane; (Showrunner & Executive Producer, Freddie Films); Mark Slone (President, Pacific Northwest Pictures); and Carole Vivier (CEO/Film Commissioner, Manitoba Film & Music).

Last year’s cohort includes: Kirsten Carthew (Yellowknife); Alicia K. Harris (Toronto); Kathleen Hepburn (Vancouver); Tiffany Hsiung (Toronto); Halima Ouardiri (Montreal); Kristina Wagenbauer (Montreal); Allison White (St. John’s); and Asia Youngman (Vancouver).

The coveted program is now accepting applications and those interested in applying can do so at no cost. The application period is May 23 to June 21, 2019.

The Canadian Academy and the Selection Committee of distinguished industry professionals will review the submissions and identify a shortlist of 20 applicants. Those shortlisted will have a video interview with the Academy in early August, with the final eight (8) emerging* women directors of this year’s program announced in late August.

For more information on the project and full details on applicant requirements, please visit

*For the purposes of the program, an emerging director is defined as those who have been working in the industry and have a director credit on the following: no more than one feature length film, and a minimum of two pieces of content, including; short films, digital series, and music videos.

About Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is the largest non-profit professional arts organization in Canada. We are dedicated to recognizing, advocating for, and celebrating Canadian talent in the film, television, and digital media sectors.

Our more than 4,500 members encompass industry icons and professionals, emerging artists, and students. Collectively, we deliver professional development programs and networking opportunities that foster industry growth, inclusion, and mentorship.

The Canadian Academy produces Canadian Screen Week. This annual celebration of excellence in media features a multi-platform, national program of events and celebrations, and culminates with the Canadian Screen Awards: Broadcast Gala.

For information on membership and programming visit

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 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 RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 33 other countries. Learn more at‎

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at

About Pinewood Toronto Studios
Pinewood Toronto Studios is the destination facility for domestic and international film and TV producers shooting in Toronto. Recent productions include It: Chapter Two, Shazam!, The Christmas Chronicles, A Simple Favor, Molly’s Game, The Expanse, and Star Trek: Discovery. The contemporary 330,000 square foot (29,600 square metres) purpose-built production lot is located on a 33.5-acre (13.5 hectares) site, minutes from downtown Toronto. Its 11 purpose-built stages, including one of North America’s largest purpose-built sound stages – the 46,000 sq. ft. (4,274 square metres) Mega Stage – are soundproofed, clear-span, and equipped with power and supporting infrastructure to accommodate productions of all sizes and budgets. Last year, Pinewood Toronto Studios broke ground on a new expansion which will add another 200,000 square feet (18,580 square metres) of production space to the Studios, featuring new sound stages and support space.

About The 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. Please visit