Fast facts about Telefilm’s new Self-Identification Questionnaire

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As part of its ongoing efforts towards increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion, Telefilm Canada is introducing a voluntary Self-Identification Questionnaire. This newest phase of its data collection program is set to kick off in the new year, when Telefilm’s Production Program opens for applications on January 4, 2022. 

As Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director and CEO Christa Dickenson explains, it’s all about learning more about Canada’s film community, projects, and needs. “We will be able to capture a more accurate portrait of our project pipeline, and address communities that need additional support, training, mentorship and more,” she says.

Similar initiatives to measure and report data to understand the diversity and inclusivity landscape, such as The Everyone Project and the Creative Diversity Network, have been launched in Australia and the U.K respectively. Telefilm’s new Self-Identification Questionnaire will help deepen understanding of Canada’s audiovisual industry, identifying creators and communities that need support, mentorship, and greater access. It will be used to better serve the community and understand filmmakers’ needs.


Here are the basics:


  • What type of data?

    The Self-Identification questionnaire aims to capture data relating to all directors, writers, producers, co-producers, and executive producers (excluding courtesy credits) attached to a project submitted to the Production, Development, Theatrical Documentary, and Talent to Watch Programs. Data will cover Indigenous identity, racial and ethnic identity, gender identity and expression, belonging to an 2SLGBTQIA+ community, disability status, and belonging to an Official Language Minority Community.


  • What are the steps?
    It’s simple: When applying for funding, the project applicant provides contact info for creative team members, who will automatically receive an email invitation from Telefilm to submit their self-identification questionnaire privately and decide how it can be used. Participating is on a voluntary basis.


  • How will this data be used?
    Data collected may be used for evolving Telefilm’s programs; identifying areas to support underrepresented communities; monitoring, evaluating, performance measurement, and audits, and more. As mentioned, it can also be used to assist in the evaluation, eligibility, and decision-making processes for project applications: If the individual consents that their data be used in the processing of an application, data submitted will help in evaluating eligibility for streams in certain programs, and to balance portfolios in Telefilm’s funding programs.

It’s important to note that the data collection initiative was developed in compliance with the Privacy Act framework, and in consultation with Telefilm’s external Data Collection Subcommittee and its Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. Both these groups are comprised of industry representatives from over 20 organizations. Prior approval from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat was also required before launching this new phase of data collection.

For more information, please visit Telefilm’s Data Collection page.

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