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47% of completed projects directed by women
46% of production budget allocated to works directed by women

March 6, 2018 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Honouring its commitment to gender parity, the National Film Board of Canada today released its 2017–2018 results.

The NFB has all but achieved its parity objectives for the number of productions directed by women (which stood at 47% in 2017–2018), the portion of the production budget allocated to women (46%), and the key creative position of screenwriter (47%), while progress has been made for the position of editor. However, work remains to be done in positions related to cinematography and music composition, where the ratio of men to women is still unequal. The talent is out there: it’s just a question of finding it.

In 2016, the NFB formally committed to ensuring that 50% of its productions would be directed by women and 50% of production spending would go toward women filmmakers.

Results for 2017–2018*:

  • 47% of the works completed were directed by women (38% by men and 15% by mixed teams).
  • 46% of production spending was allocated to works directed by women (38% to works directed by men and 16% to works directed by mixed teams).

Note: the number of productions directed by mixed teams jumped from 5% to 15% in 2017–2018.

In 2017, the NFB broadened its objectives to include parity in key creative positions by 2020.

2017–2018* results (completed projects):

  • Screenwriting: 47% women
  • Editing: 38% women
  • Cinematography: 13% women
  • Music: 4% women

*Statistics for the fiscal year, from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.


“In aiming for parity, we’re also fostering diversity and inclusion, as women filmmakers come from every generation and background. By the same token, we’re recognizing talent: of the 132 awards won at the NFB over the past year, 79 (or 60%) went to works made by women. At the end of the day, we all benefit from these parity objectives, since they improve the quality and variety of the works.”

– Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson

The past year has also seen an explosion of high-calibre productions by women. Expo 67 Live by Karine Lanoie-Brien, 24 Davids by Céline Baril, Birth of a Family by Tasha Hubbard, Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, Our People Will Be Healed (selected to screen at TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival), The Road Forward by Marie Clements, Homestay by Paisley Smith, Threads by Torill Kove (also selected for Canada’s Top Ten), Manivald by Chintis Lundgren, A Better Man by Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman, Winds of Spring by Keyu Chen, and I Like Girls by Diane Obomsawin: these are just some of the bold, award-winning works that emerged in 2017–2018.

Additionally, last year the NFB announced the creation of a “talent bank” where women could submit their portfolios, demos and CVs. To date, nearly 100 women have done so, putting themselves in a position to be discovered by the NFB’s studios. Organizations with whom the NFB has teamed up to promote female talent—namely, Réalisatrices Équitables (RÉ), Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques (FCTMN) and Film Fatales—will soon be able to access the talent bank as well, and the NFB is currently in talks with Women in Film and Television to reach a similar arrangement. Lastly, the NFB took part in the MediaPLUS+ initiative organized by Women in View, which offers gender-parity tools, panels and workshops.


Overall, women account for 58% of all positions at the NFB, 53% of the NFB’s producers/executive producers across Canada, 58% of its senior managers and 50% of its Board of Trustees.

To learn more about the history of women filmmakers at the NFB and see the latest results: onf-nfb.gc.ca/en/about-the-nfb/parity/.


To mark International Women’s Day, Donald McWilliams’ latest film, Eleven Moving Moments with Evelyn Lambart, will be available online at NFB.ca as of March 8. A tribute to an NFB pioneer who was also Canada’s first female animator, the film can be enjoyed free of charge in English or French anywhere in the world.


A selection of films by some of Canada’s greatest female filmmakers is available at



Women in View, a national not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote gender equality and cultural diversity in Canadian media, reports that from a sample of 91 feature-length films produced in 2013–2014, women represented just 17% of directors, 22% of screenwriters and 12% of cinematographers.

About the NFB

The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 18 Canadian Screen Awards, 17 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access NFB works, visit NFB.ca or download our apps for mobile devices.


Related Products

The NFB and Gender Parity Statistics
Comparative summary of results

Associated Links

Réalisatrices Équitables
Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques
Film Fatales
Women in Film and Television
Women in View

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.