Can We Talk? Employment and Representation in the Film Industry

Elya Myers
International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies  •  Black in Quebec - Exploring Black experiences in health, justice, education and employment  •  Volume 7 (2023)  •  pp. 086-108

The purpose of this research is to identify within the arts and culture sphere and, more specifically, the film industry, what kinds of employment opportunities are afforded (or not) to BIPOC communities, specifically Black communities in Quebec? How are Black communities in Quebec represented in the local film industry, both in front of and behind the camera? In what ways are Black stories being told, how are they being represented, and how many Black people are actually telling their own stories across media?

This paper attempts to lay out the general state of the film industry within Canada, focusing on Quebec’s Black communities.

Using an intersectional approach, I draw from a wide range of ages, backgrounds, languages, and experiences that will cover the range of roles affected at each level of the industry through in-depth interviews. This will be accompanied by a self-reflexive comparison to my experiences navigating the film industry during university and after within the labor market.

The results of this research demonstrate that there is a distinct divide between how Black communities see themselves represented in front of and behind the screen within different parts of the film industry.

Due to exclusionary practices and lack of investment in BIPOC storytelling, the ways in which BIPOC creatives and specifically those in the Black community have to find ways to navigate outside mainstream film industry circuits to create.

Original Research (Qualitative)  |  Quebecois/English-Canadian Cinema, Blackness, Representation, Employment Multiculturalism, Film policy, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
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