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Black Screen Office plans national consultation on underrepresented stories

The guide will help creators avoid stereotypes and ‘identify when a story is for them to tell’

The newly formed Black Screen Office says consultations begin this month on efforts to build a “best practice” guide for telling stories from underrepresented communities.

The office states that “Being Seen: A Directive for Authentic and Inclusive Content” will seek national contributions on the representation of “Blacks, people of color, LGBTQ2 + and people with disabilities” in film and television.

The goal is to understand how underrepresented communities “want to be seen and represented and then provide a set of guidelines for the industry”.

The interviews will be conducted through virtual focus groups and individual conversations in English and French until September. Participants will be focused on industry representatives and members of the general public who belong to underrepresented communities.

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The Black Screen Office was formed last year with a $ 100,000 pledge from Telefilm Canada and support from the Bell Fund, as part of a plan to address systemic racism in the Canadian film industry.

The office says the “Being Seen” consultation will provide Canadian film and TV creators with guidelines on ways to “work with culturally sensitive content, identify when a story is theirs to tell and create content that avoids stereotypes”.

The work will be guided by lead researcher Kelly Lynne Ashton, together with a team of researchers and interns.

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