To better address workplace misconduct and the lack of diversity in the film industry, a new report from Time’s Up and the Association of Film Commissioners International recommends that film commissions establish mandatory sexual harassment, discrimination and inclusion, unconscious bias, and mental health awareness training; create mandatory “diversity deliverables” for productions seeking tax incentives; and develop guidelines for productions working with and depicting Indigenous peoples and their cultures.
The Thursday report, which examined initiatives from various film commissions around the world, split its recommendations into three tiers: Tier 1 has recommendations “that can be implemented unilaterally and take the least amount of resources,” Tier 2 has recommendations that require more “resources and industry/government partnership,” and Tier 3 has those that require “significant financial resources” and “deeper industry/government investment.”
Tier 1 recommends that film commissions “acknowledge ancestral lands” when relevant, share promo reels that feature “diverse talent and activities” and create online resources for those seeking support or information on harassment and workplace protections, unions and Indigenous organizations.
In addition to the mandatory training programs and “diversity deliverables,” Tier 2 recommends film commissions support diversity research on the film industry and share the data, create policies for parents and caretakers, offer “training discounts” for “unwaged and disadvantaged applicants” and ensure all programs are accessible to those with disabilities.
Tier 3 recommends that commissions “enlist industry clients to partner on production centered diversity initiatives,” partner with organizations to provide placement for underrepresented groups both in front of and behind the camera, support programs that help parents and carers who have left the industry for caretaking purposes to return to work and financially support film festivals, training programs and other organizations that are “delivering best practice in diversity and inclusion.”
“Now is a unique time to fortify our efforts and take action to advance diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity,” AFCI President Jess Conoplia said in the report. “As the screen industry begins to reset and reopen, there is no better time to ensure that diversity initiatives are front and center when it comes to international screen industry policy.”