In 2018, the Banff World Media Festival introduced the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative – a program designed to jump-start and supercharge the careers of underrepresented emerging and established talent from across Canada. It is supported by Netflix in association with BANFF, the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC). 


Highlights from the 2018 program include: 

  • Almost 300 applications from Canadian Indigenous, Francophone and women creators. 
  • Of that number, 88 participants attended the 39th Banff World Media Festival
  • 25 participants were selected for the Diversity of Voices Pitch Program, in which they received financial assistance and pitching and networking opportunities. Mentors volunteered from across the industry, including Jeremy Podeswa (Game of Thrones, True Detective), Sheila Hockin (Handmaid's Tale, Vikings), Jocelyn Hamilton (President, Canada, Televisions, eOne) and Shirley Bowers (VP, Sale & Acquisitions, North America, Red Arrow Studios)
  • All participants were offered access to a Diversity of Voices-specific content track, featuring specially selected speakers offering business-building insights and information to participants. 
  • All participants were also invited to a welcome luncheon with partners, media, government and industry executives.

Click here for more details on the program and a copy of the 2018 Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative report. 

“Life changing. What I learned and who I met in such a short period of time was amazing.

- Joy Haskell, Writer/Director/Producer

“My overall BANFF experience was career changing and I’m excited about what the future has in store for me because of this opportunity. The program advanced my career by unexpectedly securing a writing gig with a company and the project I came with is being reviewed by Bell Media

- Roxann Whitebean, Writer/Director/Producer

“I find that more broadcasters are willing to meet at BANFF, compared with other U.S. industry events. I booked about 40 meetings and had a project greenlit while there. Being a part of DOV makes broadcasters even more willing to give you their time.

- Rebecca Campbell, Producer/Director, Catapult Pictures Inc.

“I had the most amazing experience. I’ve been telling everyone I know to apply next year when submissions open for DoV. I didn’t realize how much I wanted to write for TV until I was at BANFF and I wouldn’t have been able to have that realization had it not been for the DOV Pitch Program.

- Ana-Marija Stojic, Creator/Comedian

“Highly recommended. I think it is an incredible opportunity not only for those looking to have their voices heard but for those looking for new and fresh ideas at the Festival. This initiative has the potential to change the media landscape in the coming years.

- Tanner Zurkoski, Writer/Creative Producer, Canoe Pictures

“I felt like I stepped off a rollercoaster and couldn’t wait to wobble back in line for another ride!

- Lauren Martin McCraw, Creator/Producer/Director