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Diversity & Inclusion

April 19, 2018



This will be ACTRA Manitoba’s first juried competition for a MIP (Member Initiated Production). Applicants are asked to submit a short-film script based on the theme of INTERSECTIONALITY and the winner will receive $1000, on top of their $1000 MIP grant, based on their fulfillment of the MIP guidelines. That film will be screened along with the rest of the MIPS in 2019.

The topic of INTERSECTIONALITY examines the roots of discrimination based on ethnicity, sex, gender-orientation, size, age, or ability, and recognizes that they are related. It is the goal of ACTRA Manitoba to encourage and support diverse stories to be shared, and inspire the next generation of film-makers, actors, and creative geniuses.

Interested members should contact the office at to be sent the application package, or for more information.

By Alan Wong

January 23, 2018

S**THOLE COUNTRIES. This is what we get to start 2018 with? Nope. Not going to have it. None of us should. 2018 is going to be a great year. But it won’t just be great on its own; PEOPLE are going to make it great. People like you and me who work hard every day to make things a little better for each other. We all contribute in our own little way, and it’s important. It really is.

So, when I hear about events such as the 48-hour Anti-Racism Film Challenge, organized by the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation – the weekend of February 16-18 – I say heck yes. That is something worth getting behind. So get a team together and make one, or if you want to act in one – it’s cool; ACTRA is a sponsor! Members can perform in the films under the resume agreement, and ACTRA will pay for the AOS insurance. Here’s the info:

Join the Anti-Racism Arts Festival this February and March.
You can take part in the 48-hour Anti-Racism Film Challenge (Feb. 16-18) or the Anti-Racism Digital Arts Challenge (Feb. 1-28).
Winners get prizes and it’s free to enter.

The films and art pieces will be showcased and screened during the red carpet screening on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st.

More information about the festival here:

Now, go be awesome and have your voice heard.

WAIT!!! While I’m here, I  also want to promote the Afro Prairie Film Festival, happening on Friday, February 23rd from 7-9pm at Cinematheque. It will feature OUVRIR LA VOIX (SPEAK UP/MAKE YOUR WAY), a film about francophone European black women from the diaspora. There will be a Skype Q & A with the filmmaker Amandine Gay.

Here’s the event page:

Okay. NOW go be awesome.


Diversity On Screen: a Conversation with Jennifer Holness

Interviewed by  Ify Chiwetelu

Written by Alan Wong

January 27, 2017

Late afternoon, on the second day of ALL ACCESS, is not necessarily the prime spot for any sort of panel. Many participants were in 1-on-1 sessions in the next room, or feeling sluggish from their mid-day slump. However, in the midway ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel, a small but engaged audience welcomed Jennifer Holness to Winnipeg with enthusiastic applause. CBC Radio host, Ify Chiwetelu conducted an intimate interview with the award-winning Jamaican-Canadian producer and screenwriter.

Jennifer’s story is exceptional. To hear her tell it, it would almost seem like producing content with an ethnic mandate was easy. It certainly seemed to come easy to her and her producing partner & husband, Sudz Sutherland, who as a team, have put out edgy, hard-hitting stories of gun violence, deportation of immigrants, and homophobia. The couple have won numerous awards for their projects and continue to push the boundaries with Shoot the Messenger, a gritty television crime drama loosely based on Ex-Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. Her goals are to tell stories that other producers shy away from, and if her success is any indication, they are ones that people want to hear – and need to hear.

After a very interesting 45-minutes, which very much seemed like a casual chat over a glass of wine, Participants were left with the message that diverse content – powerful, meaningful content that speaks to all of us – is in demand and in need. And it’s our job to create it.


Jan 10

Diversity On Screen: a Conversation with Jennifer Holness

Jennifer Holness (Hungry Eyes Productions), Creator of the series Shoot the Messenger will be interviewed by Ify Chiwetelu, host of CBC’s Now or Never, heard nationally Sundays at 8 pm on CBC Radio One.

The award-winning producer and co-writer of Shoot the Messenger, Jennifer Holness, will talk about her creative process and the representation of diversity on screens today.

4:15 -5:00 pm (Midway Ballroom)


Jan 11

Case Study in Social Action Programming on Canadian Television: We Were Children, Taken and A Secret Path

A discussion on the challenges and measures of success for social action programming. Stuart Coxe and Rebecca Gibson will share their experience in developing and producing content intended to raise public understanding of residential schools and their lasting impact.

Stuart Coxe (Antica Productions), Rebecca Gibson (Eagle Vision)

Moderator: Melanie Hadley (CBC)

9:30-10:30 am (Midway Ballroom)



Member Services Consultant and Councillor, Alan Wong, recently attended the Vancouver International Asian Film Festival and had this to say about it: BLOG: ASIANS IN MEDIA – VAFF REPORT.

On Tuesday, March 15, 2016 ACTRA Manitoba held its first Diversity Committee Meeting and pot luck supper. Seven members attended and it was a productive and engaging meeting.  Many issues of interest were discussed.  Please see below for Alan Wong’s report on an event he attended at CBC in Toronto.  REPORT

Diversity Pot Luck & Focus Group

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