Time's Up and AFCI Unveil Production Diversity Initiatives Report

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The report provides a snapshot of the efforts currently employed by film commissions around the globe.

The Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) and Time's Up have released their first TV and film production diversity report. Titled, "A Study of AFCI Member and Partner Diversity Initiatives," the 2020 report provides a snapshot of the diversity initiatives currently employed by film commissions around the globe. In particular, it draws attention to the efforts led by film commissions to address safety on sets, equity among the workforce and diversity and inclusion in leadership.

The primary purpose of the report — which has been unveiled just as plans are being developed to restart production amid COVID-19 — is to showcase and share information about successful strategies, policies and best practices for inclusivity and leadership within global film sectors. Not only does it include recommendations for film commissions, it serves as a resource for the film and TV production industry by providing intelligence on diversity initiatives.

"AFCI is proud to partner with the Time's Up Foundation on this first-of-its-kind report, as both organizations are committed to supporting positive change for the global screen sector," said AFCI president Jess Conoplia. "Film commissions play a critical role in diversity initiatives, and this new report provides our members and related agencies with an opportunity to lead by example as plans are being developed to restart production amid COVID-19."

"Film commissions play a vital role in helping artists bring their vision to life, and we commend the film commissions that are committed to creating a more diverse industry," said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time's Up Foundation. "This is a critical moment in our country, for every institution and industry. Our hope is that this report inspires film commissions everywhere to lead the way in the work we need to do to achieve true diversity and inclusion in the film industry."

Information found in the report was collated by researcher and analyst Tara Halloran, with data sourced from AFCI members and their related government agencies worldwide. The members were surveyed about their diversity initiatives and responded with information on programs across gender, ethnicity, indigenous peoples, religious beliefs, national minorities, age, sexual orientation, geographic location, disability and social background.

The report provides examples of film commission diversity initiatives across four categories: The first is information sharing, meaning communication info regarding diversity and anti-discrimination guidelines and policies, training programs and support organizations, as well as diverse industry suppliers and vendors. The second is mission, vision, policy and strategy, which centers on developing new anti-discrimination guidelines and policies, training programs and other resources.

The third category is tax credits, rebates and other incentives, which focuses on embedding diversity and anti-discrimination planning and benchmarks into the incentive application process. And the final one is workforce development, which is about expanding access to screen sector employment opportunities (creative and business) via training programs, grants, scholarships, relationships, public-private partnerships and promotion. The two organizations see film commissions — which are important drivers of job creation in Hollywood — as potential catalysts for meaningful and lasting change across the entertainment industry.

The full report can be read here.