A new production assistant training program has been created to give under-represented communities experience in the local screen industry.
Launched Oct. 20 at AstroLab Studios on Eastern Avenue, the five-week initiative will give participants technical training and a chance to develop a range of workplace skills. The initial cohort of the program will support Black young adults aged 18 to 29.
According to an Oct. 18 release, those taking part in the program, which will include site visits, placement and job opportunities, will also be introduced to a “relevant network of industry professionals and learn about the career and training pathways open to production assistants in film, television, digital media and commercial production.”
Funding is provided by the city of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy in partnership with the United Way of Greater Toronto, POV 3rd Street and CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, which is leading the recruitment of participants among other things.
Members of the screen industry along with the Directors Guild of Canada—Ontario created the curriculum. The Guild is also lending its support to participants by counting and recognizing their time as required experience needed to enter its apprenticeship program. They’re also reducing the entry fees to that program by 75 per cent.
Further, the city as well as the United Way of Greater Toronto and POV 3rd Street will be leading studies to identify barriers diverse and under-represented communities face to enter the screen production industry.