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Participants announced for new Elevate program

Press Release

Feb 01, 2024

TORONTO and WINNIPEG, MB, – Paramount+ in Canada, BIPOC TV & Film and the National Screen Institute today announce the four participants selected for the first edition of the Elevate program. This brand-new business development incubator for BIPOC producers seeks to enhance the growth and success of BIPOC-owned production companies in Canada and considers the socioeconomic impacts of systemic oppression and barriers.

“The team at Paramount+ sends its congratulations to the impressive list of selected participants for the inaugural year of the Elevate program,” said Doug Smith, SVP Streaming & Content Licensing Paramount Global, Canada. “We thank our National Screen Institute and BIPOC TV & Film partners for their commitment to growing BIPOC owned production companies in Canada.”

“These entrepreneurial production companies have not only demonstrated a commitment to creativity and excellence but also community impact and the potential to contribute further to the vibrant landscape of the industry,” said Kadon Douglas, executive director at BIPOC TV & Film. “Elevate is a testament to our commitment, in partnership with the National Screen Institute, Paramount+ and the program and academic partners, to creating equitable opportunities and fostering a thriving ecosystem for BIPOC producers and creative entrepreneurs.”

In February, the selected producers will begin this 13-month, two-phase, part-time program. Each producer will receive a grant towards the growth and development of their production company.

Training includes business modules offered by the program’s academic partner, The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), along with facilitated connections to investors and funding sources for BIPOC producers. Participants will benefit from one-on-one strategic advice, mentorship and workshops on financial management, marketing and legal compliance. Industry professionals can also register for the business modules for a fee.

A selection committee of expert television and film industry partners and business specialists chose the program participants from a large pool of applicants.

The selected Elevate program participants and their affiliated production companies are:

  • Anaëlle Béglet, Autres Histoires (Montreal, QC)
  • Marie Clements, MCM2 (Galiano Island, BC)
  • Alison Duke, OYA Media Group (Toronto, ON)
  • Shant Joshi, Fae Pictures (Toronto, ON)

Read the participants bios HERE.

National Screen Institute CEO Joy Loewen expressed enthusiasm about the new Elevate program cohort. “Welcoming Alison, Anaëlle, Marie and Shant to our first Elevate class is thrilling,” said Joy. “In partnership with Paramount+ in Canada and BIPOC TV & Film, we’re committed to empowering BIPOC producers. We’re confident these participants will strengthen their existing skills in developing wider global relationships and expanding their companies. We’re eager to support their marketing, operational and entrepreneurial growth.”

Elevate is expertly led by program managers Danielle Audette and Jessica Gibson. The workshop lead for the business modules is The Creative School at TMU’s Steve Levitan.

Congratulations to Anaëlle Béglet, Marie Clements, Alison Duke and Shant Joshi!

Elevate is presented by Paramount+ in Canada, BIPOC TV & Film and the National Screen Institute, with program partners Canada Media Fund (CMF), Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, academic partner The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University. National Screen Institute core funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture, Heritage and Tourism and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Elevate was the second partnership Paramount+ in Canada announced that reinforces Paramount’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These types of programs are intricately connected to the mission of Paramount Global’s Content for Change initiative, which seeks to counteract narratives that enable bias, stereotypes, and hate using the power of our content, the creative supply chain that powers it, and the culture that underpins everything we do.

About Paramount+
Paramount+ is a global digital subscription video streaming service from Paramount that features a mountain of premium entertainment for audiences of all ages. Internationally, the streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel™, in addition to a robust offering of premier local content. The service is currently live in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Caribbean, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latin America, South Korea, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.

About BIPOC TV & Film
Founded in 2012 as a grassroots movement and community-building initiative, BIPOC TV & Film has evolved into a national not-for-profit organization building power and opportunities for Black, Indigenous and Racialized people in Canada. Through investments in career development training, mentorship, wellness support and community engagement initiatives, we ensure that BIPOC media professionals have the necessary resources, access, and opportunities to fully participate in the film and television industry—at all levels in front of and behind the camera. In 2020, the organization launched HireBIPOC, a workforce development initiative to facilitate connections between employers and above and below-the-line crew and creative professionals in Canada.

About the National Screen Institute
Propelled by a visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, board members and staff, the National Screen Institute supports creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories. Through industry-informed training and mentoring in film and television, students and alumni find their voice and place on the global stage, inspiring us to shape a better world.

The National Screen Institute is committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+), people with disabilities, those outside large urban centres, those from regional and remote areas and various religious groups.

SOURCE Paramount+ (Canada)

For further information: For further information: Paramount+ in Canada Media Contacts: Laura Heath Potter; Laura.HeathPotter@paramount.com; Marin Pollock; marin.pollock@paramount.com; BIPOC TV & Film Media Contact: Rebecca Rashev; comms@bipoctvandfilm.co; National Screen Institute Media Contact:Abiola Agbayewa, abiola.agbayewa@nsi-canada.ca

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