Hudson’s Bay Foundation: New Fellowship Program to Support BIPOC Creators Through TIFF For the Love of Film


TORONTO,¬†Aug. 25, 2020¬†/CNW/ —¬†As long time partners of the Toronto International Film Festival¬ģ (TIFF),¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay Foundation today announced a¬†$50,000¬†investment into TIFF’s For the Love of Film Fund, which in part serves underrepresented members of the Canadian filmmaking community. To further¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay’s commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in its business practices¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay Foundation has awarded two Canadian self-identified BIPOC content creators as Fellows in TIFF’s Filmmaker Lab, a professional program designed to develop the talents of emerging creators and open doors for those who need it most.

Shawn Gerrard

“While TIFF may look different this year,¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay is proud to continue its support by announcing¬†Shawn Gerrard¬†and¬†Jeff Wong¬†as the recipients of the¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay Foundation Fellowship in TIFF’s Filmmaker Lab,” says¬†Iain Nairn, President and CEO,¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay. “As Hudson’s Bay works to ensure greater diversity and representation internally, we are also ensuring we support the BIPOC community in our external outreach. We are very proud to contribute to the important work of¬†Shawn Gerrard¬†and¬†Jeff Wong¬†as part of our¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay Foundation purpose.”

“We are so delighted to have the uncompromising support of The¬†Hudson’s¬†Bay Foundation this year,” said¬†Cameron Bailey¬†and¬†Joane Vicente, Co-Heads, TIFF. “It’s through partnerships like this that we expand the reach of new perspectives and ideas. TIFF is dedicated to spotlighting the work of Black, Indigenous and people of colour and amplifying their voices. We look forward to our work together.”

Shawn Gerrard¬†‚ÄďShawn Gerrard is a filmmaker from¬†Toronto¬†and an alumnus of the¬†York University¬†film production and screenwriting program. He has directed a number of short films, including Isaiah’s Birthday (14),¬†My Viola¬†(15), The House on Carter Road, and Call Me When You Get There, and the feature film Space & Time (17). His films have focused on the struggles of people looking to make a place for themselves in the world. Inspired by his own biracial background, a major theme of Gerrard’s work is the contextualization his characters face around their racial identity and issues of injustice. The intersections of family and race, and how they can ‚ÄĒ or can’t ‚ÄĒ define a person, play a pivotal role in his upcoming works.

Jeff Wong¬†‚ÄstJeff Wong¬†was born in¬†Vancouver. He studied screenwriting and photography at¬†Columbia University, and completed¬†NYU’s¬†film graduate program in¬†Singapore. His short films include Doug (08), which premiered at the¬†USA¬†Film Festival, and H’mong Sisters (12), which premiered at TIFF. He has spent the last few years working on commercials and music videos for brands such as Huawei and artists such as¬†Jackie Chan. He hopes to return to narrative filmmaking with his first feature film.

Jeff Wong

Hudson’s¬†Bay also recognizes an outstanding film in TIFF’s 45th festival, by sponsoring a screening of TIFF’s 2020 Official Selection Film,¬†Sam Pollard’s,¬†MLK/FBI, a documentary which synopses the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of¬†Martin Luther King, Jr.¬† Film lovers can take in a screening of MLK/FBI on¬†September 15, with health and safety measures in place to protect their wellbeing. TIFF’s official list of films, the screening schedule, and information on where each film will screen across the in-person venues and Bell Digital Cinema can be found on¬†¬†beginning¬†August 25.

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