In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, several women in BC’s Hollywood North have opened the floodgates with stories on their own experiences with harassment in our neck of the film industry woods. The first shots were fired by BC actors Sarah Deakins, Lisa Ovies, Chelah Horsdal and Enid-Raye Adams and writer-director Jacquie Gould as they told their stories to Vancouver’s Westender. Now, they are working with UBCP/ACTRA in the hopes of lobbying WorkSafeBC and other provincial politicians to revisit BC labour laws to create a safer industry for the women working in film. The precarious nature of contract work and limited production windows often make for a difficult environment for women to report their experiences, and that’s something that may be difficult to change — but plans are in motion to change it. The aforementioned women are not the only ones to speak up: many other local women in film took to social media to share their experiences with sexual harassment, encouraging other women to know that they aren’t alone, and that this behaviour will no longer be tolerated.
The Spark Animation festival ran from October 26th – 29th in Vancouver across multiple venues. The event provided an enormous amount of events for fans, professionals, and where the two align. Among the notable events were the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to classic Disney artist Glen Keane at the Canadian premiere of his latest film, Dear Basketball; the introduction and awarding of the new WIA Diversity Awards, to an organization, and individual, and a film, which show prominent efforts of inclusion in the animation industry; and the weekend job fair, which hosted over 20 hiring companies in the animation industry. Check out the website
Exciting news on Vancouver Island: the island’s first film studio is under construction just outside of Parksville. With 32,000 square feet of space and three sound stages, Vancouver Island Film Studios will provide a much-needed piece of infrastructure for the booming BC film industry and burgeoning interest in the island. Chesapeake Shores, one of Hallmark’s top shows (casting by Candice Elzinga), has make the island its home and injected a several-million dollar boost to the area’s economy, with local hires providing over half the production staff. The wait won’t be long, now — the Vancouver Island Film Studios are expected to open in early 2018.
Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver surprised the city by declaring a new holiday: that’s right, folks, Oct. 19th was the city’s first ever Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Day. The mayor made the announcement on Twitter as an apparent way to honour the actor for not only his charitable work, but for the 3000 jobs brought to town by production on his current film ‘Skyscraper’. Mention was also made of his stylish fanny pack, and that we do, indeed, smell what the Rock is cooking.
By Meagan Hotz