Share Her Journey


  • info_outlineAbout
  • filter_9_plusThe Numbers
  • content_pasteThe Plan
  • peopleAmbassadors

TIFF has made a five-year commitment to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera. We will prioritize gender parity with a focus on mentorship, skills development, media literacy, and activity for young people.

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Unfortunately, there is a considerable lack of incredible female storytellers in key creative and decision-making roles in the film industry:

  • Of the top 250 films of 2018, only 20% employed women directors, writers, producers, editors and cinematographers.
  • Of the top 250 films of 2018, 25% featured zero or one woman in behind-the-scenes jobs, 58% of films employed two to five women, and 16% employed six to nine women.
  • In 2018, just 1% of films employed 10 or more women, while 74% of films employed 10 or more men.
  • In 2018, films with a femail director had substantially higher percentages of female employees than films with a male director.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed at TIFF.

Since 2016, we have had an equal 50/50 gender split in selected participants for our Talent Development initiatives such as Talent Lab, Studio, and TIFF Rising Stars.
At the 2018 Festival, 35% of all selected films were directed by female filmmakers.
We regularly showcase work by female artists, such as in our Winter 2019 retrospectives on revered filmmakers Dorothy Arzner, Claire Denis, and Anocha Suwichakornpong, as well as the iconic Katharine Hepburn.

The Plan

This work comes at a cost that cannot be supported by current revenue streams. To make this ambitious movement a reality, we need the support of film lovers like you.

Our goal is to raise $3 million. We are delighted to announce that, as of January 2019, we have raised $2.2 million to jumpstart the following initiatives:

  • The Micki Moore Residency, a 10-week mentorship programme for emerging female screenwriters — Canadian writer Nikki Saltz has been announced as the inaugural Micki Moore Resident for her feature comedy screenplay, Work It;
  • The RBC Female Creator Initiative, which will help female creators grow their careers by fostering artistic skills development, mentorship, and year-round networking opportunities through the new TIFF Producer Accelerator Programme, female participation in TIFF Filmmaker Lab, and access to TIFF Industry programming;
  • Presentation of the Heggie Family Speaker Series to spark conversations on gender equity and gender identities in film;
  • Design comprehensive resources for educators to enhance the curriculum and support classroom discussions about women and gender in cinema;
  • Use industry data to track career trajectories and improve outcomes for women in film;
  • Champion diversity of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and physical and cognitive ability within gender equity initiatives.

2018 highlights

  • 78 complimentary and discounted passes for emerging female filmmakers to the Canada’s Top Ten, TIFF Kids, and Toronto International Film Festival Industry Forums.
  • A TIFF Kids Forum keynote from award-winning filmmaker Genevieve Clay-Smith
  • The first participant in the Micki Moore Residency, Nikki Saltz, began her residency
  • A full day of female-focused programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox on International Women’s Day, including screenings and panel discussions
  • Retrospectives on the films of feminist French filmmaker Agnès Varda, Argentine genius Lucrecia Martel, Hollywood script doctor Elaine May, Brazilian artist Ana Vaz, and Norwegian master Liv Ullmann
  • An intimate conversation with actor, author, and activist Amber Tamblyn on her new novel, Any Man
  • 15 women gained access to Breakfast at TIFF events, forums for discussion and debate on topical subjects in the industry featuring provocative or timely speakers
  • Champion diversity of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and physical and cognitive ability within gender equity initiatives.
  • 11 female participants in our Talent Development programmes were awarded fellowships thanks to to the generous support of Sara and Graeme Thomson, the Temerty Family Foundation, Julian Francis and Sue Edwards, Aurora, and Anne-Marie Canning
  • The second year of the Share Her Journey Shorts Programme, featuring the films of Amanda Strong, Theresa Traoré Dahlberg, Reena Sengupta, Gökçe Erdem, Olivia Kastebring, Julia Gumpert, and Ulrika Bandeira

Festival 2018

  • TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head Cameron Bailey signed the 50/50 by 2020 Pledge, vowing to program 50% films by female directors by 2020
  • 11 national and international female participants in TIFF Filmmaker Lab
  • Two HFPA Residencies awarded, which included trips to Los Angeles to work with mentors and attend the Golden Globes
  • The Worth It Show by L’Oréal Paris: a panel with Andie MacDowell, Amber Heard, and Share Her Journey Ambassador Shohreh Aghdashloo on the importance of women in the film industry
  • The Heggie Family Speaker Series presented the groundbreaking Industry keynote “Diversity of Film Criticism with Dr. Stacy L. Smith”
  • Share Her Journey Rally
    • Featuring nine incredible speakers: Geena Davis, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Amanda Brugel, Keri Putnam, Mia Kirshner, Amma Asante, Cathy Schulman, Nandita Das, and Zavia Forrest
    • 22,000 filmmakers, film lovers, and allies participated in person and online

2017 highlights

  • Donors Betty-Ann Heggie and Anne-Marie Canning matched donations to the 2017 Share Her Journey fundraising campaign, providing incomparable support and generosity. Thank you Betty-Ann and Anne-Marie!
  • A consultation with industry stakeholders to inform planning for Share Her Journey-supported activity in 2018 and beyond;
  • The Share Her Journey Shorts Programme – a presentation of short films from some of the world’s most exciting emerging female voices;
  • Sofia Coppola: A Name of Her Own – a complete retrospective on the work of the Oscar-winning filmmaker;
  • Breakfast at TIFF: Confronting Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Screen Industry – a panel discussion with filmmakers and industry representatives on driving cultural change to help create a safer working environment for people in the film sector.

"Achieving gender parity within the film industry is vital. But, more than anything, I’d love to see the cultivation and celebration of female auteurs – women exercising their unique authorial voices in their own ways is where I see radical changes brimming in cinema."

—Ashley McKenzie, award-winning filmmaker

Meet the Ambassadors

The Share Her Journey Ambassadors have joined a movement to champion female storytellers, supporting TIFF's commitment to increase participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera.

Rima Das

Director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor, filmmaker

Bulbul Can Sing, Village Rockstars, Man with the Binoculars: Antardrishti

Mira Nair

Director, producer

Queen of Katwe, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Amelia, The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay!

Sarah Rafferty


Suits, All Things Valentine, Small Beautifully Moving Parts

Carmel Winters

Director, writer

Float Like a Butterfly, Snap, Limbo

Ellen Wong


GLOW, Condor, Dark Matter, The Carrie Diaries, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Jennifer Podemski

Actor, producer, director

Mocassin Flats, Cardinal, Future History, Empire of Dirt, Blackstone

Joyce Wong

Director, producer, writer

Wexford Plaza, Sunbathing, Power of Love (Celine Dion Fans in Kenya)

Shohreh Aghdashloo

Actor, producer

The House of Sand and Fog, Star Trek Beyond, The Expanse, 24, The Stoning of Soraya M.

Priyanka Chopra

Actor, producer, activist

Fashion, What’s Your Raashee?, Mary Kom, Quantico

Erika J. Olde

Producer; President and Founder of Black Bicycle Entertainment

Home Again, Woman Walks Ahead, November Criminals, The Female Brain, A Tale of Love and Darkness

Jill Soloway

Writer, director, creator

Transparent, Afternoon Delight, Six Feet Under

Jennifer Baichwal

Documentary filmmaker, writer, director

Long Time Running, Watermark, Payback, Act of God, Manufactured Landscapes

Deepa Mehta

Documentary filmmaker, writer, director

Anatomy of Violence, Beeba Boys, Midnight's Children, Heaven on Earth, the Elements trilogy (Water, Earth, Fire)

Stella Meghie

Writer, director, producer

Everything Everything, Jean of the Joneses, Recovering Undercover Over Lover

Ann Marie Fleming

Writer, director, animator

Window Horses, Stories Sarah Tells, Big Trees, Seven Sins: Gluttony, I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors

Omoni Oboli

Actor, writer, director

Okafor's Law, The Duplex, Being Mrs Elliot, Brother's Keeper

Ashley McKenzie

Writer, director, editor

Werewolf, 4 Quarters, Stray, When You Sleep, Rhonda's Party

Carol Nguyen

Director, writer, cinematographer, editor

Facade, Every Grain of Rice, This Home is Not Empty, How Do You Pronounce Pho?, Uprooted

Molly McGlynn

Writer, director

Mary Goes Round3-way (Not Calling)DawnStasisGiven Your HistoryI Am Not a Weird Person

Amma Asante

Writer, director

Where Hands TouchA United KingdomBelleA Way of Life

Donate Today

Prefer to make a donation by phone? Please call us at 1-888-599-TIFF (8433).

Charitable Registration No. 11930 4541 RR0001. Tax receipts are issued for all donations $10 or more.

Are you an industry professional who would like to stay informed or submit an idea for the programme? Let us know!

Want to join the movement and share the message? Download the Share Her Journey social media kit (zip) here.

Share Her Journey
TIFF stands with women in front and behind the camera. Add your voice to support women in film.