The Importance of BIFF


Why Host a BIPOC Film Festival?

Historically, films created by black, indigenous, people of color have been underrepresented, underfunded and underappreciated. We feel it is vital to create spaces specifically carved out for marginalized voices, ones where their work can be celebrated and given the space it deserves to shine. We want to use our platform to contribute to the changing narrative of diversity and representation within the film industry and the consumer market.


The Value of BIPOC Voices

People of color represent more than one fifth of the Canadian population*, and the estimated combined purchasing power of BIPOC adults in Canada is 300 billion dollars**. The 2020 U.S. Census estimated that approximately 4 out of every 10 Americans identify with a racial or ethnic group other than white. According to a 2019 study, black and hispanic people are much more likely to frequent movie theaters compared to white viewers*****, some studies estimate by amending the lack of black representation in films, the industry could see an additional ten billion in annual revenues*”. The estimated combined purchasing power of the BIPOC community globally is around $3.9 trillion*””, with such a massive influence within the Canadian and international market, BIPOC voices should be filling mainstream media. However, we don’t see the representation of BIPOC stories we should in media. This discrepancy between the level of influence BIPOC individuals have over the consumer market, and the amount of media being created by BIPOC people is a major issue in diversity and representation.


Diversity in Filmmaking and Funding

BIPOC filmmakers face unique social barriers in every aspect of the filmmaking, production, and distribution process. According to a report from McKinsey & Company this March, only approximately 6% of writers, directors, and producers working on films in the United States are black. The report also found that films led by black producers, writers and directors on average receive 40% less funding than other films ***. While indigenous cinema has seen a significant rise in popularity and success in Canada over the last decade, indigenous people are still vastly underrepresented in every aspect of film production****. Additionally, within feature film production there is a stark underrepresentation of indigenous voices. According to a 2013 report on indigenous filmmaking, from 2008-2012 Telefilm Canada funded 310 feature films, only five of which were created by Indigenous filmmakers. Similarly, of 115 feature films supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation between 2008-2012, only one was created by an indigenous filmmaker. These statistics showcase how important it is to support and promote films created by BIPOC individuals, through BIFF we hope to give a new platform to marginalized BIPOC filmmakers to share their creations.

Who We Are

Canin Cultural Council

Canin Cultural Council was established with a mission to advance the public’s appreciation of the arts, and to support and promote the work of Canadian artists. Canin Cultural Council has hosted a myriad of art-driven events, including our annual fundraiser SOCA (Support Our Canadian Artists) to raise funds for Canadian artists. We have hosted successful, large scale tribute concerts, including the Jazz Festival, and Legends of Rock. Canin Cultural Council has continuously hosted many other events such as our Art Talks and Christmas Bazaars, which have supported our local community artists and inspired creative connection.

Khalid Sayed

Shruti Ganapathy


A modern theme for the film industry & video production