TORONTO, ON–As long time partners of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Hudson’s Bay Foundation 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 and Jeff Wong.
“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 –Shawn 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 — or can’t — define a person, play a pivotal role in his upcoming works.
Jeff Wong – Jeff 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.
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 tiff.net beginning August 25.
ABOUT HUDSON’S BAY
HBC, incorporated in 1670, is North America’s oldest company. Hudson’s Bay has grown to become Canada’s most prominent department store, today operating 89 full-line locations and thebay.com. Hudson’s Bay has established a reputation for quality, service, and style by offering well-edited assortments of exclusive and popular fashion, beauty, home and accessory designers and brands, as well as exclusive food concepts. It is part of the HBC brand portfolio. The signature stripes are a registered trademark of Hudson’s Bay Company.
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC.