Media Release

WarnerMedia Access Canada Launches New Initiative "WarnerMedia Access Festivals"

The Program for Mid-Level Filmmakers Launches at TIFF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Toronto, September 7, 2021 - WarnerMedia Access Canada today announced WarnerMedia Access Festivals, a new initiative to demystify the festival experience and guide mid-level filmmakers from underrepresented communities in making the most of networking opportunities. The innovative program will launch across Canada starting with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), with the aim to partner with film festivals across Canada and the U.S.

WarnerMedia Access Festivals will build relationships with, and support committed filmmakers who are pursuing careers in the industry and are ready to maximize their festival experiences. The program will provide selected participants with an industry accreditation pass as well as an exclusive opportunity to meet with an experienced filmmaker and to discuss practical strategies with a festival programmer. It will also provide a curated guidebook (The Access Festivals How-To Guide) filled with valuable networking advice from WarnerMedia executives and other key industry professionals including how to prepare, pitch and follow up on those crucial festival connections.

“We are thrilled to launch this program at TIFF 2021 to provide mid-level filmmakers access to film festivals as well as insider knowledge from our internal experts on how to navigate festivals successfully,” said Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Equity, and Inclusion, WarnerMedia. “This program is another example of WarnerMedia’s commitment to support and foster relationships with underrepresented voices through our WarnerMedia Access Canada division and is an exciting way to build talent up while expanding who has access to key industry events.”

For TIFF, program participants will receive a Pro Pass for the entire festival that provides access to all online screenings, networking opportunities, the Industry Conference, and professional resources. They will take part in a special conversation arranged just for them with guest filmmaker Thyrone Tommy, to discuss his own film festival journey, and connect with Ravi Srinivasan, TIFF’s International Programmer, Canada, to discuss the process, strategy, and tips for festival success. They will also receive WarnerMedia’s TIFF-edition guidebook.

“We can’t wait for filmmakers to transform from festival outsiders to insiders through this program,” said Deanna Cadette, Executive Director, WarnerMedia Access Canada. “It was designed by our festivals lead Luisa Alvarez Restrepo  with the filmmaker perspective at the forefront and with an outlook that’s both local and global. We’re excited to build a community of savvy creators, across Canada and the U.S., who can confidently leverage the festival experience to drive their projects, careers, and the industry forward.”

Other participating film festivals in Canada include Ottawa International Animation Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Reelworld Film Festival, Rendezvous with Madness Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and Fantasia International Film Festival, which will each offer bespoke experiences. There are a limited number of spots available per festival, but WarnerMedia Access Festivals is available all year through a variety of festival partnerships to provide an array of opportunities. Calls for applications will be shared widely through WarnerMedia Access Canada’s social platforms as well as each festival’s social channels and newsletters. Application requirements will be identified on the specific application form for the festival.

The WarnerMedia Access Canada team was formed in September 2020. It is laser-focused on connecting experienced, mid-, and entry-level talent from underrepresented communities with global opportunities in above- and below-the-line roles. The team has several talent activation programs underway including the WarnerMedia Access X Canadian Academy Writers Program, designed to champion experienced mid-level Canadian writers, provide them with access to WarnerMedia executives and creatives, and accelerate their advancement into decision-making roles; and the recently launched Access to Action Canada program in BC which provides individuals who haven't traditionally had pathways into the entertainment industry with access to below-the-line job opportunities on WarnerMedia productions across the province.


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About WarnerMedia Access:

At WarnerMedia we believe in authentic, meaningful connection—to each other, to culture, and to our consumer. That’s why we empower fearless storytellers who bring our world into focus—and create cultural touchstones with the power to draw us together. Through best-in-class talent development programs, mentorship, placement opportunities and industry exposure, WarnerMedia Access serves as a powerful conduit connecting under-represented Talent to our content and brands.

For more information on WarnerMedia Access visit

About WarnerMedia Access Canada

Established in 2020, WarnerMedia Access Canada elevates, activates, and connects Canadian talent from communities that have been historically marginalized with global opportunities and global audiences. This suite of above- and below-the-line initiatives builds on WarnerMedia’s relationships with creators, craftspeople and technicians of all genders and abilities from communities including Indigenous, Black, and racialized groups, people with disabilities, and members of LGBTQ2+ and Francophone minority communities. WarnerMedia Access Canada values the undervalued and celebrates the underrepresented -- all to bring the best and most promising talent in Canada to the world.

About WarnerMedia 

WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. The organization also includes Xandr’s suite of advanced advertising solutions designed to help to improve advertising for brands, publishers, and consumers. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

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