Indigenous Screen Office Releases 2021-22 Annual Report and 3-Year Strategic Plan - ISO-BEA

Toronto_ The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is pleased to release its roundup of the successes of the last fiscal year in the 2021-22 Annual Report, and a roadmap for the next three years through its new strategic plan.

In April 2021, the ISO received a $39 million federal funding commitment over three years and had just eight months to deliver the first year’s allocation of $13m, delivering a full suite of programs while building organizational capacity. During that time, a new team was put in place, as well as a funding framework, online application portal and new website to support applicants.  All of this hard work and commitment allowed the ISO to support 162 recipients across Canada  in ten provinces and territories. 

Over the last three years, the ISO has grown and flourished within the larger Canadian screen industry, creating space for Indigenous filmmakers and content creators while building partnerships with Netflix, Directors Guild of Canada, and Sundance Native Filmmakers’ Lab.

“We have also continued to build on our relationships with founding partners APTN, CBC, Canadian Media Fund (CMF), Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and Telefilm Canada. Collaboration has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of our approach and key to our rapid evolution as Canada’s only independent Indigenous screen-based fund,” said Kerry Swanon, ISO’s Co-Executive Director.

“We received over 200 applications for funding this fiscal, and while we couldn’t fund every project, the high caliber projects we did fund demonstrates the incredible talent that lies within the Indigenous community,” said Kristy Assu, Director of Funding Programs.

The ISO also diversified its office during the pandemic and moved to a “remote office” model with 10 staff in four provinces: Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia 

“We listened to the community and heard their requests for a decentralized office. We have an incredible team of talented individuals who will help the Indigenous screen sector grow through their work at the ISO,” said Swanson. 

The ISO continues its advocacy for increased and permanent funding from the federal government in next year’s budget. 

“While we continue to build on the successes of the ISO, we know permanent funding will let storytelling through Indigenous narrative sovereignty flourish, and in turn, our communities will rebuild, restore and reclaim what has been taken,’ said Jesse Wente, ISO Co-Executive Director. 

Over the last year, ISO has welcomed people in a variety of newly-created roles including Kristy Assu, Director of Funding Programs; Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin, Director of Communications and Marketing; Isabelle Ruiz, Program Manager, Sector Development; Tash Naveau, Program Manager, Story Fund; Kaya Wheeler, Manager of Strategic Initiatives; Nicole Hill, Finance Manager; and Natalie Dunlop, Program Coordinator. ISO continued its work with consultant Marcia Nickerson, who led the strategic planning process and with Kim Wheeler, communications consultant. 

Other Highlights:

  • Release of “Building Trust and Accountability: Report on Eligibility in the Indigenous Screen Sector,” which the ISO commissioned with APTN, conducted by Archipel Research and Consulting
  • Launched pilot Directors’ Fellowship Program with the Directors’ Guild of Canada
  • 67.18% of all projects include an Indigenous language
  • 67.18% identified as First Nation
  • 17.56% identified as Métis
  • 8.4% identified as Inuk
  • 6.87% identified as both First Nations and Métis
  • 33 recipients identified as two-spirit, queer or bi-sexual
  • 13 recipients identified as having a visible or non-visible disability
  • 1 recipient identified as Deaf

Please see the ISO Annual Report 2021-22 and 3-Year Strategic Plan for more details.

For more information or to book an interview please contact:

Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin
Director of Marketing & Communications
(438) 826-6291

About the Indigenous Screen Office
The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is an independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators of screen content in Canada. The ISO’s mandate is to foster and support narrative sovereignty and cultural revitalization by increasing Indigenous storytelling on screens and promoting Indigenous values and participation across the sector.