Reelworld – co-founded by Tonya Williams – recently launched Access Reelworld, a database of Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, Latinx and all other racially diverse communities in the Canadian entertainment industry.
The database can be used to find above- and below-the-line talent, applicants for your board of directors or new hires for your non-profit arts organizations and productions companies.
NSI caught up with Tonya – who’s also a graduate of NSI Global Marketing – to find out more about this incredible industry resource.
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How did the database and job board come about?
Since 2001, when Reelworld launched, we’ve been the ‘go to’ place for the rest of the Canadian screen industry when they’re seeking talent in front of and behind the screen from the Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latinx communities. So we knew there was a need. But back in 2001 technology was still very expensive – over the last three years it’s been more cost prohibitive – so we started looking for a web developer and scraping up some financing to create the database and job board platform.
What purpose is the database intended to serve?
This is a perfect opportunity for all those production companies, casting directors, agents, directors and everyone who says they want to create more diversity and inclusion in their productions, office and board of directors.
Our inclusion of a job board was key too. Often people don’t know where to post a job when specifically trying to attract more diversity – this platform will help with that.
What are the advantages of being on the database?
We have several databases for talent across Canada. I like ours because it will also list people who are not in ‘unions’ and we made the database accessible to everyone, so whatever you put on there the whole world can see (in the same way that IMDb is accessible to the whole world.)
Exactly who should be adding themselves to the database?
We have over 100 categories on our list. Everyone that touches the screen industry should be there. This is not just for actors, directors, producers and writers (although we do have those). This is for set medics, set construction, gaffers, assistants, agents, publicists – all crew [including] hair, makeup, catering, legal and line producers. You name it! And if you don’t see it on the list, let us know, and we’ll add it. This database will only work if it’s as comprehensive as we can get it.
What’s your call to action for folks reading about your database on the NSI website?
First, if you’re Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern or Latinx and work in the Canadian entertainment industry on any level – go to accessreelworld.ca and register. Second, if you’re seeking talent from those communities, go to accessreelworld.ca to find them. And third, if you have a job posting go there and post your job and you’ll find the diverse hiring you’re seeking.