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Jan 29, 2020

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Helga Stephenson and Divya Shahani New Co-Chairs of POV

Helga Stephenson and Divya Shahani New Co-Chairs of POV

Toronto, ON -- January 29, 2020 -- Veteran Helga Stephenson and top entertainment lawyer Divya Shahani have taken up new roles as Co-Chairs of POV, Toronto’s foremost training and skills development center for diverse youth for the film, television and media industry.

Now in its 11th year, POV was established by Radke President Edie Weiss and Filmmaker/ Producer Jeff Kopas to address the lack of diversity in the film, television and media industries. Recruiting talent to more accurately reflect the populations of Canada, POV has programs and workforce development strategies designed to provide access to the media world. POV has trained over 400 young people with 80% moving into gainful and meaningful economic opportunities within the industry.

“It is time for the world of content creation in all its forms to recognize we are a diverse world which should be reflected in the creative industries. To that end, we will be seeking partners in all sectors of the production industry to collaborate with us to more fully reflect this new world.” said Helga Stephenson.

“I’m all too cognizant of the reality that there is an accessibility issue in our industry. Being an artist or filmmaker, or generally breaking into the entertainment industry, should be accessible to anyone who has the work ethic, drive and talent to do so.” said Divya Shahani, senior associate at Hall Webber LLP. “POV fosters these traits in our participants, young people from diverse backgrounds.”

Helga Stephenson is a well-known figure in both the film and television industries where she is best known for her pioneering work at TIFF and the Academy of Canadian Film & Television. She also brought Human Rights Watch to Canada and is currently chair of their annual film festival which takes please this year at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, January 30 – February 4.

Divya Shahani is known for her legal prowess in the entertainment industry among producers, artists, content creators, financiers and start-ups, and prides herself in giving back to the community by mentorship and board work with non-profit organizations in the media industry.

POV is a registered not-for-profit charity whose mission is to champion diversity in the film, television and content industries. Through specialized training. POV is creating a new generation of diverse young professionals who bring talent, ambition and value to these industries, making them representative of Toronto’s diversity.