The Shine Network Will Empower and Celebrate Indigenous Women

Jennifer Podemski launched The Shine Network to empower and celebrate Indigenous women in film and television. (Courtesy

Indigenous women are chronically underrepresented both on screen and behind the camera in Canada’s film and television industries. According to a 5th Women in View on Screen Report released in 2019, there were no Indigenous women writing, directing, or in cinematography as of 2017. Award-winning film and television producer and actor Jennifer Podemski saw this lack of representation first-hand as she became successful, and she took action!

Launched on September 15, Podemski presents The Shine Network, a free subscriber-based platform that will empower and celebrate Indigenous women in both film and television. 

“We must uplift, protect and celebrate the voices and perspectives of Indigenous women. There are too few of us working behind and in front of the camera,” said Podemski, Founder and CEO of the Shine Network. “Those you read about are doing incredible and important work yet represent less than 1 percent of Canadian content creators receiving funding. When that changes we will witness a monumental shift in our collective narrative and we will all be better for it.”

The platform will offer a digital space for content created by Indigenous women as well as a professional development incubator for Indigenous women looking to pursue careers in the film, television, and media industries.

This graphic shows the percentage of women of color and Indigenous women in television in 2017. (Courtesy 5th Women in View on Screen Report 2019)

The Network is “a direct response to the chronic underrepresentation of Indigenous women on screen and behind the camera in Canada’s media production sector.”

Podemski, who is of mixed First Nations and Israeli descent, is no stranger to the screen; she’s not only a producer, but she can be seen in “Empire of Dirt,” “Dance Me Outside,” “Cardinal” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

“Being forced to pivot during a pandemic got me thinking about how I can best serve my community and make a positive and lasting impact on the Canadian media landscape,” she said. “The Shine Network is my call to action to address the grossly disproportionate realities Indigenous women face when it comes to inclusion, access and funding.”