Karen King

Founder, Productions Without Borders

Topics: Arts & Entertainment, Film & TV, Business
Interview Date: Nov-21-2013
Extraordinary Insights: Have a 'can do' attitude.

Karen King is the founder of Productions Without Borders (PWB), an online community dedicated to supporting the film and TV content industry in reaping the benefits of diversity and inclusion.  In 1995, Karen became the first Black woman in Canada to produce a full-length feature film, Rude, by Clement Virgo, which premiered at both the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals. Her short film, Variations on the Key to Life, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and Dead of Winter, premiered at the Halifax Film Festival. She is one a few executives of colour who have worked in conventional network television in Canada, and is the founding Vice-President of the Black Film and Video Network. Karen is also the first, and, so far only, person to win the Gemini’s Canada Award twice and is a recipient of the African-Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Media. In 2003-05, she was a member of the team that launched a new TV station, Toronto 1 (now SUN TV), and was Executive Director of the New Voices Fund, for producers of colour and the Priority Program Fund for prime-time programming. Prior to becoming a broadcaster, Karen was a member of the National Film Board’s (NFB) Special Mandate Team for Cultural Diversity; produced films and developed strategies for the NFB to be more accessible to filmmakers of colour; developed the Reel Diversity Competition, ReelWorld NFB Prize and continued the annual diversity open-house; produced several award-winning films reflecting Black, Chinese, South Asian, Latin American and Jewish realities.