FTM COVID-19 Training for Manitoba’s Dynamic Film Industry

Throughout the pandemic, Film Training Manitoba (FTM) has provided extensive COVID-19 training for the province’s film industry workers to do their jobs safely.

FTM launched three new COVID-19 courses which were held seventeen times to teach over 520 film industry professionals COVID-19 best practices on film sets.

In the summer of 2020, FTM partnered with the Manitoba Tourism Sector Council (MTEC) and received input from Economic Development Training (EDT) to develop the SMART START: COVID-19 Safety Cleaning and Sanitization course curriculum.

“The Province of Manitoba’s Sector Council Program effectively pooled resources during the pandemic to create critical workforce development training,” said FTM’s Managing Director Adam Smoluk. “This helped our industry operate safely while also combating the economic challenges of COVID-19.”

Once FTM fully developed course materials, it shared the curriculum with a film industry committee that included Manitoba Film and Music, the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, the Director’s Guild of Canada (Manitoba District Council), IATSE 856, On Screen MB, and SAFEwork MB to ensure the effectiveness of the training.

FTM delivered the course SMART START: Safety for Supervisors in the Media Production Industry during COVID-19 which was led by SAFE Work MB’s Jack Slessor.

FTM then worked with instructors Ellen Rutter and Nicole Loewen, who both had experience as COVID-19 Safety Supervisors on film sets, to deliver a third FTM course; Introduction to COVID-19 Safety Supervision for the Film Industry.

“As a long-serving film professional, there is no doubt that FTM’s highly responsive training contributed greatly to a safer production environment during the COVID-19 era,” added Ellen Rutter, who also has a track record as a line producer, production manager, and FTM mentor.

In total, 520 participants attended FTM’s live in-class Zoom training sessions. Manitoba’s film industry productions re-opened in the summer of 2020, and productions effectively instituted the safety training as outlined in FTM courses as well as on-site COVID-19 testing. During that timeframe, there were no known documented COVID-19 transmissions on any Manitoba film sets.

“FTM’s courses have provided the tools necessary for a strong record of COVID-19 safety in film productions,” said FTM instructor Nicole Loewen, who’s also a COVID Supervisor with a background in Nursing and Clinical Education.

Since launching FTM’s COVID-19 courses for the film industry, there have been additional requests from other film organizations and companies to provide training courses. This included the production company Frantic Films and the National Screen Institute of Canada.

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