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Sexual assault allegations at Atlantic Filmmakers Co-operative 

AFCOOP board is investigating after accusations made about the organization.

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The Atlantic Filmmakers Co-operative posted a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday, in part addressing the claims made public this week by a woman that she was sexually assaulted by a current staff member several years ago while working on a film. In light of that incident—about which the organization determined “no further action was warranted”—AFCOOP says it's received “similar allegations” that it’s begun looking into.

click to enlarge This series of emails was posted to a Facebook discussion by someone who says they know the original complainant.
  • This series of emails was posted to a Facebook discussion by someone who says they know the original complainant.
"The Board has commenced an investigation into these allegations and has again engaged external legal counsel," the statement reads. "As a membership-based community organization we are aware that without confidence in AFCOOP’s leadership and a sense of safety in interacting with our staff, we cannot fulfill our function in the community."

AFCOOP (of which I am a past member of the board of directors) is a member-run film centre and registered charity founded in 1973.

The organization’s popular annual event The Holiday Super-8 Film Challenge, scheduled for December 13, has been cancelled as AFCOOP deals with the investigation.

AFCOOP's full statement:

In 2016 AFCOOP received an anonymous email alleging that an AFCOOP staff person had sexually assaulted the sender of the email. AFCOOP engaged external legal counsel and conducted an investigation, which included interviews with AFCOOP staff. It was determined at that time that no further action was warranted. We realize that, from an external perspective, this summary may be unsatisfying—please be assured that we took the allegations seriously and acted based on the information available.

Recently other similar allegations have been brought to AFCOOP's attention. The Board has commenced an investigation into these allegations and has again engaged external legal counsel. As a membership-based community organization we are aware that without confidence in AFCOOP’s leadership and a sense of safety in interacting with our staff, we cannot fulfill our function in the community. AFCOOP takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously and is committed to maintaining creative spaces that are free of all forms of discrimination based on a protected ground, bullying, harassment, violence and sexualized violence.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact AFCOOP’s director Martha Cooley: director@afcoop.ca or the chair of our board, Jennifer Comeau: jennifercomeau@gmail.com




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