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Professional Development

TIFF Industry runs a series of tailored professional development programmes, to assist talented filmmakers to fast track their careers and projects. The broad range on offer includes bespoke opportunities for directors (Talent Lab), actors (Rising Stars) and filmmakers with films in Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival (Filmmaker Boot Camp). Filmmaking teams are encouraged to apply for Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!, and producers may apply to OMDC's International Financing Forum, Producers Lab Toronto and Studio.

Breakfast @ TIFF

Breakfast at TIFF is a new initiative that aims to bring the Toronto screen industry together at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Each month you’ll hear from provocative and expert speakers on timely subjects. You’ll have the chance to catch up over a light breakfast with colleagues, friends, and new acquaintances from the local film-production scene.

Watch this space for upcoming dates, topic announcements and ticket information.

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Breakfast @ TIFF

We’re kicking off our 2016 Breakfast at TIFF season on FRIDAY, JUNE 3 with a topic that has truly captured interest and created debate: access to finances and film festivals.

Don’t miss our session, where a panel of speakers will debate this subject. You’ll hear from director MATT JOHNSON, filmmakers KAZIK RADWANSKI and INGRID VENINGER, a representative from TELEFILM CANADA, and moderator CAMERON BAILEY, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival.

DATE: Friday, June 3, 2016
TIME: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
VENUE: Bell Blue Room, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West, Toronto TICKET PRICE: $18.00 + HST
A light breakfast will be served.

Talent Lab

Held annually during the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF Talent Lab is an artistic development program intended for aspiring Canadian and international filmmakers. This extremely competitive programme provides 20 young directors and screenwriters with an intensive learning experience that seeks to further develop their creativity, artistic process, and voice. With guidance from some of the best-known and most esteemed experts in independent cinema from around the world, TIFF Talent Lab is designed to launch the careers of the next generation of filmmakers. The Talent Lab application period is now open — and it’s FREE to apply!

See our selected 2016 participants

Presenting Sponsor: RBC, Supported by: Telefilm Canada, Supported by: The Slaight Family Foundation, Supported by: Ivan Reitman

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Talent Lab


TIFF Talent Lab is open to emerging filmmakers with a minimum of two short-film credits and a maximum of one feature-film credit as director or screenwriter. Please note that Talent Lab focuses primarily on narrative storytelling and filmmaking.

  • International applicants are welcome. All Talent Lab sessions are held in English, so applicants must be fluent.
  • Only one submission per applicant. Maximum of three total submissions per applicant over the last 12 years. If you have applied for Talent Lab unsuccessfully on three different occasions in the past decade, you are not eligible to apply for 2016. .
  • Applicants must submit a continuous excerpt of one film project (short film, feature film; documentary, fiction, or animation). The clip must not exceed one minute in length. Please note that we do not accept submissions of full-length films, demo reels, music videos, or trailers. If you have applied for Talent Lab previously you must submit a different film clip.
  • Applications need to be submitted by the applicants themselves, not by third parties (i.e., assistants, co-workers, etc.).


Talent Lab offers an incredible learning and professional development opportunity for filmmakers and screenwriters from around the world. In addition, selected participants will receive:

  • a Toronto International Film Festival Industry Pass
  • accommodations in a downtown hotel for the duration of the programme (available to selected participants whose place of resides is more than 50km outside of Toronto)
  • a lunch provided by TIFF Industry on the four main days of the Lab, September 8–11
  • invitations to attend two networking cocktails and one Talent Lab–specific dinner

Please note: TIFF Industry does not cover travel costs for selected participants. Flights, train or car travel, etc. are the responsibility of the participants.

Submission Guidelines and Deadlines

All applications must be submitted by 5pm EST on Monday, June 20.

All applicants must include a Vimeo link to a one-minute clip from one of their films in the online application form. Please observe the following rules when submitting the link to your clip:

1. Your clip must not be longer than one minute.
2. The link to the clip needs to be valid and active until July 29, 2016.
3. Please ensure that the clip is in high resolution.
4. Please ensure that the clip is downloadable.
5. Please ensure that the clip includes English subtitles if the work is in a language other than English.
6. If you would like to password-protect your clip, please use the password TL2016.
7. Please add information on the clip’s context to the description on Vimeo.
8. Demo reels, trailers and music videos will not be accepted.
9. Submissions of full-length films with time codes to be played will not be considered by the jury.

Have a question of Talent Lab? Please contact

Rising Stars

TIFF Rising Stars immerses four chosen actors in a series of public events and private industry meetings during the Festival. They undertake intensive professional development with international casting directors, filmmakers, producers and development executives. Moreover, the Stars will be front row centre at some of the biggest red-carpet events at the Festival.

See our selected 2016 participants

Presenting Partner: The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, Supported by: Telefilm Canada, Supported by: CSA, Sponsored by: L'Oréal Paris, Industry Sponsors: Birks, Hudson's Bay, Supported by: Ivan Reitman

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Rising Stars

Applications for Rising Stars 2016 are now closed. Check back August 3 to meet our 2016 participants and for updates on the programme.


Studio is the year-round TIFF Industry programme at TIFF Bell Lightbox. TIFF is excited to launch the fourth round of Studio, co-supported by the Harold Greenberg Fund and the Director's Guild of Canada.

Studio is aspace for filmmakers to be inspired, consolidate skills, exchange ideas, and discuss challenges in a collaborative environment. Offered to a selected group of 10 mid-career, writer-directors across Canada, Studio is intended to take the candidates careers to the next level, via creative and business skill development.

See our selected 2016 participants

Supported by: The Harold Greenberg Fund and Director's Guild of Canada

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2016 Programming

Module 2: Packaging and Sales

What do Talent Agencies really do? How do they package films? How do they finance films? How do they work with other talent agencies? At what stage of development or financing should you approach a Talent Agency?

Talent Agencies have always been key players in the North American film industry. Founded in 1975, CAA represents many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, theatre, video games, sports and digital content. Over the past few years, their role in financing and selling films has increased significantly, to the extent that they have opened a Sales and Financing department. In this session, Tristen Tuckfield, a CAA agent in the Film Finance & Sales Group, will share her expertise and hopefully shed some light.

See 2016 Participants

Studio is the year-round TIFF Industry programme at TIFF Bell Lightbox. TIFF Industry is excited to launch the fourth round of Studio co-supported by the Harold Greenberg Fund and the Director’s Guild of Canada.

As a space for filmmakers to be inspired, Studio participants consolidate skills, exchange ideas, and discuss challenges in a collaborative environment. This year, Studio is open to writer-directors with a minimum of one feature film and/​or three short film credits as writer-director. These participants are curious about all fields of film, TV, documentary, online, interactive and transmedia, and are interested in collaborating with their peers, as well as challenging their own views.

Chosen participants will have a unique opportunity to interact with internationally acclaimed industry professionals – including acclaimed filmmakers, experienced producers and other experts in both the Canadian and international film industries.


Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!

Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! returns for its 17th consecutive year at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. This is your chance to bring a feature film project to life. All genres and styles of presentation are permitted. The most original and compelling story will be awarded a prize of $15,000. Six teams will have six minutes to pitch their feature film idea to a live audience of industry delegates and a jury of development and production experts.

Presenting Partner: Telefilm Canada

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Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!

Applications for Telefilm Canada's Pitch This! are now closed. Check back to meet this year's finalists on August 3, 2016.

Applicants need to be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. At least one of the pitch team members needs to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Alumni of Talent Lab at the Toronto International Film Festival;
  • Alumni or Participant in TIFF Studio;
  • Director or Producer of a short or feature film selected for a previous edition of the Toronto
  • Director or Producer of a short or feature film selected for a previous edition of Canada's Top Ten; OR
  • Director or Producer of a short or feature film selected for one of the following major Canadian film festivals OR a major international film festival:
    • Atlantic Film Festival
    • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
    • Montreal World Film Festival
    • Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Montreal
    • Sudbury Film Festival
    • Calgary International Film Festival
    • Edmonton Film Festival
    • Vancouver International Film Festival
    • Whistler Film Festival
    • TIFF Kids International Film Festival


  • Applicants must not have more than three feature films to their credit, in order to be eligible.
  • Please note that finalists of the 2015 Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! are not eligible to apply for this year's event.
  • The cost of travel to Toronto is the responsibility of the individual

All applications must be submitted by 5pm EST on Monday, June 27. One submission per applicant and the application must be submitted in English.

Have questions about Telefilm Canada’s Pitch This!? Please contact us at indus­trypro­gram­

Len Blum Residency

Launched in July 2015, the Len Blum Residency pays homage to one of Canada’s most celebrated screenwriters by providing one Canadian filmmaker with the opportunity to live, work, and receive mentorship at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The residency is generously supported by Toronto-based producer and distributor Ron Mann.

CMPA Producer's Award

Celebrating vision and entrepreneurship, the Canadian Media Production Association's Feature Film Producer's Award is presented annually to an outstanding independent Canadian producer with a Canadian feature at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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Producer's Award

Congratulations to Robert Lantos, winner of the 2015 CMPA Producer’s Award and producer of the 2015 Festival selection Remember.

The CMPA Producer’s Award recognizes the creativity and tenacity of Canadian producers while promoting the Canadian film and television industry. It is presented on the opening day of the Festival and comes with a cash prize of $10,000 CAD.

2015 Nominees

Sylvain Corbeil – Les êtres Chers
Production Company: metafilms
Filmography: Félix et Meira, Mommy (associate producer), Joy of Man’s Desiring, Vic + Flo Saw a Bear, Head Down, Diego Star, Bestiaire, The Torrent, Nuit #1, Laurentia, Tromper le silence, Curling, Carcasses, All That She Wants

David Hamilton – Beeba Boys
Production Company: Hamilton Mehta Productions
Filmography: Midnight’s Children, Cooking with Stella, Heaven on Earth, The Forgotten Woman, Water, Bollywood/​Hollywood, Lunch with Charles, Earth, Fire

Robert Lantos – Remember
Production Company: Serendipity Point Films
Filmography: The Right Kind of Wrong, Barney’s Version, Eastern Promises, Adoration, Fugitive Pieces, Where the Truth Lies, Being Julia, The Statement, Ararat, Men with Brooms, Picture Claire, Stardom, Sunshine, Felicia’s Journey, eXistenZ, Strike!, The Sweet Hereafter, Crash, Never Talk to Strangers, Johnny Mnemonic, Whale Music, Black Robe, Joshua Then and Now, Night Magic, Separate Vacations, Bedroom Eyes, Heavenly Bodies, Scandale, Paradise, Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid, Suzanne, Agency, In Praise of Older Women, L’ange et la femme

Kim McCraw – Endorphine, My Internship in Canada
Production Company: micro_scope
Filmography: Tu dors Nicole, Fermières, Enemy, Whitewash, Gabrielle, Inch’Allah, Monsieur Lazhar, Familiar Grounds, Incendies, It’s Not Me, I Swear!, Continental, a Film Without Guns, Congorama, Familia, Ordinaire ou super, Snooze

Laura J. Milliken – Fire Song
Production Company: Big Soul Productions Inc.
Filmography: Moccasin Flats: Redemption, Mohawk Midnight Runners, The Smoke Shack, Go Get Dad, The Garden, Totem, Good Looking, I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind, 133 Skyway, Laurel, Moccasin Flats

Producers Lab

Producers Lab Toronto is an international co-production forum delivered through a partnership between TIFF Industry, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and European Film Promotion.

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Producer's Lab

The sixth edition of Producers Lab Toronto was held during the Toronto International Film Festival from September 9–12, 2015. Ten producers each from Europe and Canada joined with four participants from Australia and New Zealand to exchange ideas and information on funding and co-production on both sides of the Atlantic and Down Under.

The 24 participants took part in pitching sessions, case studies, roundtables and networking events with key people from the film industry and film funds. The aim is to both develop an understanding of international arrangements and to deepen relationships, in order to progress projects with an international scope.

2015 Producer’s Lab Participants

European participants:
Adis Djapo, SCCA (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Ivo Felt, Allfilm (Estonia)
Eva Jakobsen, Snowglobe (Denmark)
Hlín Johannesdóttir, Vintage Pictures (Iceland)
Hanan Kattan, Enlightenment Productions (UK)
Nathalie Lichtenthaeler, Wide Eye Films (Ireland)
Floor Onrust, Family Affair Films (Netherlands)
Silvia Panáková, Arina (Slovak Republic)
Edmon Roch, Ikiru Films (Spain)
Peter Rommel, Rommel Film (Germany)

Canadian participants:
Bob Crowe, Angel Entertainment Corp.
Chantelle Kadyschuk, No Trace Camping Productions
Kaleena Kiff, Radius Squared Media Group
Jane Loughman, Monkeys & Parrots
Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith, First Love Films
Marie-Claude Poulin, Item 7
Julia Rosenberg, January Films
Simone Urdl, The Film Farm
Barbara Willis Sweete, Willis Sweete Productions
Arnie Zipursky, CCI Entertainment

Australian participants:
Raquelle David, Damsel Pictures
Rebecca Summerton, Closer Productions

New Zealand participants:
Alexander Behse, Monsoon Pictures International
Leanne Saunders, Piki Films

International Financing Forum

IFF is OMDC's feature film co-financing event at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Selected international and Canadian producers are brought together with international sales agents, distributors, funders, and executive producers to do business in brokered meetings and benefit from exclusive networking opportunities.

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International Financing Forum

Now celebrating its 11th year, OMDC’s IFF has introduced hundreds of projects to the international marketplace with over 60 successfully financed to date, including Robert Budreau's Born to be Blue, Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, David Michôd’s Animal Kingdom, Haiffa Al-Mansour’sWadjda, and Ralph Fiennes directorial debut, Coriolanus among many other titles.

Canadian and international feature film producers are invited to apply to IFF. Registration is free but competitive. Final selection is based on company track record, pitch package and suitability of projects.

For more information about IFF and its application guidelines, see Here.

Filmmakers Bootcamp

Developed in partnership with Telefilm Canada, Filmmaker Boot Camp gives directors and producers the skills and contacts they need to make the most of their experience at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Supported by: Telefilm Canada

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Filmmakers Bootcamp

We know that Festival can unfold into a quick blur, and our goal is to ensure that our first time filmmakers and producers in official selection enjoy full access to all the resources available to them during the festival.

Filmmaker Boot Camp is a one day programme. It is open to Canadian directors and producers who are attending the Festival for the first-time with their feature or short film in Official Selection. Producers in TIFF’s Studio programme are also invited to participate.

Filmmaker Boot Camp takes place August 4, 2016 and is by invitation only. For more information contact