TIFF Filmmaker Lab brings together some of the world’s most promising filmmaking talent during the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Over a four-day period, selected participants learn from internationally acclaimed filmmakers and guests, deepening their industry understanding and empowering them to move forward with their projects. Past mentors and speakers include: Julie Dash, Jane Campion, Juliette Binoche, Jim Stark, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Ivan Reitman, Atom Egoyan, Sandra Oh, Darren Aronofsky, Lone Scherfig, Mia Hansen-Løve, Claire Denis, Agnieszka Holland, Jia Zhangke, Wim Wenders, Alfonso Cuarón, Spike Lee, Steve McQueen, Ava DuVernay, Cassian Elwes and Jean-Marc Vallée.

Applications are now closed. We thank all who applied.

What’s included:

  • A four-day, feature film–focused programme from September 4 to 7
  • Mentorship from TIFF’s programming team and expert guests
  • Complimentary accreditation for the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Complimentary accreditation for TIFF’s Industry Conference, Business Centre, and delegate resources
  • Accommodation for all out-of-town participants
  • Lunch on the four main days of the Lab
  • Invitations to two networking cocktails and one official dinner

IMPORTANT: TIFF Filmmaker Lab does not cover travel costs for selected participants. Transportation, including flights, train rides, etc. are the responsibility of the participants. Upon request, where visas are required for participating filmmakers, TIFF will use its best efforts to assist with the visa process. Should the selected participants reside more than 50km outside of the City of Toronto, TIFF Filmmaker Lab will provide up to five nights of accommodation in a downtown hotel.


TIFF Filmmaker Lab focuses on narrative storytelling and filmmaking.

  • This program is open to emerging filmmakers with a minimum of two short-film credits and a maximum of one feature-film credit as a director or screenwriter.
  • International applicants are welcome. All sessions are held in English, which applicants will need to be able to speak and understand fluently.
  • Only one submission per applicant.
  • Maximum of three total submissions to Filmmaker Lab per applicant over the last 10 years, i.e. if you have applied unsuccessfully on three different occasions in the past decade, you are not eligible to apply for the 2019 Lab.
  • Applicants must submit a continuous one-minute excerpt of one film project (short film, feature film, documentary, or animation). The clip must not exceed one minute in length. If you have applied for TIFF Filmmaker Lab in previous years, you must re-apply with a different film clip. Online applications must be submitted by 5pm EST on Friday, May 31, 2019 for Canadian applicants and Friday, June 7, 2019 for international applicants.
  • Applicants must submit a video pitch of less than two minutes in duration. The applicant should comment on their project and filmmaking approach, as well as why they want to participate in TIFF Filmmaker Lab.

Key Dates

Applications open
March 1
Canadian Applications close
May 31
International applications close
June 7
Participants notified of selection
June 28
TIFF Filmmaker Lab
September 4–7

Email us at industry@tiff.net.

    Supported By Venue Partner