Industry - Filmmaker Lab


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Filmmaker Lab

Applications are now open!

TIFF Filmmaker Lab is a talent development programme that takes place during the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Each year, 20 Canadian and international directors receive an exceptional professional development experience, and an introduction to the global community of filmmaking. Over a five-day period, participants have the opportunity to interact with and learn from internationally acclaimed filmmakers and guests.

Fellowships generously supported by Every Story, Share Her Journey and For the Love of Film donors ensure that programme participants are given additional financial support to help them fulfill their creative vision.

What’s included:

  • A five-day, feature film–focused programme, taking place in-person from September 6 to 10, 2023
  • Mentorship from TIFF’s programming team and industry experts
  • Access to the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Access to TIFF’s Industry Conference, Business Centre, and Delegate Resources
  • A complimentary one-year TIFF Membership, which includes discounts on film tickets at TIFF Bell Lightbox
A group of people sitting around a table having a discussion.


TIFF Filmmaker Lab focuses on narrative storytelling and filmmaking.

  • Applications are open to Canadian and international emerging filmmakers with a minimum of two short-film credits and a maximum of one feature-film credit as a director or screenwriter.
  • Only one submission per applicant.
  • There is a 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 2023 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 to TIFF Filmmaker Lab in previous years, you must re-apply with a different film clip. Online applications must be submitted by 11:59pm ET on May 29, 2023.
  • Applicants must submit a video pitch, no more than two minutes in duration. The applicant should comment on their project and filmmaking approach, as well as why they would like to participate in Filmmaker Lab.

Key Dates

Applications open
April 17
Application close
May 29
Participants notified of selection
August 14
TIFF Filmmaker Lab
September 6–10

Submission Guidelines

Clip Submission

  • If you would like to password-protect your Vimeo file, please use the password FL2023.
  • Demo reels, trailers, and music videos will NOT be accepted.
  • Collectively, the total running time of your Vimeo file cannot exceed one minute.
  • Please add information on the clip context to the description on Vimeo.
  • Submissions of full-length films indicating a time code will not be considered by the jury.
  • Please ensure that the clip includes English subtitles if the language spoken is not English.


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