Each year, TIFF Rising Stars showcases new Canadian and international acting talent during the Toronto International Film Festival, placing the emphasis on the next generation who are poised for international success.


2018's TIFF Rising Stars

Devery Jacobs

Devery Jacobs was born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk territory and is an actor and filmmaker. She is best known for her award-winning performances in Rhymes for Young Ghouls (13) and The Sun at Midnight (17). Her recent short film, Rae, won The Ellen Monague Award for Best Youth Work at the 2017 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and screened at the 2018 Palm Springs International ShortFest. Her upcoming credits include roles on the TV shows Cardinal (17– ), American Gods (17– ), and The Order (18– ).

Lamar Johnson

Lamar Johnson is a dancer and actor from Toronto. He has performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York City and was one of the hosts of Pop It! on TVOKids. He has appeared in TV shows such as Degrassi: The Next Generation (01–15), Rookie Blue (10–15), Saving Hope (12–), and The Next Step (13–17). Recent film credits include Kings (17); The Hate U Give (18), which is receiving its World Premiere at TIFF 2018; and the upcoming films X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Native Son.

Michaela Kurimsky

Michaela Kurimsky is a Toronto-based actor, award-winning filmmaker, and professionally trained singer with the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2014, she graduated from Ryerson with a BFA in film studies. Since then, she has been involved in filmmaking both behind and in front of the camera. She has mentored with Aaron Poole, John Gordon's The Dirt Underneath Actors’ Space, and LS&CO Studios. Kurimsky will make her feature acting debut in Firecrackers, which is having its World Premiere at TIFF 2018.

Jess Salgueiro

Jess Salgueiro is an actor, singer, playwright, and performance artist based in Toronto and Los Angeles. Recent TV credits include roles on Orphan Black (13–17), The Strain (14–17), Letterkenny (16– ), Kim's Convenience (16– ), Workin' Moms (17– ), and the upcoming The Boys. Her recent feature films include Mary Goes Round, which premiered at TIFF in 2017; Mouthpiece, which will premiere at this year’s Festival; and the upcoming No Sleep ‘Til Christmas. Salgueiro also runs an online feminist publication called bitchesbewitches.

Stéphane Bak

Stéphane Bak began his career as a comedian in Paris, producing his own shows in small theatres before moving on to such venues as Le Palace, Le Grand Rex, and the Casino de Paris. His film roles include Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s Once in a Lifetime, Christophe Barratier’s Team Spirit, David Moreau’s Alone, and Paul Verhoeven’s award-winning Elle. More recently, Bak has starred in Sebastian Schipper’s Roads, André Téchiné’s Les Ennemis, and Joël Karekezi’s The Mercy of the Jungle, which screens at TIFF ’18.

Ahmed Malek

Ahmed Malek is an Egyptian actor known for his roles in Mohamed Diab’s Clash, which opened Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2016, and Amr Salama’s Sheikh Jackson, which premiered at TIFF in 2017. Other acting credits include EXT. Night by Ahmad Abdalla, which is premiering at TIFF 2018; Gunshot by Karim El Shenawy; and The Guest from Hadi El Bagoury. Malek will play the lead in Montréal Girls, from 2018 Filmmaker Lab participant Patricia Chica.

Josh Wiggins

Josh Wiggins recently completed shooting Aaron Schneider's Greyhound opposite Tom Hanks and Paul Harrill’s Light From Light, produced by Elisabeth Moss and James M. Johnston. Previously, he starred with Oscar winner J. K. Simmons and Julie Delpy in Kurt Voelker's The Bachelors and in Harbinger Pictures’ Walking Out alongside Matt Bomer. He made his TIFF and Cannes debuts in Nathan Morlando's Mean Dreams, with Sophie Nélisse and Bill Paxton. At TIFF ’18, he will appear in Keith Behrman’s Giant Little Ones opposite Maria Bello and Kyle MacLachlan.

Eleanor Worthington-Cox

Eleanor Worthington-Cox starred in the London stage musical Matilda, winning an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the youngest-ever recipient. She appeared as Young Aurora in Disney’s Maleficent, and in the British miniseries The Enfield Haunting, earning a BAFTA nomination. Worthington-Cox recently played the lead in Paramount Pictures’ Action Point, and will appear in the Amazon Prime/Sky series Britannia. She plays the title role in William McGregor’s Gwen, which premieres at TIFF ’18.

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