Introducing the 2019 TIFF Rising Stars

Shamier Anderson

Select television credits include Wynonna Earp (16– ) and Amazon’s Goliath (18), on which Anderson is a regular. Notable features include Across the Line (15); roles opposite Nicole Kidman in Destroyer, which premiered at TIFF 2018, and opposite Johnny Depp in City of Lies (18); and Endings, Beginnings, which is premiering at TIFF 2019. Anderson recently wrapped on Spike Lee’s Son of the South and Stowaway, opposite Anna Kendrick. Anderson and his brother Stephan James co-founded the B.L.A.C.K. Ball, an event hosted in Toronto during TIFF and in Los Angeles during Oscars season.

Kacey Rohl

Kacey Rohl is from Vancouver. Her first onscreen appearance was the TV series V (09–11). She is best known for her roles in Red Riding Hood (11), The Killing (11–14), Arrow (12– ), Hannibal (13–15), Wayward Pines (15–16), and The Magicians (15–19). She is currently shooting the TV series Fortunate Son.

Nahéma Ricci

Nahéma Ricci was born in Montreal. As an interpreter, she has participated in multiple film projects and the stage production cet intervalle (17). As a performer, Ricci’s onscreen credits include Ailleurs (17) and the upcoming Antigone. She is also the author, director, and interpreter of the play Identikit (19), which was presented at Montreal’s Fringe Festival. She recently completed the 2018–19 Dance as a Profession program at Danceworks in Berlin. In the near future, she will appear in the independent drama Before El Finâ and will serve as interpreter for the film De guerre lasse, in pre-production.

Mikhaïl Ahooja

Mikhaïl Ahooja is a Montreal-based actor who is very active in Quebec. He has appeared in numerous plays, TV shows, and movies. Recent television credits include Au secours de Béatrice (14– ), Prémonitions (16– ), and Juste nous deux (19–). He has also starred in the feature films La Maison du pêcheur (13), Fabuleuses (19), and The Twentieth Century, which is making its World Premiere at TIFF 2019.

Chino Darín

Chino Darín is most known for his breakout performance as Alejandro Puccio in the TV series Historia de un clan (15). His film credits include The Queen of Spain (16), A Twelve-Year Night (18), El Angel (18), and the upcoming Heroic Losers. He is the son of the renowned actor Ricardo Darín.

Geraldine Viswanathan

Geraldine Viswanathan is an Australian actor. Her credits include Blockers (18), Hala (19), the TV series Miracle Workers (19– ), and Bad Education, which is making its World Premiere at TIFF 2019. She is currently filming Natalie Krinsky’s romantic comedy The Broken Heart Gallery.

Josefine Frida

Josefine Frida is a Norwegian actor. Her credits include the TV series Skam (15–17), stage productions of the musicals Hair and Robin Hood, and the feature film Disco, which is making its World Premiere at TIFF 2019.

Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Kelvin Harrison Jr. is an American actor. In 2017, Filmmaker Magazine named him one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” He first garnered attention in It Comes at Night (17), which received critical acclaim and earned him a Gotham Independent Film Award nomination for Breakthrough Actor. Other credits include Monsters and Men (18), Luce (19), and Waves, which is premiering at TIFF 2019.

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 poised for international success.

The Canadian and international actors who are selected for the program are immersed in a series of public events and private industry meetings during the Festival. They undertake professional development with international casting directors, filmmakers, producers, and industry executives, and also have front-row access at some of the biggest red-carpet events at the Festival. TIFF Rising Stars alumni include Stephan James, Tatiana Maslany, and Sarah Gadon.

What’s included:

  • Four-day intensive program September 6–9
  • Mentorship from TIFF’s programming team and expert guests
  • National and international media exposure
  • Complimentary guest accreditation at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Complimentary access to TIFF’s Industry Conference, Business Centre, and Delegate Resources
  • A social mixer dedicated to celebrating the TIFF Rising Stars programme


Canadian actors need to apply. International participants will be chosen based on films in Official Selection at TIFF.

Canadian Applicants

The TIFF Rising Stars programme is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are 20–40 years old.

  • Applicants must have a minimum of three screen credits in a principal role (short films, feature films, or scripted broadcast TV shows).
  • At least one of these screen credits must be for a feature film.
  • Priority will be given to candidates who have a principal role in a feature film submitted to the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Key Dates

Applications open
April 8
Applications close
June 25
Participants notified of selection
July 19

Submission Guidelines

Applicants must provide the following materials in support of their application:

  • Copy of filmography in pdf format (max. one page)
  • 1 high-res headshot file in colour (format: jpg; min. resolution: 300dpi)
  • 1 high-res still from a film in which the applicant has starred (format: jpg; min. resolution: 300dpi)
  • 2 clips from films in which the applicant has a principal role (max. length of each clip: 3 minutes).
  • 1 video self-interview; max. length: 3 minutes (see below for more information).

Clip and Video Submission Protocol
All clips and the video self-interview must be submitted electronically as a Vimeo link through the TIFF Rising Stars application form. NOTE: one of the film clips should be from the film that has been submitted to the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (if applicable); the other clip can be from a previous feature/short film or TV show, in which the applicant had a principal role. Please read the following before you submit the link to your clips:

  1. The film clips and self-interview must each be shorter than three minutes.
  2. The film clips and self-interview must be edited together into one file and uploaded to Vimeo. Please put the film clip(s) first, followed by the self-interview.
  3. The Vimeo link to the file needs to be valid and active until September 13, 2019.
  4. Please ensure that all of the clips are in high resolution. The Jury will review the clips on a large screen.
  5. Please ensure that the file is downloadable from Vimeo.
  6. If the language spoken in the film(s) is not English, please ensure that the clip includes English subtitles.
  7. If you would like to password-protect your clip, please use the password: TRS2019.
  8. Demo reels, trailers, and music videos will not be accepted.
  9. Submissions of full-length films with time-codes will not be considered by the Jury.

IMPORTANT: TIFF takes the applicant's confidentiality seriously and the Vimeo links will not be shared with any third parties. Access to TIFF Rising Stars clips and applications is limited to the TIFF Rising Stars programming team and Jury members. While in TIFF’s possession, all clips are securely stored. No duplication of the clips is permitted.

Video Self-Interview
Applicants will need to answer three questions in a video self-interview. Maximum length of the entire video should be no longer than three minutes.

  • What do you hope to get out of TIFF Rising Stars?
  • What kind of roles would you like to play? Please explain.
  • Name three directors or showrunners with whom you’d like to work. Tell us why.

Contact us at 1-888-599-8433 ext 2407 or email us at

2018 Rising Stars

The 2018 class of selected actors consists of Devery Jacobs, Lamar Johnson, Michaela Kurimsky, Jess Salgueiro, Stéphane Bak, Ahmed Malek, Josh Wiggins, and Eleanor Worthington-Cox.

2017 Rising Stars

The 2017 class of selected actors consists of Theodore Pellerin, Ellen Wong, Mary Galloway, Vinnie Bennett, Jessie Buckley, Lina El Arabi, and Mamoudou Athie.

2016 Rising Stars

The 2016 class of selected actors consists of Grace Glowicki, Jared Abrahamson, Mylene Mackay, Oc Ukeje, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, and Sophie Nélisse.

2015 Rising Stars

The 2015 class of selected actors consists of Aliocha Schneider, Deragh Campbell, Karelle Tremblay and Stephan James.

2014 Rising Stars

The 2014 class of selected actors consists of Alexandre Landry, Julia Sarah Stone, Shannon Kook and Sophie Desmarais.

2013 Rising Stars

The 2013 class of selected actors consists of Cara Gee, Evelyne Brochu, Jonathan Sousa and Megan Park.

2012 Rising Stars

The inaugral Rising Stars class of selected actors consists of Charlie Carrick, Charlotte Sullivan, Connor Jessup and Tatiana Maslany.

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