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  • event_noteKey Dates
  • theatersThe Films
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  • restore2016 Festival

The Best in (Tiny) Film

August 10-20, 2017

Brought together by a shared desire to celebrate the work of international filmmakers and discover emerging talent through the world’s largest creative digital community, TIFF joins forces with UNIQLO to present the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival, a digital shorts competition that invites aspiring and established filmmakers from around the globe to share their original works. This year's TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival jury includes Lake Bell, Isabelle Huppert, John C Jay, Karan Johar, Ashton Sanders, and Director X.

The Winners


“TIFF remains committed to discovering and nurturing the talent of up-and-coming filmmakers,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “The TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival presents a unique opportunity for TIFF to engage with emerging talent on a global scale. This year, we hope TIFFxInstagram encourages even more talent internationally to create and submit films, highlighting perspectives and experiences from around the world.”

Key Dates

July 11
Submissions open
August 1
Submissions close
August 10
Voting starts!
August 10-20
Festival runs on Instagram
August 20
Voting ends
September 8
TIFFxInstagram Awards Reception, Presented by UNIQLO

The Films

The finalists have been selected! From August 10 to 20, each film will be highlighted on TIFF’s Instagram channel, while the jury deliberates to select a winner for the Jury's Choice Award Presented by UNIQLO. A Fan Favourite Award Presented by UNIQLO will also be awarded to the entrant film with the most Likes on Instagram.

To vote for a (tiny) film (or two!), watch the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival selections by clicking on their image below, and make sure to give your favourite 60-second-or-less films a Like on Instagram!


The Winners

The Awards

Jury's Choice Award Presented by UNIQLO
Chosen by the Jury
Fan Favourite Award Presented by UNIQLO
Most ♥'s on Instagram

Up to 30 finalists will be selected and highlighted on TIFF’s Instagram channel from August 9 to 20, before a jury comprised of industry professionals and filmmakers selects a winner for the Jury's Choice Award Presented by UNIQLO. In addition, a Fan Favourite Award Presented by UNIQLO will be awarded to the entrant film with the most likes on Instagram.

Both award-winners receive: - A round-trip flight to Toronto from anywhere in the world to attend the Toronto International Film Festival this September - Accommodations in Toronto for the Festival - An Industry pass for TIFF's Industry Conference to network with the film community - A selection of tickets to exciting TIFF film premieres - Recognition and celebration of filmmaker and film at the UNIQLO Awards Cocktail Reception

The Jury

Lake Bell

Director, writer, and actor @LakeBell is an unabashed creative force and distinct voice of her generation. Bell’s short film, Worst Enemy (10), which she wrote and directed, played in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film also showed at the Nantucket Film Festival, winning her Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting in a Short Film. In 2013, she made waves at Sundance when she premiered her film, In a World... (13), which she acted in, wrote, and directed. The film won Bell the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and was also named one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2013. On the small screen, in 2017, Bell directed two episodes of the popular Hulu original series Casual (15–).

Bell has several projects in the pipeline for 2017, but she currently serves as an active board member of Women In Film, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote advocacy and special programs to support the success of female peers in the entertainment industry.

Isabelle Huppert

@Isabelle.Huppert dominates the screen like no one else. Her staggering oeuvre — which spans over four decades and features more than 100 roles — situates the French actor as one of the most prolific and fiercely committed artists in cinematic history. She has delivered indelible performances for master filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard (Every Man For Himself), Claire Denis (White Material), Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher), Catherine Breillat (Abuse of Weakness), David O. Russell (I Heart Huckabees), and Claude Chabrol (La Cérémonie, for which she won the coveted César Award). Her emotive and cerebral work has elevated Huppert to the ranks of screen legends Bette Davis and Setsuko Hara. She starred in Mia Hansen-Løve's Berlin Silver Bear–winning Things to Come, Bavo Defurne's Souvenir, and Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, all of which screened at TIFF ’16.

John C Jay

@John_C_Jay is President of Global Creative at Fast Retailing, the parent company of UNIQLO. Since 2015, he has overseen global creative and brand strategy for UNIQLO and the other apparel brands of Fast Retailing, and works to build a flourishing global culture of creative excellence and innovation for the Group.

Jay's career highlights include over two decades at Wieden + Kennedy where he began as Creative Director for Nike USA and Asia, before working his way up to Global Creative Director and Partner & Trustee. In a previous role, he was Executive Vice President, Marketing and Creative Services Director for Bloomingdale's in the US.

Jay was in the top ten “Most Influential Art Directors in the past 50 years” by Graphic Design USA in 2013, and was named to the "100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company in 2011.

Karan Johar

Director, producer, screenwriter, actor, costume designer, television icon: @KaranJohar is a Bollywood Renaissance man. From his blockbuster 1998 directorial debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, to his ongoing successes as the helmsman behind the Bollywood distribution dynasty Dharma Productions, to his highly addictive celebrity talk show Koffee with Karan, Johar has established himself as an industry titan. Son of famed producer Yash Johar, Karan was raised in an environment bursting with professional insight into the film business. Mentored in both the artistic and commercial sides of India’s dynamic entertainment industry, Johar hit the ground running — and never stopped. His directorial credits rapidly accumulated and became box-office hits, including Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..., My Name is Khan, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, which played the Festival, Student of the Year, and Bombay Talkies.

Ashton Sanders

@AshtonDSanders is an actor who most recently appeared in the Oscar-winning film Moonlight (16). He received a number of accolades for his performance, including an MTV Movie Award shared with his cast-mate Jharrel Jerome, the Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Special Jury Award at the Gotham Awards, both shared with his cast. Born and raised just outside Los Angeles, Sanders became interested in theatre at a young age and began taking acting classes at the Amazing Grace Conservatory where he performed in several plays. He eventually moved on to the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts (Grand Arts High School), where he continued to hone his craft as an actor and eventually earned a scholarship to DePaul University in Chicago. Sanders made his professional acting debut with a lead role in The Retrieval (14), and soon after played a supporting role in the critically acclaimed N.W.A. adaptation Straight Outta Compton (15). Sanders will next appear in in the drama Captive State (18) alongside John Goodman, and is currently working with Calvin Klein as a face of their new collection designed by Raf Simons.

Director X

One of the most prolific music video directors working today, Toronto-born @IDirectorX has created innovative, career-defining videos for such artists as Drake (including the massive "Hotline Bling," "Started from the Bottom," and the award-winning "Worst Behaviour"), Rihanna (her 2016 smash "Work"), Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys, Aaliyah, Nelly Furtado, and Sean Paul. He has received numerous MTV, BET, and MuchMusic awards and nominations, and owns his own fashion label, X Fit. X made his feature directorial debut in 2015 with Across the Line, a drama about a young Black hockey player (2015 TIFF Rising Star Stephan James) navigating racial divides in small-town Nova Scotia, which won Best Atlantic Feature at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax.

Last Year's Shorts Festival

The inaugural 2016 competition saw entrants from regions all over the world, including submissions from Asia, Africa and the Americas. During the festival’s run, finalists' videos were viewed over four million times in just 11 short days. The festival's jury comprised of directors Ava DuVernay and Xavier Dolan, actor-director James Franco, actress Priyanka Chopra, cinematographer Ben Richardson, illustrator and animation artist Rachel Ryle, and music video director Nabil Elderkin.

Last year’s TIFFxInstagram produced Fan Favourite Award winner, Tunisia’s Mohamed Abdallah (@mrtam13) for Hope, and Jury's Choice Award winner, the Dominican Republic’s Ivan Herrera (@ivanherrera) for La Pasión Original.

Since their wins, Herrera and Abdallah have had continued success, including Herrera’s work on the music video for John Legend’s “Love Me Now” alongside 2016 TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival jury member Nabil Elderkin. Abdallah’s Hope was a step in a series of events that led to its subject, breakdancer Zulu Rema, receiving new prosthetic legs earlier this year.

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