A diverse cohort of talent selected under the Talent to Watch Program

Regional, cultural and gender diverse, the selection of projects from the Talent to Watch Program is reaching new heights

Toronto/Montréal, June 12, 2019 – Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund are pleased to announce the 2019 English- and French-language projects selected under the Talent to Watch Program with a total of 31 first feature films and narrative web projects from across the country.

“As greater inclusion is a key priority, this year’s cohort of talent is one that better reflects the rich diversity of our country,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “Beyond reaching gender parity in this cohort of projects, they also represent the strength of the regions and their cultural vibrancy. In addition, there are multiple projects with stories and voices from the LGBTQ2+ communities.”

“This year, we’re also excited to work with new partners like Vancouver International Film Festival, Prism Prize – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and Bande Sonimage, just to name a few from which our projects were selected from,” Christa added. “As we continue to grow the program, and our talent pipeline, we look forward to supporting stories that represent all people of our nation.”

The Talent Fund, in support of the Talent to Watch Program, has been championing emerging creators since its inception in 2012. Launching the careers of many emerging professionals, the Fund aims to support rising stars through corporate and private donations to ensure Canada’s filmmakers continue to create and thrive.

“Investing in the next generation of Canadian storytellers is the very essence of the Talent Fund,” says Christine Magee, Chair of the Talent Fund. “This Fund has allowed many emerging talent materialize their dreams through a feature film or narrative web series, and to date, we have supported close to 150 projects! All this is made possible with the generous contributions of our many partners and individual donors.”

Selection process

Creative teams from across the country submitted potential projects to one of the Program’s designated partners. From there, each partner submitted projects to Telefilm for consideration by the decision jury.

The Festival Selection Stream allows emerging filmmakers whose short films have been selected at key festival to submit a project directly to Telefilm for jury consideration.

From March to May, three separate peer-based juries were held comprised of industry representatives from English, French and Indigenous groups across Canada. Each jury strove to maintain a diverse and inclusive portfolio, while also ensuring exceptional quality of content.

This year’s designated partners include Academy Apprenticeship for Women Directors, Adam Beach Film Institute, Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, Bande Sonimage, Bosa Centre for Film & Animation, Capilano University, Calgary Society Of Independent Filmmakers, Canadian Film Centre, Caribbean Tales, CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers, Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, Confederation College, Coop Spira, Creative Women Workshops Association, Doc Circuit Montréal, École des Médias, Female Eye Film Festival, Festival International du Film Black de Montréal, Film PEI, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa Inc., Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, Institut national de l’image et du son, Le Labo, Main Film, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema – Concordia University, National Screen Institute – Canada, New Brunswick Filmmakers Co-operative, Newfoundland Independent Film Coop, Nova Scotia Community College, NSCAD University, Nunavut Film Development Corp., Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking, On Screen Manitoba, Paraloeil, Paved Arts, Prism Prize – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Queen’s University Film and Media, ReelWorld Film Festival Inc., Ryerson University, Saskatchewan Film Pool Cooperative, Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association, SAW Video Media Art Centre, Sheridan College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, The Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta, The Harold Greenberg Fund, Toronto Film School, Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, UBC Film Production, Université de Montréal, University of Regina, Vancouver Film School, Vancouver International Film Festival, Wapikoni Mobile, Western Arctic Moving Pictures, WIFT-Atlantic, Winnipeg Film Group, York University and Yukon Film Society.

Projects selected for 2019-2020 by province

Northwest Territories

  • Food for the rest of us, Director: Caroline Cox, Writer: Tiffany Ayalik, Producer: Jerri Thrasher, Partner: Western Arctic Moving Pictures

British Columbia

  • Anyox, Co-directors and co-writers: Jessica Johnson and Ryan Ermacora, Producer: Alysha Seriani, Partner: Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Back Home, Director and Writer: Nisha Platzer, Producer: Joella Cabalu, Partner: Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Best Friend Me, Web format, Director: Ana de Lara, Writer: Andrea Marie Swallow, Producer: Arnold Lim, Partner: Creative Women Workshops Association
  • The Certainty of Symmetry, Director and Writer: Jaren Brandt Bartlett, Producer: Kelton Stepanowich, Partner: Adam Beach Film Institute, Component: Indigenous


  • Coffee Express, Director and Writer: Roger Boyer, Producer: Eva Thomas, Partner: Adam Beach Film Institute, Component: Indigenous
  • IndigiThreads, Director and Writer: Adeline Bird, Producer: Ryan Wilson, Partner: On Screen Manitoba, Component: Indigenous
  • Intersection, Director and Writer: Cecilia Araneda, Producer: Joseph Novak, Partner: On Screen Manitoba


  • Concrete Valley, Director and Writer: Antoine Bourges, Producer: Seherezade Mian and Meelad Moaphi, Partner: York University
  • Doubles With Slight Pepper, Director and Writer: Ian Harnarine, Producer: Mark Sirju, Partner: Toronto International Film Festival
  • Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls, Director and Writer: Julianna Notten, Producer: Claire Allore, Partner: Ryerson University
  • Quickening, Director and Writer: Haya Waseem, Producer: Yona Strauss, Partner: Sheridan College
  • Rejects Night, Director and Writer: Chandler Levack, Producer: Victoria Lean, Partner: Festival Selection Stream
  • Shylo, Director: Walter Woodman, Writer: Patrick Cederberg, Producer: Sidney Leeder, Partner: Festival Selection Stream
  • Summer of the Gun, Director and Writer: Kelly Fyfe-Marshall, Producer: Tamar Bird, Partner: Caribbean Tales
  • Framing Agnes, Director: Chase Joynt, Writer: Morgan M. Page, Producer: Shant Joshi, Partner: York University
  • The Maiden, Director and Writer: Graham Foy (Fantavious Fritz), Producer: Daiva Zalnieriunas, Partner: The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television
  • The Oak Tree, Director and Writer: Samiramis Kia, Producer: Susan Bayani, Partner: York University
  • Tribe, Director and Writer: Joseph Amenta, Co-producers: Alexandra Roberts and Daniel Sedore, Partner: Festival Selection Stream
  • Verona, Director and Writer: Sebastian Back, Producer: Maeve Kern, Partner: Ryerson University


  • Cette Maison, Director and Writer: Miryam Charles, Producer: Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Partner: Main Film
  • Gabor, Director and Writer: Joannie Lafrenière, Producer: Line Sander Egede, Partner: Doc Circuit Montréal
  • Jouvencelles, Director and Writer: Fanie Pelletier, Producer: Audrey D. Laroche, Partner: Festival Selection Stream
  • Là où tout se rassemble, Director and Writer: Guillaume Langlois, Producer: Jean-Philippe Archibald, Partner: Bande Sonimage
  • Nichole, Web format, Director: Gabriel Savignac, Writer: Guenièvre Sandré, Producer: Jerémie Boucher, Partner: Coop Spira
  • Passage, Director and Writer: Sarah Baril Gaudet, Producer: Audrey Fallu, Partner: Main Film
  • Windy Gun, Director, Writer and Producer: Marc-Antoine Lemire, Partner: Festival Selection Stream
  • Zipolito, Director, Ariane Falardeau St-Amour, Writer: Paul Chotel, Producer: Omar Elhamy, Partner: Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema – Concordia University

Nova Scotia

  • I Am Syd Stone, Web format, Director and Writer: Denis Theriault, Producer: Gharrett Paon, Partner: The Inside Out LGBT Film Festival
  • Whale Sanctuary Project, Director and Writer: Kevin Fraser, Producer: Melani Wood, Partner: Nova Scotia Community College

New Brunswick

  • Further Than The Eye Can See, Director and Writer: Ryan O’Toole, Producer: Tracey Lavigne, Partner: New Brunswick Filmmakers Co-operative Ltd.

About the Talent Fund
The Talent Fund helps the film industry diversify its funding sources and promote its successes. Guided by an advisory committee of business and community leaders, the Fund mainly supports the discovery and career progression of emerging Canadian talent in the audiovisual industry. Thanks to principal partners Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, and to several foundations and individuals, the Fund has raised $16 million to date. Visit thetalentfund.ca for more information.

About Telefilm Canada—See bigger.Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual coproduction treaties to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund accepts private donations which principally support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada.

Media enquiries:

Joyce Richards
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market
Telefilm Canada

Claire StrunckAdvisor, Public Relations – French Market
Telefilm Canada