Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TIFF now accepting applications for Pitch This! and Talent Lab

In addition to screening an impressive lineup of films, the Toronto International Film Festival hosts a number of initiatives that take place during the festival itself. They have just announced that they are accepting applications for two of their great programs.

Telefilm Canada Pitch This! is a pitch competition in which participants try to sell their movie idea to a jury of industry professionals. One winner or team is selected to receive a $10,000 prize to develop their concept as a feature film. There are many industry professionals in the audience too, so even if the participants don't win the main prize it is still possible to impress the right people so that your project can get off the ground.

The TIFF Talent Lab is a fantastic four-day intensive professional development programme that allows a select number of people to work closely with leading filmmakers. Some of the artists who have participated in Talent Lab as mentors include Lee Daniels, Miranda July, Don McKellar, Deepa Mehta and Danny Boyle. Additionally, you will be asked to participate in a filmmakers competition for which there are three cash prizes to be won, worth up to $15,000.

Both of these programmes are extremely competitive. If you are fortunate enough to be accepted, however, there is no cost for the programmes. In fact, you will receive an industry pass for the entire festival including screenings.

The deadline to apply for either program is at 5pm E.S.T on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!

Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! returns to the Toronto International Film Festival for its twelfth consecutive year in 2011!

Six participant teams have six minutes to pitch their feature film idea to a live audience of over 200 industry professionals. The winners, selected by a jury of international industry experts, are awarded $10,000 CAD from Telefilm Canada to develop the project further. Both dramatic and documentary feature ideas are eligible.

Congratulations to Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col - Winners of Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! in 2010 for their project Kill Shakespeare.

Watch last year's Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! competition.

Apply now for the opportunity to participate in Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! 2011.
  • Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada is eligible to apply for Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!
Application Steps:
  • Fill out the Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! application form.
  • Email the completed form along with the other required documents (see checklist on form) to industryprogramming@tiff.net. Application deadline is 5pm E.S.T on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.
If you have any questions about Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! or the application process, please email the Industry Promming team.


Talent Lab

Talent Lab is an intensive four-day artistic development programme that provides emerging talent with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the world's best film artists.

Using the Festival’s outstanding relationships with acclaimed filmmakers, Talent Lab leads participants in group discussions on a range of topics focused on the artistic side of filmmaking, sharpening the skills and confidence of a new generation of filmmakers.

Now in its eighth year, Talent Lab is presented by Canadian Initiatives during the Toronto International Film Festival.

Talent Lab is led by four esteemed governors who mentor the participants, guiding them through the sessions with guest speakers. Last year’s governors included director Deepa Mehta (Water, Heaven on Earth), director-producer Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire) and producer Stephen Woolley (Perrier’s Bounty, Made in Dagenham).
Apply now for the opportunity to participate in the 2011 Talent Lab.


  • This programme is open to emerging filmmakers with a minimum of either one feature film or two short film credits as director, writer or producer.
  • International applicants are welcome. Please note that Talent Lab will be presented in an English-language environment.
 Application Steps:
  • Sign into your Filmmaker Account on Withoutabox. If you do not have an account yet, please sign up for one. It is free of charge.
  • Fill out and submit the Talent Lab application form on Withoutabox. Application deadline is 5pm E.S.T. on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.
  • Send a DVD with a one-minute clip from a film project to Talent Lab at the Toronto International Film Festival. DVDs must be received by 5pm E.S.T. on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.
Toronto International Film Festival
Attention: Talent Lab
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Reitman Square
350 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 3X5

Please note that sample material must be a one-minute excerpt, submitted in DVD format and be clearly labeled with the applicant’s name, title of film and his/her role on the film. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the DVD submitted will play in a consumer DVD player. Demo reels and music montages will not be accepted. Clips cannot exceed one (1) minute in length. Submissions of full-length films with time-codes to be played will not be considered by the jury. Electronic submissions of film excerpts cannot be accepted.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to prepay all shipping costs, including any customs charges incurred by oversea shipment. Talent Lab will not accept packages sent “collect” via couriers.

If you have any questions about Talent Lab and the application process, please contact our Industry Programming team at industryprogramming@tiff.net.


All selected participants in Talent Lab are eligible to develop a 1-5 minute short film for the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. The competition commences after the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, and participants are given a minimum of three (3) months to make their film. Each filmmaker receives a bursary donated by RBC, to help finance the project. The films are created based on a pre-determined topic. The top five films will be judged before the 2012 Festival by online voters and an official jury of industry professionals.

Along with invaluable international exposure, cash prizes courtesy of RBC will be awarded to the top two juried films as well as the Fan Favourite Award. The jury's winner will receive $15,000; honourable mention will receive $10,000; and the Fan Favourite Award will be awarded $5,000 (all figures CAD).


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