Friday, August 19, 2011

Call for submissions: National Screen Institute's NSI Features First

The National Screen Institute — Canada (NSI) has put out a call for submissions for its NSI Features First program.

Features First is NSI's training program for filmmakers who are preparing to make their first or second feature film. The curriculum includes script and story development, market research, legal requirements, pitching, financing, distribution and marketing and sales training.

Applicants must submit a feature film script. Applicants must also have an team which consists of a writer, director and producer. The writer can double as director or producer but the director cannot also be the producer. The applicants need not be from the same province.

Although NSI is based in Winnipeg, much of the training will take place in the applicants' home province. It is also a part-time training program that allows for you to continue working full-time.

Deadline for applications is Wednesday October 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM CT.


About NSI Features First

How do I apply?

  • Read this whole page before you do anything else.
  • Print out the application form.
  • Address your package to: NSI Features First, 400-141 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 0R3
  • Your application must reach the NSI office no later than Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM CT.

How much does it cost?

  • $100 application fee per team.
  • NSI is introducing tuition into its training programs: if your team is selected to the NSI Features First program, each team member is required to pay $1000 by Monday, December 12, 2011, 4:30 PM CT.

Keep up to date with NSI Features First news

Keep up to date with NSI Features First news by signing up for the weekly NSI newsletter or by subscribing to our email updates

What is NSI Features First? 

  • Professional development program for writers, producers and directors working on a first or second feature film.
  • Hone your script and learn about the business aspects of feature film development.
  • Up to five teams are selected each year.
  • Selection is based on the strength of the creative and market potential of a project, the demonstrated readiness of the team members to move onto feature production and a firm resolve to commit the required time to fully participate in the program.
  • Part-time training lets you keep your day job.
  • No relocation – intensive training happens in one place then you go home to work with a mentor for the rest of the program.
  • Training is delivered by senior industry experts. 

Who leads the NSI Features First program? 

Will Pascoe, Program Manager. 

Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary 

In memory of Jim Murphy and with the support of Jim’s circle of friends, the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary has been established. This $2,500 award is presented annually to an NSI Features First team.  

Success stories 

The achievements of our talented alumni are listed in our NSI Features First alumni section. 

Which NSI Features First projects have actually been produced?

13 features have been produced since NSI Features First was launched in 1997:
  • Foodland – Writer/director Adam Smoluk 
  • Love and Other Dilemmas - Producer: Clare Hodge; Director: Larry Di Stefano; Writer: Deborah Peraya 
  • Fetching Cody - Producer: Carolyn Allain; Writer/director: David Ray 
  • 7 Times Lucky - Producer: Liz Jarvis; Writer/director: Gary Yates 
  • On the Corner - Producer: Wendy Hyman; Writer/director: Nathaniel Geary 
  • Goldirocks - Producer: Lisa Hayes; Writer/director: Paula Tiberius 
  • Flower and Garnet - Producer: Trish Dolman; Director/writer: Keith Behrman 
  • Leaving Metropolis - Producers: Ken Mead and Paul Stiles; Director/writer: Brad Fraser
  • Inertia - Producer: Brendon Sawatzky; Director/writer: Sean Garrity
  • Turning Paige - Producer: Carolyn McMaster; Director/co-writer: Robert Cuffley; Writer: Jason Long   
  • My Father’s Angel - Producer: David Bouck, Co-executive producer: Trevor Hodgson; Director: Davor Marjonovic; Writer: Frank Borg 
  • Violet - Producer: Mary Sexton; Director/writer: Rosemary House 
  • The Bend – Writer/director Jennifer Kierans (developed in part through NSI Features First)

Who are the NSI Features First program experts? 

Experts from the Canadian film industry generously share their experiences and knowledge with NSI Features First participants.

What are the objectives of NSI Features First? 

To provide successful applicants with training opportunities that will enhance the knowledge base and skill sets they will need to make a first or second feature. To work closely with the filmmakers to help prepare their projects for financing and the marketplace.

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