Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Toronto International Film Festival announces 2013 Rising Stars, Talent Lab, Producers Lab, Pitch This!


TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced the four actors named the 2013 TIFF Rising Stars — Evelyne Brochu, Cara Gee, Megan Park and Johnathan Sousa. Now in its third year, the professional development programme immerses participants in a series of public events and industry meetings during the Festival. This year, the TIFF Rising Stars will be taken through an intensive professional “boot camp” with international casting directors, agents, managers, producers, filmmakers and development executives who will help them prepare for success in the film industry both on and off the screen.

“The Toronto International Film Festival draws industry, press and audiences from around the world and we feel privileged to be able to offer this global stage and these valuable connections to Evelyne, Cara, Megan and Johnathan — the 2013 TIFF Rising Stars,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “We have no doubt that this year’s unstoppable quartet of emerging artists is on the rise to enjoy sizzling careers like the stellar Rising Stars alumni before them.”

Evelyne Brochu
Evelyne can currently be seen at the Festival in Xavier Dolan’s Tom à la ferme. Her major film break came when she had a supporting role in Denis Villeneuve’s 2009 drama Polytechnique. She has garnered critical acclaim, and a Canadian Screen Award nomination, for her role in the 2012 Festival selection Inch’Allah. She starred in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Café de Flore, an Official Selection at the 2011 Festival. Evelyne garnered three Gémeaux Award nominations for her roles in the popular Quebec television series Aveux, Mirador and La Promesse. In 2012, she won a Gemini Award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Series. Evelyne made her English language television debut in 2013 on the hit BBC America show Orphan Black.

Cara Gee
Cara has landed a leading role in her first feature film — the 2013 Festival selection Empire of Dirt, directed by Peter Stebbings. She made her first television appearance as a guest star in the Showcase police drama King. Cara has a roster of outstanding theatre performances under her belt: starring roles in Daniel MacIvor’s Arigato, Tokyo (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) and Cliff Cardinal’s Stitch (SummerWorks Festival), which landed her the festival’s top acting award, and a role in the remount of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (Nightwood Theatre), which won the Dora Award for Best Ensemble. Cara was named a Top Ten Theatre Artist by NOW magazine in 2011, and she topped both Torontoist’s People to Watch list in 2012 and The Toronto Star’s 13 People to Watch in 2013. Cara is an ensemble member of the independent theatre company Bird Town and Swanville whose show Family Story opens in August 2013.

Megan Park
Megan stars opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Karan in the 2013 Festival selection The F Word directed by Michael Dowse. Megan recently completed Demonic, directed by Will Canon and produced by James Wan. Megan made her feature film debut in 2007 with a role in the indie comedy Charlie Bartlett. She next appeared in A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song, followed by the crime thriller Girls, Guns and Gambling with Christian Slater and Dane Cook, and, most recently, starred in So Undercover alongside Miley Cyrus. After appearing in the Lifetime series Angela’s Eyes and the Family Channel show Life with Derek, Megan Park landed the role of Grace Bowman in the award-winning ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Additional roles in HBO’s Entourage and The Newsroom have followed.

Johnathan Sousa
Johnathan Sousa can next be seen on the big screen in the 2013 Festival selection The Animal Project, directed by Ingrid Veninger, and in Maxime Desmons’ highly anticipated What We Have. In 2011, Johnathan was chosen to participate in the inaugural Actors Conservatory at the Canadian Film Centre, where he starred in numerous short films, including Rattan and The Haymaker, which travelled to 35 festivals. While at the CFC, he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his first short film, Home. Johnathan landed his most significant role to date with a principal part in the upcoming season of Global Television’s hit show Rookie Blue. He graduated from the Ryerson Theatre School where he was the recipient of the Louis Taube Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement and Dedication.

TIFF Rising Stars alumni continue their trajectory with career highlights at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and beyond. Highlights include:
Sarah Allen plays the lead female role in the 2013 Festival selection The Husband, directed by Bruce McDonald.
Katie Boland stars in the 2013 Festival selection Gerontophilia, directed by Bruce LaBruce.
Charlie Carrick stars in the 2013 release Molly Maxwell, directed by Sara St. Onge.
Sarah Gadon stars in Amma Asante's Belle, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy and Michael Dowse’s The F Word at the 2013 Festival.
Tatiana Maslany was awarded the 2013 Critics Choice Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Orphan Black as well as a Young Hollywood Award for Breakout Performance.
Charlotte Sullivan stars in Jeff Renfroe’s 2013 release The Colony alongside Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton.


TORONTO — Talent Lab proudly marks a decade of offering artistic development opportunities with emerging artists from around the world. Celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival®, the comprehensive four-day programme returns to give participants the opportunity and access to learn from the world’s leading film artists.

The 2013 Canadian Talent Lab participants are: Juan Andres Arango, Alexandre Auger, Annick Blanc, Valerie Buhagiar, Naomi Jaye, Jason Lepeyre, Shannon Masters, Evan Morgan, Carlo Guillermo Proto and Grace Wang. The 2013 international Talent Lab participants are: Jens Assur (Sweden), Aristotelis Maragkos (Greece), Catriona MacInnes (Scotland), Byoung-Gon Moon (Korea), Kareem Mortimer (Bahamas), Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal), Marialy Rivas (Chile), Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand), Musa Syeed (USA) and Bassam Tariq (USA/Pakistan).

“A decade ago we dreamt up a programme that would pair emerging filmmakers embarking on pivotal moments in their careers withdistinguished names in the industry,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “This was an opportunity to share knowledge, provide guidance, and really tear down the divide between emerging and established — even master — filmmakers. The results are impressive, the success stories inspiring and make us proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Talent Lab.”

The 2013 Talent Lab is led by esteemed governors who guide 20 emerging filmmakers in group discussions that focus on creativity, the artistic process and independent voices. Two of this year's governors, who will mentor the participants, include filmmaker Danis Tanović (No Man’s Land) and Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park). Guests who will share their experience and insight with participants include Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas), Jason Reitman (Labor Day), Deepa Mehta (Midnight’s Children), and Jennifer Baichwal (Watermark). Additional governors and guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Talent Lab runs fromSeptember 4 to 7, 2013. Talent Lab is produced by Helen du Toit (co-producer, The Story of Film: An Odyssey).

Since its inception, Talent Lab has welcomed acclaimed governors including Olivier Assayas, Jennifer Baichwal, Danny Boyle, John Collee, Lee Daniels, Miranda July, Don McKellar, Deepa Mehta, Bingham Ray, Jason Reitman, Gus Van Sant and Stephen Woolley. Special guests visiting the Lab over the past decade include: Niki Caro, Laurent Cantet, David Cronenberg, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Terence Davies, Brian De Palma, Christopher Doyle, Stephen Frears, Kevin Spacey, Sally Potter, Frederick Wiseman, Paul Haggis, Michael Haneke, Nadine Labaki, Samira Makhmalbaf, Fernando Meirelles, Sarah Polley, Gasper Noé, James Schamus, Tilda Swinton, Christine Vachon and Michael Winterbottom along with creative partners: Jane Campion with Jan Chapman, Terry Gilliam with Tony Grisoni, and John Sayles with Maggie Renzi.

Five 2012 Talent Lab participants have been named finalists in the 2013 RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. Now in its fourth year, the competition asked filmmakers to develop a one to five minute short film on the topic of memory. Selected by a panel of esteemed experts, the finalists include Dan Popa, Christoph Rainer, Kevan Funk, Rafael Balulu andMako Kamitsuna. The winner and honourable mention will be announced September 4, 2013 at a news conference prior to the start of the Festival. The winner will receive $20,000 while the honourable mention will receive $10,000. Fourteen Talent Lab alumni have directed, produced or edited films in the Festival’s Official 2013 Selection:
Jeff Barnaby — writer, director, Rhymes for Young Ghouls (Discovery)
Dan Bekerman — producer, The Husband (Special Presentations)
A.J. Bond — writer, We Wanted More (Short Cuts Canada)
John Christou — producer, Rhymes for Young Ghouls (Discovery)
Heather Dahlstrom — co-producer, Empire of Dirt (Contemporary World Cinema)
Stephen Dunn — writer, director, We Wanted More (Short Cuts Canada), 2011 RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition Grand Prize Winner
Sol Friedman — writer, director, Beasts in the Real World (Short Cuts Canada)
Kevan Funk — director, Yellowhead (Short Cuts Canada), 2013 RBC Emerging Filmmaker Competition Finalist
Matt Hannam — editor, Enemy (Special Presentations)
Johnny Ma — writer, director, A Grand Canal (Short Cuts Canada), 2012 RBC Emerging Filmmaker Competition Honourable Mention
Elan Mastai — writer, The F Word (Special Presentations)
Richie Mehta — writer, director, Siddharth (Contemporary World Cinema)
Ingrid Veninger — producer, writer, director, The Animal Project (Contemporary World Cinema)
Wiebke von Carolsfeld — writer, director, Stay (Contemporary World Cinema)

2013 Talent Lab participant Shannon Masters is the writer of the 2013 Festival selection Empire of Dirt from director Peter Stebbings.

Additional Talent Lab alumni success stories include:

Screenwriter Semi Chellas, co-producer on Mad Men, has received two Emmy nominations and won a Writer’s Guild Award for dramatic teleplay (with Matthew Weiner).

Ed Gass-Donnelly, writer/director of Small Town Murder Songs, was named on Variety's Ten Directors to Watch in 2012 and won the FIPRESCI prize at the Torino International Film Festival of Young Cinema.

Screenwriter David F. Shamoon penned In Darkness, directed by Agnieszka Holland, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Screenwriter Elan Mastai's The F Word will have its world premiere at the 2013 Festival. Mastai has two features in development, including a collaboration with Academy Award– and Emmy Award–winner Alan Ball.

Writer Sean Garrity and co-writer and star Jonas Chernick’s feature My Awkward Sexual Adventure, which launched at the 2012 Festival, was selected as one of TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten films, nominated for Best Feature Film by the Directors Guild of Canada, and is being distributed in 24 counties and translated into 15 different languages.

Ingrid Veninger and Charles Officer’s film Nurse. Fighter. Boy. was named to TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten list and nominated for 10 Genie Awards including Best Picture, Original Screenplay and Achievement in Direction.

Finalists unveiled for feature film pitching competition
24 Producers Lab Toronto participants announced from Canada,
Europe and, new in 2013, Australia and New Zealand

Toronto — The Toronto International Film Festival® continues to support and champion Canada’s film industry with the return of its highly-regarded industry programmes, revealing participants for the 2013 editions of Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! and Producers Lab Toronto. Now in its 14th year, Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! is a competition that gives six teams six minutes each to pitch their dramatic or documentary feature film idea to a jury of experts, in front of a live audience comprising over 200 industry professionals.

Producers Lab Toronto, created in partnership with European Film Promotion and in collaboration with the Ontario Media Development Corporation, returns for its fourth year of galvanizing international collaborations. This year’s event expands beyond Canada and Europe to include producers from Australia and New Zealand among the chosen 24 participants, and welcomes new partners Screen Australia and the New Zealand Film Commission.


Participating Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! teams have six minutes to convince a jury of international industry experts — and an audience of over 200 industry pros — that their feature film idea is worthy of a development award from Telefilm Canada. This year the award has increased from $10,000 to $15,000. The pitching challenge takes place on Monday, September 9 at 1 p.m. and is open to all Festival Industry and Press delegates.

The 2013 Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! finalists are:

Rumba Kaveh Nabatian
A Cuban man who desperately wants to leave the island believes he must first seduce a foreigner in order to be with the woman he loves. Rumba is a fictional film about identity, power and prophecy as seen through the eyes of a black immigrant to Montreal.

Stay Girl John Christou, Daniel Beirne, Aisling Chin-Yee and Jacob Tierney
Exploring grand themes of identity, technology and family, Stay Girl is a comic drama about a family. When their beloved dog becomes terminally ill, the Isaac family begins to unravel as they each undergo a journey to discover themselves.

Tempest Storm: Burlesque Queen Nimisha Mukerji
Tempest Storm, the undisputed queen of burlesque, was a mistress to both Elvis and John F. Kennedy, a friend to Bettie Paige, and, more recently, a collaborator of musician Jack White. In this documentary, one of America's greatest sex icons bares all and takes the audience into her private life.

The Engineers Daniel Cockburn and Daniel Bekerman
A crime novelist, desperate to understand his characters inside and out, hires actors to go to therapy in character and report their insights and epiphanies to him — but soon enough his experiment turns into a Dr. Frankenstein’s creation with a life of its own.

Window Watching Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith, Svjetlana Jaklenec and Laura Perlmutter
Window Watching tells the story of the sexual liberation of an illegal immigrant who is captive to her emotionally abusive mother-in-law, and fascinated by the sexuality of the younger woman who moves in next door.

You Can Live Forever in a Paradise on Earth Mark Slutsky and Sarah Fobes
When a gay teenage girl is sent to live with her Jehovah's Witness relatives in small-town Alberta, she finds herself drawn into a passionate secret romance with the daughter of the community's most prominent elder.


Running September 4 to 7, Producers Lab Toronto takes advantage of the global film industry presence in the city during the Festival to create a platform for the promotion of participants and their projects. Through pitching sessions, roundtable meetings and case studies, 24 producers from Europe, Canada and — new this year — Australia and New Zealand, will develop relationships, exchange ideas, and discuss co-production opportunities.

European participants are selected by the European Film Promotion (EFP) network from the alumni of the prestigious Cannes-based networking platform Producers on the Move; Canadian producers are chosen by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)and TIFF from an open call across Canada; Screen Australia (SA) and the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) select the participants from their countries.

Several dozen ongoing projects are the fruits of previous years’ events, while this year’s Festival will feature world premieres by Producers Lab Toronto alumni: The Animal Project, written, directed and produced by 2000 alum Ingrid Veninger — also featuring one of this year's TIFF Rising Stars, Johnathan Sousa — and Stay, directed by Wiebke von Carolsfeld and produced by 2010 alum Martin Paul Hus. Producers Lab Toronto is a Canada-Europe co-production and forum delivered through a partnership between the OMDC, EFP, TIFF, SA and NZFC. Financial support for Producers Lab Toronto is provided by the MEDIA Mundus programme of the European Union and from EFP and its associated member organizations, from the OMDC, TIFF, SA, NFFC, Eurimages and Telefilm Canada.

About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit

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