Thursday, August 11, 2011

TIFF announces participants for Talent Lab, Pitch This!, Producers Lab, Rising Stars


Toronto − The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® reinforces its commitment to emerging filmmakers and the film community with today’s announcement of participants in returning industry programmes – Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!, Talent Lab and Producers Lab Toronto. Now in its eighth year, Talent Lab is an intensive four-day artistic development programme that provides emerging talent with unparalleled opportunity to learn from internationally acclaimed filmmakers and artists – including this year’s Governors Bingham Ray and Jason Reitman. Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! returns for its twelfth year with a tough competition that offers six teams six minutes each to pitch their dramatic or documentary feature film idea to a jury and live audience of over 200 industry professionals. Twelve European and 12 Canadian producers come together for Producers Lab Toronto – created in partnership with European Film Promotion (EFP), in collaboration with the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) – an initiative aimed to facilitate and increase international co-productions between European and Canadian producers.

A line-up of esteemed governors and 24 filmmaker participants will be taking part in this year's Talent Lab running September 7-10. Two of this year's governors, who will mentor the participants, including distribution veteran and October Films founder Bingham Ray and director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno, Thank You for Smoking). The Lab is run by Strada Films producers Sandra Cunningham and Brad Fox.

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 while providing emerging talent with the opportunity to build networks and to learn from some of the most accomplished filmmakers and artists in the world.

The 2011 Talent Lab participants are: Paul-E. Audet, Kaz Cai, Jordan Canning, Jonas Carpignano, Catherine Chagnon, Ron Eyal, Sol Friedman, Tess Girard, Sarah Goodman, Danis Goulet, Ian Harnarine, Matt Johnson , Cameron Labine, Mauricio Leiva-Cock, Nadia Litz, Johnny Ma, Omar Majeed, Moon Molson, Nimisha Mukerji, Halima Ouadiri, David F. Shamoon, Mark Slutsky, Sara St.Onge and Sam Voutas.

Seven Talent Lab Alumni and three Talent Lab 2011 participants have directed or produced films in the Festival’s Official 2011 Selection:

Tabula Rasa – directed and produced by Matthew Rankin (Short Cuts Canada)
The Red Virgin – directed and produced by Sheila Pye (Short Cuts Canada)
The Fuse: Or How I Burned Down Simon Bolivar – directed by Igor Drljaca (Short Cuts Canada)

Sorry, Rabbi – produced by John Christou (Short Cuts Canada)
i am a good person/ i am a bad person – directed and produced by Ingrid Veninger (Vanguard)
I’m Yours - edited by Matthew Hannam (Contemporary World Cinema)
Doppelgänger Paul – co-directed by Kris Elgstrand (Vanguard)

2011 Participants
Doubles with Slight Pepper – directed and produced by Ian Harnarine (Short Cuts Canada)
Sorry, Rabbi – directed by Mark Slutsky (Short Cuts Canada)
Hidden Driveway – directed by Sarah Goodman (plays in front of a feature)

Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! is hosted by Canadian actor Ennis Esmer (Wipeout Canada, The Listener, Young People F***ing) and will take place on Tuesday, September 13 in TIFF Bell Lightbox. The winning team, selected by a jury of international industry experts, is awarded $10,000 from Telefilm Canada to further develop their project.

The 2011 Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! finalists are:

Breaking the Band – John Christou, Mark Slutsky, Aisling Chin-Yee
When Ben and Cheryl move in upstairs from the worst, loudest band in the world, they realize their only option is to go undercover and destroy them from within.

Leone Stars – Walter Forsyth, Ngardy Conteh, Allan Tong
Surviving war, poverty and prejudice the Sierra Leone amputee soccer team dreams of victory at the 2012 world championships. Can victims become champions?

The Lost Woods – Sean Wainsteim, Plato Fountidakis
Channeling films like Labyrinth and Time Bandits, The Lost Woods follows a head-in-the-clouds suburban boy who discovers a secret world where fairy tales are real.

The Marksman – Stephen Dunn, Dillon McManamy
A young fishmonger obsessed with winning over a hunter’s daughter desperately tries to prove himself as a marksman by turning to enchanted bullets that develop a will of their own.

The Multiple Selves of Hannah Maynard – Elizabeth Lazebnik
This interpretive biopic highlights the eccentric genius of 19th century Canadian Surrealist photographer Hannah Maynard. Following a number of deaths in her family she developed a surreal vision, a world obsessed with children and death but also with the possibilities of duality and the infinity.

Pinweight – Lynne Kamm, Rahnuma Panthaky, Marc Almon
A hot-headed Muslim tomboy and a quiet Hindu cleaning lady strike an unlikely friendship over their shared dream of becoming champion fighters in a country that considers female boxing a sacrilege.

Producers Lab Toronto (running September 7-10) will include pitching sessions, round table meetings and case studies. European producers and their Canadian counterparts will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge and to discuss concrete co-production opportunities between their two regions.

Producers Lab Toronto is a creation of European Film Promotion (EFP), in collaboration with the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Financial support for the initiative is provided by the new MEDIA International Programme of the European Union.

European Participants
Álvaro Alonso, Jaleo Films (Spain)
Gregory Athanasiou, Minus Pictures (Greece)
Mario Gianani, Wildside (Italy)
Tristan Orpen Lynch, Subotica (Ireland)
Daniel Mitulescu, Strada Film (Romania)
Ieva Norviliené, Tremora (Lithuania)
Stella Nwimo, Northpoint Pictures (UK)
Viktória Petrányi, Proton Cinema (Hungary)
Riina Sildos, Amrion Production (Estonia)
Karla Stojáková, Axman Production (Czech Republic)
Mariano Vanhoof, Fobic Films (Belgium)
Anne Walser, C-Films (Switzerland)

Canadian Participants
Muniré Armstrong, YN Films
Joseph Berger, Pitchstream Media Inc.
Sean Buckley, Buck Productions
Nicolas Comeau, 1976 Productions Inc.
Michael A. Dobbin, Quiet Revolution Pictures Inc.
Jean du Toit, Buffalo Gal Pictures Inc.
Félize Frappier, Max Films
Cher Hawrysh, Phenomenal Films Inc.
Leah Jaunzems, Darius Films Inc.
Chantal Lafleur, Productions La Fête
Byron A. Martin, Byron A. Martin Productions Inc.
Alison Reid, Free Spirit Films


Toronto – Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival®, announced the four participants selected to take part in TIFF’s Rising Stars programme, a new initiative designed to discover the next generation of made-in-Canada international talent. The inaugural programme will take place at this year’s Festival (September 8-18, 2011), and will showcase four talented actors, Sarah Allen, Katie Boland, Sarah Gadon and Keon Mohajeri, who have proven themselves ready to expand their film careers beyond Canada to the world.

“With resumes that include theatre, dance, television, short and feature films, these promising actors are poised to have their careers break out internationally. We can think of no better platform from which to launch our new initiative than from the Toronto International Film Festival when industry, filmmakers and media from around the world descend upon Toronto,” said Bailey.

Rising Stars supports and champion homegrown on-screen artists with the goal of providing them with the professional tools and contacts they need in order to break big.

“TIFF’s Rising Stars programme is yet another step in realizing Brian Linehan's dream of showcasing our Canadian talent to the world,” said Michael A. Levine, executor of the estate of Brian Linehan and trustee of the The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.

Slawko Klymkiw, Executive Director of the CFC added that “the CFC is proud to be associated with The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and yet another great TIFF initiative in support of Canadian talent.”

“There is overwhelming talent within our country. We take pride in our artists and through this programme we can give them the tools and support they need as they make the next big leap in their career,” said Karen Bruce, Director of Canadian Initiatives, TIFF. “Our four TIFF Rising Stars will be offered an intensive professional development experience and be given the opportunity to network with casting directors, agents, managers, producers and filmmakers who can advise them in the realities of the industry.”

The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and the Canadian Film Centre partnered with TIFF on this initiative and assisted in the Rising Stars selection process. Jury members were producer/director Leonard Farlinger, filmmaker Clement Virgo and Manager of the Actors Conservatory, Larissa Giroux. Both Sarah Allen and Keon Mohajeri are alumni of the CFC’s Actors Conservatory.

Sarah Allen was raised in Nelson, BC and completed the acting program at the National Theatre School of Canada. Early credits include supporting roles alongside Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland in Human Trafficking, and Johnny Depp in the Stephen King thriller Secret Window. She landed a lead role in the CBC television series Jozi-H, which was set and shot in Johannesburg, South Africa. Other credits include recurring roles on Little Mosque on the Prairie, MVP, as well as Murdoch Mysteries. Most recently Sarah appeared in the critically acclaimed SyFy remake of the BBC series Being Human.

Katie Boland, chosen by Elle Canada as one of the three Canadians to watch, has over 25 starring roles under her belt and splits her time between Toronto and Los Angeles. She is currently filming Oscar winner Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated The Master, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In the past year, Katie completed several high profile projects, including a stage appearance in Sam Shepard’s sold out Fool For Love. She recently starred in Daydream Nation with Kat Dennings, as well as Murdoch Mysteries, SyFy’s Lost Girl, and Die, co-starring Elias Koteas. Boland is a writer and in fall 2012, her literary debut, Eat Your Heart Out, a collection of short stories, will be released across Canada.

Sarah Gadon is an accomplished artist who spent much of her adolescence training as a performer with time spent as a Junior Associate at the National Ballet School of Canada and as a student at Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts. Now Sarah divides her time between film sets and academics as a Cinema Studies student at the University of Toronto. Sarah has roles in David Croenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Mary Harron’s The Moth Diaries, both of which will be screening at this year’s Festival. Sarah recently completed production on Cosmopolis, marking her second collaboration with David Cronenberg.

Keon Mohajeri holds degrees from both McGill and Columbia Universities and has taken on over thirty roles in theatre, dance, television, and film, performing in New York off-Broadway, Philadelphia and Toronto. Film and television appearances include roles in Flashpoint; Ken Finkleman’s Good Dog; HBO Canada's Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Murdoch Mysteries, as well as Maryam Keshavarz’s feature Circumstance that had its world premiere in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.

TIFF is committed to promoting the Canadian film industry. Through year-round industry programming initiatives, TIFF supports filmmakers, screenwriters and producers via networking opportunities and artistic development programmes that provide emerging talent with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from internationally acclaimed filmmakers and artists.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at, by phone Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at 416-599-TIFF or 1-888-599-8433, and in person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Box Office at 350 King St. West from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Methods of payment include cash, debit or Visa†.

The 36th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2011.

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 $170 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, Major Sponsor and official bank RBC, Major Sponsor BlackBerry and Visa†. For more information, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment