Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Toronto International Film Festival announces Talent Lab, Pitch This! and Rising Star participants

Wim Wenders and Jim Stark to act as Governors for 12th annual Talent Lab

The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced the participants for the 2015 editions of Talent Lab™ and Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! Produced by TIFF’s Industry Office, these essential development programmes provide valuable opportunity and exposure for emerging filmmakers at a crucial point in their careers.

Now in its 12th year, the Talent Lab is a comprehensive five-day artistic development programme led by esteemed governors who will guide 20 emerging filmmakers in group discussions that focus on creativity, the artistic process and independent voices. The programme provides emerging talent with an unparalleled education experience and an introduction to the global community of filmmaking. This year’s governors include Wim Wenders (The Salt of the Earth, Pina) and Jim Stark (Coffee and Cigarettes).

Additional guests will be announced in the coming weeks. Open to both Canadian and international filmmakers, Talent Lab is designed to connect homegrown filmmakers with emerging talent from other countries at a time when the film industry is becoming increasingly international. Talent Lab runs from September 8 to 12, 2015.

Now in its 16th year, Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! provides six teams with six minutes each to pitch their dramatic or documentary feature film idea to a jury of experts in front of a live audience of over 250 industry professionals, in the hopes of winning a coveted $15,000 development award for their project.


The 2015 Talent Lab participants:

Canadian Participants
Anna Fahr
Joshua Huculiak
Ali Jaberansari
Marie-Ève Juste
Joey Klein
Dusty Mancinelli
Stéphane Moukarzel
Celeste Parr
Madeleine Sims-Fewer
Timothy Yeung

International Participants
María Alché (Argentina)
Amin Dora (Lebanon)
Derya Durmaz (Turkey)
Hiwot Admasu Getaneh (Ethiopia)
Carolina Markowicz (Brazil)
Tommy Oliver (USA)
Marina Person (Brazil)
Ricky Rijenke (Holland)
Eva Riley (United Kingdom)
Alexis van Stratum (Belgium)

The 2015 Talent Lab Governors:

Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders came to international prominence as one of the pioneers of the New German Cinema in the 1970s and is one of the most important figures in contemporary German film. In addition to his many prize-winning feature films, his work as a scriptwriter, director, producer, photographer and author also encompasses an abundance of innovative documentary films, international photo exhibitions and numerous monographs, film books and prose collections. He lives and works in Berlin, together with his wife Donata Wenders.

Jim Stark
Jim Stark is an independent American producer who has been involved in writing, developing, financing, producing, selling, distributing and marketing low budget fiction feature films since 1983. His films have won numerous prizes and have been selected to premiere in major festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance and Toronto, and have been exhibited theatrically and broadcast on television in countries around the world.

Congratulations to Talent Lab participant Marie-Ève Juste (A New Year) on the selection of her film in the 2015 Short Cuts programme and to the following Talent Lab alumni with films in the Festival’s 2015 selection:

Feature Films:
  • Stephen Dunn, Director, Closet Monster
  • Kazik Radwanski, Director, How Heavy This Hammer
  • Jamie M. Dagg, Director, River
  • Andrew Cividino, Director, Sleeping Giant
  • Igor Drljaca, Director, The Waiting Room

Short Cuts Canada:
  • Ashley McKenzie, Director, 4 Quarters
  • Sol Friedman, Director, Bacon & God's Wrath
  • Mark Slutsky, Director, Never Happened
  • Vivieno Caldinelli, Director, Portal to Hell!!!
  • Chelsea McMullan, Director, World Famous Gopher Hole Museum

Telefilm Canada’s PITCH THIS! challenge takes place on Sunday, September 13 at 4:30 p.m. and is open to all Festival Industry and Press delegates.

The 2015 Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! finalists are:

Brown Girl In The Ring: The Prequel Sharon Lewis and Jenn Paul
It’s 2048 in the Burn. Toronto has been abandoned by the wealthy, and the poor have been walled in and left to fend for themselves. This coming-of-age story focuses on young Ti-Jeanne who rebels against her grandmother’s Caribbean mystical teachings to run off with Tony. When a tragedy strikes Ti-Jeanne’s guardian spirit demands she obey or someone will die.

Claire, from the Bus Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith, Kjartan Hewitt and Jordan Canning
Ralph’s 31st birthday has turned into 24 hours of devilishly orchestrated sexual blackmail that calls into question his grasp of morality, fidelity and the actual age of his coquettish aggressor.

Demonolatry Laura Perlmutter and Daniel Perlmutter
A couple go on a prescribed weekend getaway to figure out their relationship but instead they are forced to face off against demons and each other when they discover a woman frozen in the woods.

E.V.E. A.J. Bond
While attempting to cure his infertility, a rogue scientist discovers a new facet of procreation, the ability to encode his memories into the DNA of his offspring, causing a kind of pseudo-reincarnation. He succeeds in conceiving a female child who has his memories and consciousness, creating the most unusual father/daughter relationship in history.

Mohammed VI Matthew Hannam and Kaveh Nabatian
A neurotic celebrity chef disappears while filming a cooking show in Morocco. When presented with the opportunity to take over the shoot and advance their own careers, his embattled crew struggles to continue the search for their acerbic host.

Passover Daniel Schachter and Constance Malpel
A family reunion goes haywire over the course of a long, wine-soaked night, as dark secrets from the past come bubbling to the surface.

Deragh Campbell, Stephan James, Aliocha Schneider and Karelle Tremblay

The Toronto International Film Festival® today revealed the four actors selected to participate in the 2015 TIFF Rising Stars programme: Deragh Campbell, Stephan James, Aliocha Schneider, and Karelle Tremblay. Now in its fifth year, the intensive professional development programme immerses participants in a series of public events and industry meetings during the Festival.

“TIFF is dedicated to shining a spotlight on Canadian talent, and we’re thrilled to offer Deragh, Stephan, Aliocha, and Karelle — the 2015 TIFF Rising Stars — a global stage during the Festival,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival.

The four Rising Stars will take part in a series of specialized programming organized by the TIFF Industry Office that includes seminars with international casting directors, media training, one-on-one meetings with filmmakers, as well as a series of unique networking opportunities.

Deragh Campbell
Though a relative newcomer, Deragh Campbell has already made a name for herself as an accomplished actor and writer. The Toronto-based artist established herself as a promising new talent with her starring role as a teenage runaway in Matthew Potterfield’s I Used to Be Darker, which premiered at Sundance and made The New Yorker’s list of Top 25 Films of 2013. Deragh went on to star in Dustin Guy Defa’s acclaimed short film Person to Person, which won the DAAD Short Film Prize at the 2014 Berlinale. She took on the largely improvised role of Lucy in Nathan Silver’s 2015 black comedy Stinking Heaven, for which she shares a writing credit. A versatile talent, Deragh has recently been awarded a prestigious MacDowell Fellowship to create her first feature with co-writer Alexandra Napier. She next stars in Alexander Carson’s directorial debut, O Brazen Age, Sofia Bohdanowicz’s Never Eat Alone and Julian Radlmaier’s The Pursuit of Happiness, and has a supporting role opposite Tatiana Maslany in Joey Klein’s The Other Half.

Stephan James
Just 21 years old, Stephan James has already landed significant supporting roles in Ava DuVernay’s Oscar winner Selma and the CBC miniseries The Book of Negroes, as well as a starring role in the forthcoming Universal/Focus Features biopic Race, playing Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens. Born and raised in Toronto, Stephan began his professional career in the Emmy-nominated series Degrassi: The Next Generation, playing the role of Julian for three seasons. He later guest-starred in the series The Listener, The L.A. Complex, and Cracked. His major break came in 2012 with a leading role in the Toronto International Film Festival selection Home Again: Stephen received tremendous critical acclaim and a Canadian Screen Award nomination for his performance as Everton St. Clair, a British teenager deported to Jamaica for drug possession. He followed this with a supporting role in the Miramax sports drama When the Game Stands Tall. Stephan’s impressive resume has not gone unnoticed; The Globe and Mail profiled the rising actor as one to watch for in 2015. It’s no wonder that shortly after moving to Los Angeles this year, he was cast as a series regular in NBC’s upcoming drama, Unveiled, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, as well as a leading role in Director X’s Undone.

Aliocha Schneider
Born in Paris and raised in Quebec, Aliocha Schneider spent his adolescence training to be a performer. A gifted actor and singer, he began his career on the stage at Montreal’s Théâtre du Rideau Vert, where he played the role of Momo in the stage adaptation of La Vie devant soi. Television proved a natural fit for the versatile young actor. From 2009 to 2013, he starred as Carl Bresson in the Télé-Québec dramatic series Tactik, and has since made appearances on Vrak’s Horrorarium, TVA’s Les Jeunes loups and Yamaska, and Radio-Canada’s Belle-Baie and Les Parent, starring Anne Dorval. He made his big-screen debut in Erik Canuel’s box-office hit Bon Cop, Bad Cop before playing opposite some of the biggest names in Quebec cinema in Lea Pool’s Ma mère est chez le coiffeur and La dernière fugue, Christian Laurence’s Le journal d’Aurélie Laflamme and Robert Morin’s Les 4 soldats. Fluent in both English and French, Aliocha made his English-language debut in the 2013 comedy Three Night Stand, playing the “ultrasmooth and boyishly handsome art-house movie actor Anatolii” (Toronto Star). Other recent credits include a supporting role in Elodie Namar’s chessdrama The Tournament. Watch for him this year in the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival features Closet Monster, which stars Rising Stars alumnus Connor Jessup and Isabella Rossellini, and Guy Édoin’s Ville-Marie, opposite Monica Bellucci.

Karelle Tremblay
Montreal-born Karelle Tremblay has been acting since she was 12, when she was cast as a series regular in Radio-Canada’s Le Club des doigts croisés. Since then, she has developed an impressive and fast-growing roster of television credits, guest starring in TVA’s Toute la vérité and Yamaska, and Radio-Canada’s hit Montreal police drama 19-2. In 2015, she was nominated for a Prix Gémeaux for Best Actress in a Web Series for her starring role as Elizabeth in Vrak’s Les Stagiaires. Karelle transitioned to film with supporting roles in Stephan Miljevic’s Amsterdam and Podz’s Miraculum, starring Xavier Dolan. Her first major film break came when she was cast as the radical young activist Julie in Mathieu Denis’ FLQ drama Corbo, an Official Selection of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival. She can next be seen in Podz’s urban crime drama King Dave and in the titular role in Vrak’s Jérémie, premiering this fall. Watch for her at this year’s Festival in Les êtres chers, from acclaimed director Anne Émond (Nuit #1).

Rising Stars alumni include household names like Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars, Belle and the upcoming The 9th Life of Louis Drax), Tatiana Maslany (two-time Critic's Choice Award-winner for Best Actress in a Drama Series for Orphan Black), Cara Gee (Strange Empire), Julia Sarah Stone (Every Thing Will Be Fine), and Shannon Kook (Dark Places).

The 2015 jury who helped select the 2015 Rising Stars include filmmakers Ingrid Veninger and Clement Virgo; filmmaker, journalist and author Peter Knegt; casting director Deirdre Bowen; and Larissa Giroux, Executive in Charge of Acting & Music Programs, CFC ACTORS & MUSIC.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the Gupta Box Office at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 26 while quantities last.

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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 Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, 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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