You can help jump start your creative career in filmmaking by applying for funding from Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch Fund. The fund, originated through changing the Micro-Budget Production Program into the Talent to Watch program, supports projects by aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them get needed funding to bring their cinematic projects to fruition.
Talent to Watch Fund Basics
The base of the newly-renamed Talent to Watch Fund has been up and running for five years, but the fund’s new name and new parameters are expanding the amount and type of help the fund provides to first-time filmmakers in all regions of Canada. Telefilm Canada is accelerating its support and promotion of entrepreneurs to help further grow the filmmaking industry in the country.
The 2017 announcement of the fund supporting 50 projects is important because it represents more than double the number of projects previously supported. This number was chosen to help celebrate Telefilm Canada’s 50th anniversary.
The fund, which previously helped filmmakers by providing equipment, space, guidance, and financial support for various aspects for the filmmaking project – including marketing newly produced films – has added new layers to what it offers entrepreneurial filmmakers. New, designated partners have been added to the group to help reach and support creators from the various regions of Canada. The program is making a particular effort to encourage a diverse group of participants, which helps produce a diverse cache of films.
The Talent to Watch fund is also bringing back recipients from the past to help mentor new participants, setting up automatic funding for short filmmakers who have won prizes at certain international festivals to create feature-length films, and establishing automatic financing for second feature films from participants who successfully produce first features that garner international recognition.
Applying and Eligibility Requirements
If you’re interested in applying for the Talent to Watch fund, you can download the application through Telefilm Canada’s website, which spells out all of the specific application requirements, including important submission dates and contact information.
You’re eligible to apply as long as you’ve already produced, directed, or written at least one short film of 30 minutes or less.
The writer and director of your proposed feature length film must be recent graduates of any program or initiative of the Canadian Film Centre. The producer of the film does not have to be an alumnus of the CFC.
The final eligibility requirement is simply that all members of your primary creative team working on the film must be permanent residents of Canada or have Canadian citizenship.
Your proposed film project can be either fictional or a documentary, at least 75 minutes long. It must be produced in English, French, or an indigenous language. All projects need to be distributed on at least one digital platform, and they must be completed within a year and a half of receiving an invitation to apply for funding from Telefilm Canada. The program expects that all feature films submitted have a budget that falls between $125,000 and $250,000. Budgets for web-based projects vary depending on the total length, but Telefilm Canada expects that the budget per 10-minute segment shouldn’t exceed $20,000. You can find all the other project guidelines on Telefilm Canada’s website.
The Talent to Watch fund is a great resource for emerging talent and entrepreneurs in the field of filmmaking. It’s a fantastic support system for new and talented creators to get their projects seen, and to foster the development of talent that continues to expand the Canadian film industry.