WIFT-AT now accepting applications for Telefilm's 2019 Talent to Watch Program

General Information:

Women in Film and Television, Atlantic (WIFT-AT) is now accepting applications for another instalment of the Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program (formerly known as the Micro-Budget Program). The Talent to Watch Program is a production opportunity for first-time feature filmmakers, with an emphasis on digital and online distribution models. All selected teams will be invited to attend a Talent to Watch Summit to be held in the Spring 2019 (details will communicated in March 2019)

For more information about Talent to Watch visit Telefilm Canada

The Telefilm Talent to Watch Program will provide financing for the development, production, digital distribution and promotion of a feature-length film or a narrative-based web series made specifically for online distribution. Once completed, the projects must be made available to the public through one or more digital platforms (e.g. web portals, video portals such as YouTube or Netflix, video on demand, mobile platforms/devices, etc.).

Telefilm will support projects through a non-repayable financial contribution of up to $125,000 for feature films and narrative-based web projects of 75 minutes and more in total length. Telefilm’s financial contribution must be used to cover direct expenses relating to the development, production, post-production, distribution and promotion of the project.

WIFT-AT is eligible to recommend two feature films and one narrative web-based project for both the Main Component and the Indigenous Component.

Indigenous stream: Telefilm will set aside funding for projects by Canadian filmmakers from Indigenous communities. These projects will be assessed by an external jury having Indigenous representation. Applicant companies applying for funding under this Stream will have to show that:

  • At least 51 per cent of the project’s copyright is held by a production company whose majority shareholder is Indigenous

  • Two of the three key members of the creative team (producer, director or screenwriter) are Indigenous

WIFT-AT members selected for Talent to Watch in 2018 include:

Nova Scotia:

  • Bone Cage - Melani Wood and Taylor Olson

  • CareCroft - Koumbie and Amy Trefry

  • Murmur - Heather Young and Martha Cooley

New Brunswick:

  • Queen of the Andes - Jiliian Acreman and Arianna Martinez

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Little Orphans - Ruth Lawrence and Emily Bridger

Requirements and Eligibility:

All application requirements in the Telefilm Canada Guidelines must be met in order to submit to WIFT-AT. Please read these guidelines carefully and pay special attention to the funding details, required elements to submit, the FAQs as well as the main goals of this program.

Please make special note of the revised eligibility requirements: All the key members (producer, writer and director) of the project must be emerging talent i.e. they must already have produced, directed and/or written at least one short film (i.e. 30 minutes or less) but cannot have previously held the same key position on a feature length film (i.e. 75 minutes or more).

For example, if you have previously directed a feature film you are eligible to apply as a producer or writer (and visa versa). Additionally, producers who have previously produced one feature film that has received funding under this program will also be considered as emerging talent.

In order to meet the mandate of WIFT-AT, we require that writers and/or directors be FULL MEMBERS of WIFT-AT. Please note this in your application.

View 2019 Telefilm Talent To Watch Program Guidelines HERE

Please be sure to confirm your eligibility with WIFT-AT prior to submitting your application contact Kimberlee McTaggart at kimberlee@wift-at.com.

To Submit:

Applications to WIFT-AT must include:

1) Feature Length Script (or a script for one episode of a narrative-based web project);

2) Presentation Video: a downloadable pitch video of maximum 5 minutes that will include:

  • state the project’s working title;

  • identify the key creative team involved in the project and their individual track records (including samples of past work if applicable or relevant);

  • identify the genre, the type, and the length of the project;

  • provide a synopsis of the story;

  • outline the creative team’s vision/visual treatment of the material;

  • outline any other relevant information that sets the project apart (e.g.: confirmed appearance by an established actor, successful crowdfunding campaign, relationship with VFX professionals or animators);

  • identify the target audience;

  • include 1 minute segment of the director’s previous short films;

3) Support Material (as PDFs):

  • Synopsis of the project (max. 750 words) which includes the main story development and tells the basic story from beginning to end;

  • Director’s Vision (up to 3 pages);

4) Promotion and Distribution Plan identifying the project’s audience., and identifying how

the team will find and access this audience (up to 2 pages)

  • Creative Team Filmography (writer, director and producer) – use the template on Telefilm's website) which will indicate training, education, experience, accolades, outline past projects and history of team collaboration;

  • Production schedule (from pre-production to digital release) that will ensure the completion of the project within 18 months of the receipt of Telefilm’s invitation to apply;

  • Budget top sheet for the project (see template available on Telefilm’s website)

  • Additional Information (up to 1 page) – any other info which sets the project apart (eg: personal connection to the story material, successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed cameo by a well known actor, established fan base on social media).

  • One-page visual treatment of the project;

5) Link to previous work;

Download Telefilm's Creative Team Filmography template HERE

Download Telefilm's Budget Top Sheet template HERE


Proposals submitted to WIFT-AT will be evaluated by a jury of filmmakers and film professionals. The evaluation of the projects submitted to WIFT-AT and Telefilm will take into consideration the following elements:

  • the quality of the track record of the creative team;

  • the quality, originality, and innovativeness of the creative content;

  • the understanding of the marketplace for the project and the innovativeness of the promotion and distribution strategy;

  • the feasibility and level of production readiness of the project.


Please submit all required materials to Kimberlee McTaggart at kimberlee@wift-at.com by Sunday, February 10, 2019 at midnight. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

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