Talent To Watch

Talent to Watch 2020

On Screen Manitoba is a designated partner of Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch Program. As a designated partner, On Screen Manitoba will receive the first round of Talent to Watch submissions from On Screen Manitoba members in good standing, and through a local juried process will recommend feature films and narrative-based web projects for consideration by Telefilm Canada’s national jury. 

Elements outlined here must be submitted to On Screen Manitoba – info@onscreenmanitoba.com no later than February 3rd at 12 pm.

On Screen Manitoba accepts projects for the following components: the Main component, the Indigenous component and the Official Language Minority Community (OLMC) component.

Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program (formerly the Telefilm Micro-Budget Production Program) is back for its tenth year. The program provides financing for the production, digital distribution and promotion of a first feature-length film or web series intended 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 iTunes, video on demand, mobile platforms/devices). Fiction, documentary and animation projects are all eligible.


As a partner organization, On Screen Manitoba can recommend to Telefilm:

  • one feature film project and one web project under the Main component, and
  • one feature film project and one web project for the Official Language Minority Community component (OLMC)
  • one feature film or web project under the Indigenous component.

Elements outlined below must be submitted to On Screen Manitoba info@onscreenmanitoba.com no later than February 3rd at noon.

The Selective Stream is a competitive and juried process.

Project description

The recommended projects must be fictional or documentary audiovisual projects produced in English, French or an Indigenous language that are either:

  • feature length films of 75 minutes or more; or
  • any other type of narrative-based audiovisual content made in a format specifically designed for online audiences. These types of projects can be comprised of one or more segments which, in total, must be more than 10 minutes in length. Eligibility: The key members of all recommended projects must be emerging talent i.e. they must have previously produced, directed and/or written at least one short film but cannot have previously held the same key position in a feature length film. Note that producers who have previously produced one feature film that has received funding under this Program will also be considered as emerging talent. Additionally, Telefilm will show flexibility in the eligibility evaluation of producers who have previously produced one feature film with a budget of $250,000 and less The director of the project must be a member in good standing of On Screen Manitoba. Those submitting as an Indigenous project, must be self-declared Indigenous people. Furthermore, the key members must be Canadian citizens, within the definition of the Citizenship Act, or permanent residents within the definition of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Please note: The OSM deadline for submissions is February 3, 12 PM Central Time in advance of Telefilm’s final submission deadline of March 2 to 9, 2020. No incomplete or late submissions will be considered. This allows a brief period of time for selected teams to refine their applications, if necessary, in advance of submitting to Telefilm. Please contact Maryam Decter at maryam@onscreenmanitoba.com before January 30, 2020, to confirm eligibility.

As part of the recommendation process, the following elements must be presented by the creative teams to On Screen Manitoba – info@onscreenmanitoba.com using a file storage service (ex. OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).

1 – A completed screenplay;

2 – Presentation video: a downloadable pitch video of a maximum of 5 minutes that will:

o state the project’s working title;

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

o provide a brief synopsis of the story from beginning to end; o outline the creative team’s vision/visual treatment of the material;

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

o identify the target audience;

o include a 1-minute segment of the director’s previous short films;

Note: the video must NOT include footage from other projects that are not the team’s own work.

3 – Supporting material: the documents listed below must be uploaded in pdf format:

o Synopsis of the project, a maximum of 750 words, which includes the main story developments, and tells the basic story from beginning to end;

o Director’s vision (up to three pages in length);

o A promotion and distribution plan (up to two pages in length) which identifies the project’s audience (age, sex, sensibility, culture, etc.). It must also identify how the team will find and access this audience and why will they connect with the project;

o Creative team Filmography (producer, writer and director): submit a filmography using the template available on the Website, which will indicate training, education, experience, accolades, outline past projects and history of team collaboration;

o A production schedule (from pre-production to digital release) that will ensure completion of the project within 24 months of the receipt of Telefilm’s invitation to apply, as described below;

o The budget top sheet for the project (see template available on Telefilm’s website);

o Up to one page detailing any other information that sets this project apart (e.g.: personal connection to the story material, successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed cameo or role by a well-established actor, established fan base on social media);

o Projects submitted under the Indigenous component and all other projects with Indigenous content shall address the issue of how the team sought to engage the various Indigenous communities that will be impacted by the project. Suitable means of achieving this may include the following, as applicable: letters of support from the community, letters of support from Indigenous advisors, contracts between the communities and the creative team for the project, community engagement plans, etc.

4 – a link to previous work;

A jury will determine which projects will be recommended to Telefilm. The jury may suggest that the project take advantage of consultation programs and mentorship in order to refine submissions in advance of Telefilm’s March 2 – 9, 2020 deadline.

The above documents must be included in Word, Excel or PDF formats. Please provide the video pitch as a YouTube or Vimeo link to On Screen Manitoba – info@onscreenmanitoba.com.

Applicants must identify if they are applying to more than one designated partner.

This will be considered neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.

OSM requires that you visit the Talent to Watch webpage to read Telefilm’s full set of guidelines and FAQ (PDF) before submitting to determine eligibility.

On Screen Manitoba thanks its sustaining partners