Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program

March 7, 2018

***Submissions for 2018 are closed. Check the Telefilm Canada website regularly for the 2019 call for submissions***


Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program (formerly the Telefilm Micro-Budget Production Program) is back for its sixth year.

The program provides financing for the production, digital distribution and promotion of a first feature-length film or other format of narrative-based audiovisual content made specifically for online distribution. Fiction, documentary and animation projects are all eligible.

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

  • up to two feature film projects and one web project produced in English and based in Manitoba under the Main component, and
  • up to two feature film projects and one web project produced in French and based in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta or British Columbia for the Official Language Minority Community component (OLMC)

The Selective Stream is a competitive and juried process – On Screen Manitoba will recommend selected projects to a maximum of 3 for each component.

Project description: The recommended projects must be fictional or documentary audiovisual projects produced in English or French 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.

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 Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 12:00 PM Central Time in advance of Telefilm’s final submission deadline of April 16 – 23, 2018. No incomplete or late submissions will be considered. This allows a brief period of time for selected teams to refine their complete applications, if necessary, in advance of submitting to Telefilm.

Please contact Maryam Decter (Main component) or Amber O’Reilly (OLMC) before March 22, 2018, to confirm eligibility.

As part of the recommendation process, the following elements must be presented by the creative teams to On Screen Manitoba:

1) A video pitch (max. 5 minutes) that will:

  • 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, type and length of 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); and
  • identify the target audience and present ideas on reaching and engaging the target audience through a digital marketing and social media strategy;

2) a written synopsis (max. 200 words) of the project including a description of the creative team’s vision;
3) a one-page visual treatment of the project;
4) a completed screenplay;
5) a link to previous work, if available;
6) a one-page promotion and distribution plan including a digital marketing and social media strategy that demonstrates how the target audience will be reached;
7) a production schedule (from pre-production to digital release) that will ensure completion of the project within 18 months of the receipt of Telefilm’s invitation to apply, as described below;
8) the budget top sheet for the project (download a template from Telefilm); and
9) any other information that sets this project apart (eg: successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed cameo by a well-known actor, established fan base on social media).

The above documents must be included in Word, Excel or PDF formats. Please provide the video pitch as a YouTube or Vimeo link.

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 April 16 – 23, 2018 deadline. At that time, the recommended projects must be submitted to Telefilm via a microsite.

On Screen Manitoba suggests that all applicants create their microsites in advance.

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) and access application tools before submitting to determine eligibility.

Please send submissions to Maryam Decter (Main component) or Amber O’Reilly (OLMC).

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