IFFSA TALENT FUND
South Asians have been a part of the Canadian story for over 120 years, but are vastly under represented in cinematic media. With 2 million+ South Asians living in Canada, it is time they have a platform to help bring forward their stories more accurately and fairly, and share their compelling experiences with Canadians. IFFSA Toronto, the largest South Asian film festival in North America, has launched IFFSA Talent Fund to support the development, promotion and celebration of South Asian Canadian talent and cinematic arts with a long-term strategy to build South Asian Canadian narrative through cinema.

BRIGHT LIGHTS IS THE PIONEER PROGRAM UNDER THIS INITIATIVE
This program will support five South Asian Canadian short narrative film projects with funding & services of up to $15000 each plus hands-on workshops and mentorship by acclaimed Canadian and International filmmakers. Films would be of 10 to 15 minutes in length. All the films will have their world premiere at IFFSA followed by a global festival run. The aim of this program is to build South Asian Canadian narrative through cinematic arts by supporting emerging South Asian Canadian talent in showcasing their creative visions and furthering their careers toward feature filmmaking. This is a yearly program.

ABOUT IFFSA TORONTO
BMO IFFSA Toronto is a pioneer organization devoted to the development, promotion and celebration of South Asian cinematic arts and talent. IFFSA is a year-round platform with various subfestivals and initiatives, which culminate in the BMO IFFSA Toronto Fortnight each May as a part of South Asian Heritage Month celebrations. In its 10th year now, the festival has become an international icon and the voice of South Asian cinema in Canada.This extravaganza showcases a diverse, language independent selection of the best films from Canada and around the world, on themes of South Asian cultures and identities. In addition, the festival also features gala dinners, red carpet premiers, concerts, lounge parties, exhibitions, seminars, discussions, workshops, pitching sessions and networking opportunities with government representatives, business leaders, local organizations that support film development, film stars, producers, directors, members of the media and more. 250+ FILMS | 16+ LANGUAGES | 80+ EVENTS | 20+ FESTIVAL DAYS | NATIONAL PLATFORM <THE LARGEST SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL IN NORTH AMERICA>

IFFSA TORONTO MISSION
BMO IFFSA Toronto is devoted to the development, promotion and celebration of South Asian cinematic arts and talent. IFFSA aims to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the South Asian experience by offering unique insights and new perspectives through the medium of film. IFFSA is dedicated to presenting cinema that is intriguing and soulful, and committed to act as a catalyst for creation that offers transformational experience. It strives to recognize new and original voices throughout Canada and channel the excitement of cinema into our local communities. Festival has showcased hundreds of award-winning films while playing host to internationally acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals, and press from around the globe. The vision and mission of IFFSA Toronto is guided by an advisory board composed of respected political, business, arts, community and media leaders, and globally celebrated filmmakers. <DEVELOPMENT, PROMOTION AND CELEBRATION OF SOUTH ASIAN CINEMA AND TALENT>

BRIGHT LIGHTS program will support five South Asian Canadian short narrative film projects with funding & services of up to $15000 each plus hands-on workshops and mentorship by acclaimed Canadian and International filmmakers. Films would be of 10 to 15 minutes in length. All the films will have their world premiere at IFFSA followed by a global festival run. The aim of this program is to build South Asian Canadian narrative through cinematic arts by supporting emerging South Asian Canadian talent in showcasing their creative visions and furthering their careers toward feature filmmaking. This is a yearly program.

BRIEF
This program will support 5 short South Asian Canadian fiction film projects with funding & services of up to $15000 each plus hands-on workshops and mentorship by globally celebrated Canadian and International filmmakers. Films would be of 10 to 15 minutes in length. All the films will have their world premiere at IFFSA followed by a global festival run. The aim of this program is to build South Asian Canadian narrative through cinematic arts by supporting emerging South Asian Canadian talent in showcasing their creative visions and furthering their careers toward feature filmmaking. This is a yearly program.

PROJECT ELIGIBILITY
The applicant must read the following criteria carefully before applying:
1. The creative team (writer, director and producer) must be South Asian Canadian. The remaining cast and crew must also be predominantly South Asian Canadian. Projects with over 75% South Asian Canadian representation will be eligible for an extra $1000 in funding & services support.
2. All creative team, cast and crew members must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
3. The film must be between 10 to 15 minutes long, including the credits.
4. The film storyline must have a South Asian Canadian focus.
5. The creative team must not have had a main credit on a feature film in their discipline.
6. The creative team members may only be attached to one application per deadline.
7. Applicant must reside in Canada and the applicant company must be incorporated in Canada; applicants not incorporated at the time of applying are still eligible, but must incorporate if selected into the program.
8. Resubmissions from previous years are NOT allowed.

FINANCING/RIGHTS
1. This program will support five South Asian Canadian short narrative film projects with funding & services of up to $15000 each plus hands-on workshops and mentorship.
2. Upon receiving support, the filmmakers will enter into an agreement with IFFSA Talent Fund. Rights will be shared equally between IFFSA Talent Fund and the applicant.
3. Drawdown schedule will be determined at the time of contracting, but best efforts will be made to provide most of the funding up front prior to production.
4. We will favour projects that can be realized as close to the financing supplied. If the budget exceeds our financing, applicant must describe the alternative sources.
5. The funding support must only be used towards the production budget of the film, and cannot be re-assigned for any other purpose.
6. The filmmaker must submit a project close out report including an expense report of how the funds were used.
7. Any unutilized funds must be returned to IFFSA Talent Fund.
8. Applicants must not have signed any pre-license broadcast agreements prior to acceptance of the grant.
9. The completed film must include a full screen logo recognition of IFFSA Talent Fund in the opening and closing credits.
10. Contractually, the project will be obliged to have it’s world premiere at IFFSA Toronto. This condition can be reviewed on case to case basis.

APPLICATION/ADMINISTRATION
Applications must come through the IFFSA Talent Fund online portal system. All projects will be evaluated by a jury made up of members of acclaimed filmmakers. All decisions are final. Creative feedback or written reports for projects that have not received funding will not be provided.

The Initial Applicants will need to provide the following:

1. Script synopsis of maximum 500 words
2. One page director’s vision statement of the film which gives a sense of how he or she will approach the making of the film in terms of it’s composition, rhythm, the kind of performances he or she is looking for and how the various locations and the colour palette of the film will help in presenting the theme of the film. We would also be very interested to know how the director will use sound and music in the film.
3. Examples of previous work from the director (share a link/url)
4. Detailed resumes for the creative team
5. Completion of the demographics self-reporting survey

The Program Finalists will need to provide the following:

1. Shooting Script of maximum 15 pages
2. List of cast and crew with detailed resume of the cinematographer, sound designer, editor, composer and brief bios for rest of the team
3. Production Budget
4. Production Plan
5. Incorporation certificate of applicant company (applicants not incorporated at the time of application are still eligible, but must incorporate if selected into the program)

TIMELINE
Apr 2021 – Program launch and application call out
Jul 2021 – Jury review of all applications
Aug 2021 – Announcement of 10 finalists
Sep 2021 – Request for detailed proposals from the finalists
Oct 2021 – Jury review of the detailed proposals
Nov 2021 – Announcement of 5 winners
Dec 2021 – Practical training and workshops
Jan 2022 – Film pre-production, shoot and post-production
May 2022 – World premiere of films at IFFSA Toronto 2022

Projects must go into production within one month of the final selection and must deliver their film within two months after that.

* IFFSA TALENT FUND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY THE PROGRAM AT ANY TIME, WITHOUT NOTICE, IN ITS SOLE AND ABSOLUTE DISCRETION