Skip Navigation Links

Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund welcome 16 filmmaking teams selected under the Talent to Watch Program 

24 October 2022

October 24, 2022 – Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund are pleased to announce the selection of 16 first feature-length film projects from emerging independent filmmakers, under the Talent to Watch Program for fiscal year 2022-2023. A commitment of $3.5 million will be invested into these projects by Telefilm and the Talent Fund.  

As part of Telefilm’s modernization efforts, the Talent to Watch Program was relaunched earlier this spring with important changes, including an increase funding of $250,000 (up from $150,000) per film project and up to $150,000 for documentary projects. In addition, this year’s Talent to Watch recipients will have access to a new mentorship program administered by the National Screen Institute (NSI) and the Institut national de l’image et du son (INIS). More significant changes made to the program can be found here.  

“Class of 2022 features an array of storytellers from across the country, illustrating that Canada is indeed full of incredible talent ready to share their stories through the art of cinematography,” said Francesca Accinelli, Interim Executive Director and CEO, Telefilm Canada. “Talent to Watch alumni like Daiva Žalnieriunas and Josiane Blanc are paying it forward playing the roles of producers in support of new emerging teams. For the first time ever, the Talent to Watch program is supporting a Tibetan- and English- language film project, 100 Sunset, and an Arabic film project set in the Sinaï region of Egypt, The Firehouse. With significant changes made to our program, we can expect more diverse voices coming in our pipeline and making their mark in the Canadian audiovisual landscape.” 

“For the past decade, Talent Fund has played a pivotal role in giving emerging filmmakers a career launchpad to showcase their stories to the world,” said Sandi Treliving, Chair of the Talent Fund Advisory Committee. “Thanks to the support of our generous donors, this year’s cohort will be able to bring their unique visions to life. We look forward to seeing the results of this year’s recipients and can’t wait for audiences to discover these talented filmmakers.” 

Projects selected for 2022-2023:  

100 Sunset (mystery) 

Director and screenwriter: Kunsang Kyirong 
Producer: Joaquin Cardoner  
Province: British Columbia 
Language: Tibetan/English 
Stream: Industry Partner 
Partner organization: Vancouver International Film Festival 

1001 couronnes pour ma tête (documentary) 

Director, screenwriter and producer: Habibata Ouarme 
Province: Ontario 
Language: French/English 
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct 

Agent Dynamo (documentary) 

Director and screenwriter: Lea Marinova 
Producer: Svetla Turnin  
Province: Quebec 
Language: English/Bulgarian 
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct  

L’asile (documentary) 

Director and screenwriter: David Sanchez 
Producer: François Dubé 
Province: Quebec 
Language: French 
Stream: Industry Partner 
Partner organization: SPIRA 

Boxcutter (drama) 

Director: Reza Dahya 
Screenwriter: Chris Cromie 
Producers: Reza Dahya and Soko Negash 
Province: Ontario 
Language: English 
Stream: Industry Partner 
Partner organization: Prism Prize 

Chemins de terre (horror) 

Director and screenwriter: Laetitia Demessence 
Producer: Yann-Manuel Hernandez 
Province: Quebec 
Language: French 
Stream: Industry Partner 
Partner organization: Université de Montréal 

Do I Know You From Somewhere? (drama) 

Director: Arianna Martinez 
Screenwriters: Gordon Mihan and Arianna Martinez 
Producers: Gordon Mihan and Lance Blakney 
Province: New Brunswick 
Language: English 
Stream: Industry Partner 
Partner organization: New Brunswick Film Co-Operative 

The Firehouse (drama) 

Director and screenwriter: Omar Elhamy 
Producer: Jonathan Beaulieu-Cyr 
Province: Quebec 
Language: Arabic 
Stream: Festival Selection  

His Father’s Son (drama) 

Director and screenwriter: Meelad Moaphi 
Producers: Stephen Raglow and Spencer Hahn  
Province: Ontario 
Language: English/Farsi 
Stream: Industry Partner 
Partner organization: York University 

Johanne (documentary) 

Director and screenwriter: Nadine Valcin 
Producers: Josiane Blanc, Ania Jamila  
Province: Ontario 
Language: French 
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct 

Jude and the Jinn (magic realism) 

Director and screenwriter: Rolla Tahir 
Producers: Mercedes Cardella and Ladan Siad 
Province: Ontario 
Language: English/Arabic 
Stream: Industry Partner 
Partner organization: ReelWorld Film Festival Inc. 

Lucky Strikes (comedy) 

Director and screenwriter: Darcy Waite 
Producer: Madison Thomas 
Province: Manitoba 
Language: English 
Stream: Industry Partner – Indigenous Component 
Partner organization: On Screen Manitoba Inc. 

The River Will Carry Us (drama) 

Director and screenwriter: Mahsa Razavi 
Producers: Priscilla Galvez and Tanya Hoshi  
Province: Ontario 
Language: English/Persian 
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct  

Seahorse (drama) 

Directors: Natalie Remplakowski and Aisha Evelyna 
Screenwriter: Aisha Evelyna 
Producers: Natalie Remplakowski and Aisha Evelyna  
Province: Ontario 
Language: English 
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct  

The Track (documentary) 

Director, screenwriter and producer: Ryan Sidhoo  
Province: British Columbia 
Language: English/Bosnian 
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct 

Tandis que lui (drama) 

Director and screenwriter: Elisa Gilmour 
Producer: Daiva Žalnieriunas 
Province: Ontario 
Language: French 
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct  

About Telefilm Canada 

As a Partner of Choice, Telefilm Canada is a Crown corporation dedicated to the success of Canada’s audiovisual industry, fostering access and excellence by delivering programs that support cultural resonance and audience engagement. With a lens of equity, inclusivity and sustainability, Telefilm bolsters dynamic companies and a range of creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual coproduction treaties to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund raises private donations which principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at 

About the Talent Fund 

The Talent Fund is a national donation initiative dedicated to the impact and longevity of first-time filmmakers’ careers from across Canada. Igniting career paths in cinema, the Talent Fund invests in emerging talent and provides support to build their professional portfolios, fosters community and knowledge-sharing through professional mentorship, and prioritizes emerging creators from historically underrepresented communities. Funds raised are invested in Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program – a career accelerator and launchpad – which helps the next generation of storytellers contribute to a thriving Canadian film industry. Since 2012, the Fund has supported 165 film projects, brought to life by more than 360 emerging artists (writers, producers, and directors) and has financed films that have earned over 180 awards worldwide. Individual donors, family foundations, corporations and sponsors invest in the Talent Fund as they believe in the power of storytelling through film, and the impact this program has on the careers of emerging artists. To learn more about the Talent Fund or to make a donation, visit  


Media contact:  

Joyce Richards 
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market 
Telefilm Canada