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Telefilm Canada welcomes 16 filmmaking teams and projects selected for 2020-2021 Talent to Watch Program

18 August 2020

Sixteen projects representing some of Canada’s strongest new voices from coast to coast to coast

Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund are pleased to announce the 2020 projects selected under the Talent to Watch Program, with a total of 16 first feature films and narrative web projects to be made from emerging independent filmmakers from across the country. Over $2.2 million will be invested by Telefilm and the Talent Fund in projects that include works in both Official Languages. Thirteen of the 16 teams are culturally diverse, with one who self-identifies as gender diverse. Additionally, 50 per cent of the selected stories are directed by women.

New this year, feature film projects will receive $150,000 (up from $125,000) in support.

“This year’s Talent to Watch program selections provide our emerging filmmakers with some piece of mind at a time of great uncertainty. This funding gives them the opportunity to begin planning and fine-tuning their projects while we wait for some local productions to resume,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “From Heather Young’s Murmur, to Jasmin Mozaffari’s Firecrackers, we have seen how the Talent to Watch program works as a career launchpad for filmmakers, while showcasing their stories to audiences around the world.”

The Talent to Watch program is made possible by the generous support of donors across the country to Talent Fund, which has been championing emerging filmmakers since it was launched in 2012. $17 million has been raised to date, which has funded nearly 150 feature films and webseries.

“Now more than ever, it is vital that we support new voices and give them the opportunity to shine,” said Christine Magee, Chair of the Talent Fund. “The Talent Fund does just that. It plays a vital role in creating new spaces for filmmaking talent by directly providing funding for projects from the Talent to Watch program. It has been a pleasure to watch the careers of Canada’s brightest talents launch through this program, and we can’t wait to see the results of this year’s selections. Thank you to our donors who make our filmmakers’ dreams and budding careers possible.”

Lending their expertise a part of the selection committee included such filmmakers as Sharon Lewis (director – Brown Girl Begins), Yonah Lewis (co-director – White Lie), Lori Lozinski (producer – The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open), Allison White (Talent to Watch alumna, producer – Cast No Shadow), and Heather Young (Talent to Watch alumna, director – Murmur), while the external jury for the Indigenous selections has asked to remain anonymous. This year, French-language projects were evaluated by an internal jury at Telefilm due to limitations caused by COVID-19.


Projects selected for 2020-2021:

Alter Boys

Director and Writer: Jonathan Lawrence
Producer: Ryan Cooper
Province/Territory: Manitoba
Partner organization: On Screen Manitoba
Language: English

Bitter Sweat

Director: D.W. Waterson
Writer: Caitlin English
Producer: Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs
Province/Territory: Ontario
Partner organization: Canadian Film Centre
Language: English


Director and Writer: Josiane Blanc
Producer: Ania Jamila
Province/Territory: Ontario
Partner organization: Le Laboratoire d’art – Le Labo Inc.
Language: French


Director and Writer: Tara Thorne
Producer: Nicole Steeves
Province/Territory: Nova Scotia
Partner organization: Women In Film and Television – Atlantic
Language: English

Doug Find Rose

Director and Writer: Grace Glowicki
Producer: Harry Cepka
Province/Territory: Ontario
Partner organization: Festival Selection Stream
Language: English 

Fred l’handicapé

Director: Emmanuelle Landry
Writer: Frédéric Mallet
Producer: André Roy
Province/Territory: New Brunswick
Partner organization: New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative
Language: French 

Golden Delicious

Director: Jason Karman
Writer: Gorrman Lee
Producer: Kristyn Stilling
Province/Territory: British Columbia
Partner organization: Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society
Language: English

Jour de merde

Director and Writer: Kevin T. Landry
Producer: Kélyna N. Lauzier
Province/Territory: Quebec
Partner organization: Institut national de l’image et du son
Language: French

Les quintessences

Director, Writer and Producer: Philippe David Gagné
Province/Territory: Quebec
Partner organization: Festival Selection Stream
Language: French 


Director and Writer: Hamza Bangash
Producer: Anam Abbas
Province/Territory: Ontario
Partner organization: Festival Selection Stream
Language: English


Director and Writer: Jerome Yoo
Producer: Nach Dudsdeemaytha
Province/Territory: British Columbia
Partner organization: Telus Storyhive
Language: English


Director and Writer: Mary Galloway
Producer: Jessie Anthony
Province/Territory: British Columbia
Partner organization:
Language: English 

The Chinatown Diner

Director and Co-writer: Lawrence Le Lam
Co-writer: Tesh Guttikonda
Producer: Thomas Affolter
Province/Territory: British Columbia
Partner organization: Crazy8s Film Society
Language: English

The Good Guise
Director and Writer: Chrisann Hessing
Producer: Tanya Hoshi
Province/Territory: Ontario
Partner organization: Festival Selection Stream
Language: English 

The Green Waterways

Director and Writer: Kennlin Barlow
Producer: Corrina Merasty
Province/Territory: New Brunswick
Partner organization: New Brunswick Filmmakers Co-operative
Language: English 

When Morning Comes

Director and Writer: Kelly Fyffe-Marshall
Producer: Tamar Bird
Province/Territory: Ontario
Partner organization: Festival Selection Stream
Language: English

As part of the Talent to Watch selection process, creative teams from across the country submitted potential projects to one of the program’s sixty designated partners. Each partner then submits projects to Telefilm for consideration by the decision juries.

The Festival Selection Stream allows emerging filmmakers whose short films have been selected at key festival to submit a project directly to Telefilm for jury consideration.

About the Talent Fund

The Talent Fund is a private donation fund dedicated to the discovery, development and promotion of Canada’s next generation of emerging filmmakers and content creators. Guided by an advisory committee of business and community leaders, the Fund mainly supports the discovery and career progression of emerging Canadian talent in the audiovisual industry. Thanks to principal partners Bell Media and Corus Entertainment, and to several corporations, foundations and individuals, the Fund has raised $17 million to date. Visit for more information.

About Telefilm Canada

Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund raises private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at



Media contacts:

Joyce Richards
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market
Telefilm Canada

Andréane Leblanc
Advisor, Public Relations – French Market
Telefilm Canada

On behalf of the Talent Fund: 

Ally LaMere-Shedden
Route 504 PR

Angie Power
Route 504 PR