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So You Think You Can Pitch is back! Celebrate our 15th year of pitch competitions by supporting your favourite emerging filmmakers in our live event! Featuring a total of five finalist individuals or teams, the winner will walk away with our amazing prize package to kickstart or finish their short film, including a cash award, in-kind support, and the opportunity to premiere their work with us at next year’s festival!
Pitch Winner Prize Package
Pitch Finalist Package
Nedda Sarshar hails from an Iranian immigrant family in Toronto, Ontario. She is in production for her first short film “Rachel and Raha”, a queer summer film that centres women of colour and their immigrant families. She has attended the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Emerging Writing Program, and was a finalist for the IGP*BIPOC TV and Film Pilot Accelerator Program where she was able to pitch an idea for a tv series to a production company. She is involved in organizations that are committed to creating platforms for marginalized voices in the arts, including BIPOC TV AND FILM and MIRCHI COMEDY. She enjoys writing about diasporas, identity crisis’ and star-crossed lovers.
Nikki Shaffeeullah (she/her) is a director, writer, actor, facilitator, and activist who creates theatre, film, and poetry. Her first short film “Fly Away With Me” has played at festivals across Europe and North America. Currently, Nikki is a curator with National Arts Centre – English Theatre, a core and founding artist of Confluence Arts Collective, and a resident artist with Why Not Theatre. Past roles include Artistic Director of the award-winning community-engaged theatre company The AMY Project, and Editor-in-Chief of alt.theatre magazine. For more: nikkishaffeeullah.com
Originating from New Delhi, India, Anubhav is a film director who is currently based in Mississauga. With a foundation in fine art as well as film directing, Anubhav thrives on understanding of both artistic and technical aspects of filmmaking.
Through visually rich and emotionally driven storytelling, Anubhav aims to tell stories that are diverse in nature but possess a common, relatable emotional ground with emphasis on human empathy.
Helmann is a writer/director and co-founder of Canted Pictures. He is a two-time winning recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts grant and the Waterloo Region Arts Fund. Helmann’s work has been selected three times at the Austin Film Festival, including a semi-finalist placement. Other notable placements include the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, Nashville Film Festival, and Atlanta Film Festival. His most recent project, CREEMORE VILLAGE, was selected as one of 25 projects for the Netflix-Banff Fellowship and pitch program.
Alice Wang is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto. Keeping their parents happy with a degree in psychology, they have now transitioned to filmmaking and enjoys writing stories she has always wanted to tell. An ArtReach grantee and ¼ of Videatur Collective, they’re passionate about engaging youth from underrepresented communities in creative fields such as filmmaking. Winner of the Willamette Writer’s Film Lab 2021 with their web series pilot, they gravitate towards stories about loss, acceptance, and belonging.
Richard Young is a South Asian (Indo-Caribbean) Canadian screenwriter/actor. Writing credits include “Overlord and the Underwoods” (CBC/Nickelodeon), “Dino Ranch” (CBC/Disney+), and “16 Hudson” (TVO). Accolades for Richard’s scripts include: ScreenCraft Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writing Competition Finalist, Just For Laughs ComedyPRO Pitch Finalist, and WGC Script Of The Month selection. His acting credits include “Taken” (NBC), “Jett” (Cinemax), “Kim’s Convenience” (CBC), and he serves as the ACTRA Toronto Treasurer with a focus on diversity and inclusion.
Victoria Morado is the Director of Media for Universal Films Canada, responsible for assisting in the strategic development and execution of all the advertising and promotional initiatives for the studio’s slate. Recent releases include The Boss Baby: Family Business , F9 and Candyman. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Victoria was Traffic Manager at Maxus Canada, where she led the traffic team for diverse studio products including Jurassic World, the Fast & Furious franchise and Despicable Me.
Aisha Jamal is a film programmer, filmmaker and college professor. She is Canadian film programmer at Hot Docs Documentary Festival and previously worked for TIFF and Syria Film Festival Toronto, among others. Her feature documentary “A Kandahar Away” is on CBC Gem and her 7-part documentary web series “How We Die: the Future of End-of-Life” is now streaming online. Her previous short films have played at various international festivals worldwide. Currently, Aisha teaches film theory and criticism at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.
Ellie Posadas is a Queer Filipinx-Canadian, Actor, Singer, and Creator from Toronto. She is part of the award winning comedy group, ‘Tita Collective’, aiming to tell stories of the Filipin* diaspora. Ellie was recently featured in TIFF 2021 for the world premiere of, ’Scarborough’, based on the award winning novel by Catheirne Hernandez. Other Credits include; ‘Wexford Plaza’ (34th TFF, CAAMfest, Slamdance), ‘The Morning After’ (Toronto ‘Inside OUT’ Festival, Los Angeles ‘OUT fest’), ‘Baby Blue Canoe’ (Toronto After Dark FF)
Angelica Mendizabal • Screenwriter
Vince Ha • Filmmaker and Curator
Pitch Shortlisting Jurors
Mandeq Hassan • Programmer, Sisterhood Media
Michael Fukushima • Producer
Samir Ballou • Reel Ideas Coordinator, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
Chara Ho and Carri Chen – Revelations
Rahul Aijaz – The Bunker
Amanda Ann-Min Wong – Calling At Dusk
Elvina Raharja – Fragment
Yujia Shi – A Tiny Grain of Millet
Our Opening Night presentation is the in-person screening of ISLANDS on November 10 at 7:30pm at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Guests in attendance include director Martin Edralin, and cast members Sheila Lotuaco and Esteban Comilang.
10 Nov. 7:30 pm
Since the advent of cinema and the forced colonization of the islands, Hawai’i stories on film have too often been told by outsiders. Reel Asian is bringing a spotlight onto two acclaimed Hawai’i-made dramatic feature films, WAIKIKI and I WAS A SIMPLE MAN.
15 Nov. 7:00 pm
17 Nov. - 20 Nov.