Telefilm ‘Talent to Watch’ Program — Industry Partner Stream

The Talent to Watch Program – Funding of First Feature Films from Emerging Filmmakers aims to support a diverse array of emerging filmmakers. The intended outcome of this Program is to discover and develop the next generation of Canadian filmmakers, and to allow them to establish their voice and sensibility through a first feature.

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a Designated Industry Partner in the Talent To Watch Program. One feature film project (or theatrical documentary) may be selected by Reel Asian to develop and recommend for Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program.

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a Designated Industry Partner in the Talent To Watch Program. One feature film project (or theatrical documentary) may be selected by Reel Asian to develop and recommend for Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program. Before submitting via Reel Asian consider the Talent To Watch DIRECT STEAM – check Telefilm’s guidelines to see if you qualify.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival – Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program Application Eligibility Guidelines*

*The following eligibility requirements are in addition to Telefilm’s Talent To Watch Program guidelines. Before submitting to Reel Asian, review ALL of Telefilm’s guidelines to make sure you qualify. 


  • Priority will be given to Asian-identifying teams/ and films that feature those communities
  • Director should have had their work screened at Reel Asian within the last six (6) festival years (2017-2022)** 
  • Producers/Writers do not have to have their work screened at Reel Asian, but prior relationship with Reel Asian is an asset
  • You must be a first-timer (for a feature) — but there’s some flexibility between roles (e.g. a producer who’s produced a feature already would still be eligible to direct or write a first feature. See Telefilm’s guidelines for more information)

**Note: If your screening window falls outside the six-years window, please contact programming@reelasian.com

Application Timeline

  • March 7, 2023 – Industry Partner Stream application submission deadline to Reel Asian 
  • March 21, 2023 – Finalist selected for further development  
  • April 17-May 1, 2023 Applications due to Telefilm by partner (Reel Asian)


Items #1-5 outline what is required by Telefilm. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the program’s requirements, which can be viewed here: https://telefilm.ca/en/financing/talent-to-watch

Reel Asian will not review applications that do not include all the Telefilm-required documents

  1. Application Outline
  • Project Title: 
  • Applicant Names and Project Role: 
  • Festival Filmmaker: 
  • Film: 
  • Year screened at Reel Asian: 
  • Unsung Voices or So You Think You Can Pitch? Alumni: 
  • Year participated:

Note: If you have a relationship with Reel Asian that is outside the two categories above (filmmaker, pitch or unsung voices), please contact programming@reelasian.com with “Talent to Watch” and your project title in the subject line 

Are you planning to apply via other Industry partners and/or the Direct Stream? If yes, please specify which other industry partners in our application at the bottom.

  1. Presentation Video: A downloadable pitch video (max – 5 minutes) that will:
  • State the project’s working title
  • Identify the genre, type, and length of the project
  • Identify the key creative team (Director, Writer, Producer) involved in the project and their individual track records (including samples of past work if applicable or relevant)
  • Provide a brief synopsis of the story from beginning to end
  • Outline the creative team’s vision/visual treatment of the material 
  • Outline any other relevant information that sets the project apart (e.g.: personal connection to the story material, confirmed appearance by an established actor, successful crowdfunding campaign, relationship with VFX professionals or animators)
  • Identify the target audience
  • You may include a 1-minute segment of the director’s previous short films

Notes: To submit the video, embed the link in a word document. The video must NOT include footage from other projects that are not the team’s own work.

  1. Supporting Material: Documents must be uploaded in .pdf format:
  • Synopsis of the Project (PDF Format): Maximum of 750 words, which includes the main story developments, and tells the basic story from beginning to end 
  • Director’s Vision (PDF Format): Maximum three pages in length 
  • Promotion and Distribution Plan (PDF Format) Maximum two pages in length. This document must identify the project’s audience (age, sensibility, culture, etc.). It must also identify how the team will find and access this audience and why they will connect with the project
  • Creative team’s (producer, writer and director) Filmography: submit a filmography using the template available on the Telefilm website, which will indicate training, education, experience, accolades, outline past projects and history of team collaboration; 
  • Production Schedule (from Pre-Production to Release) Such schedule shall outline how the team plans to start principal photography of the project within 18 months of: •the receipt of Telefilm’s invitation to apply (Selective Stream), Or •Telefilm’s positive decision letter (Festival Selection Stream and Filmmaker Apply-Direct Stream)
  • Budget Top Sheet for the Project. See template available on the Program’s webpage
  • Details of All Confirmed and Projected Financing. The financial structure should be realistic and reflect the scope of this program. Please provide the following: a) Summary status of confirmed and projected financing including as much detail as possible (e.g., status and date of application, timeline to complete financing). b) Supporting documentation for each source of confirmed financing in the financial structure
  • Up to one page detailing any other information that sets this project apart (e.g.: personal connection to the story material, successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed appearance by a well-known actor, established fan base on social media); 
  1. A completed screenplay***; 
  2. A link to previous work(s);

***Reel Asian does not require a full screenplay for its application but if selected for development and recommendation note that Telefilm requires a full screenplay that must be submitted. For Reel Asian’s review, please provide an excerpt(s) (15-20 pages) that represent(s) your full screenplay. Please include a brief statement (2-3 sentences) that provides context to each of the excerpt(s) of the screenplay you are submitting. The excerpt(s) could be the beginning of the script, a scene, or a couple scenes that you feel best represent your larger screenplay and your voice.

Only one member of your creative team must fill out the application via our intake form.

Reel Asian reserves the right to select projects at their discretion

Please contact programming@reelasian.com if you have any questions! We look forward to your applications.  

Applications are now closed

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