The Talent Fund-supported Talent to Watch Program (formerly Micro-Budget Production Program) finances emerging content creators who are recent alumni of a partner educational institution, active members of partner cooperatives or recent participants of partner film festival incubator initiative, or who have directed a short film that was selected at a recognized film festival. The program also provides automatic funding to projects directed by an emerging director having previously directed a short film that has won a prize at a recognized film festival.
The maximum contribution amount through this program is $150,000 for feature films and $125,000 for narrative-based projects of over 75 minutes.
Support under this Program is provided through three separate streams: the Selective Stream, the Festival Selection Stream and the Fast Track Stream. In the Selective Stream, financing is structured around three components: Main component, Indigenous component and Official-Language Minority Communities (OLMC) component.
In the last four fiscal years (2015-2016 to 2018-2019), the Talent to Watch Program provided around CAD 10.9 million in order to support the production of 96 projects by emerging creators.
The Talent to Watch Program is included in Telefilm's commitment to reach parity and projects supported by the program offer a greater diversity of voices and stories. The program includes targeted streams for Indigenous and official-language minority communities and has been especially successful in its support of women and other underrepresented voices, including Indigenous communities, visible minority and LGBTQ communities. For 2018 19, results show that the program is at gender parity or in parity zone in terms of the three leading roles of producer (68% of funded projects), director (43% of funded projects) and screenwriter (45% of funded projects). Funding provided to projects with a woman in a key role increased significantly in the program between 2017-18 and 2018-19: it doubled for projects directed or written by a woman and it more than tripled for projects produced by a woman.
Projects funded through the Talent Fund have also achieved success on the festival circuit, garnering selections and prizes at such prestigious international events as the Berlin International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, generating critical success including Canadian Screen Awards and theatrical distribution.
In 2018-2019, the Talent to Watch Program provided USD 4 million (CAD 5.5 million) in production funding for 44 projects.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Telefilm Canada Talent Fund
Partnerships with industry designated partners (schools, festivals, cooperatives, etc.)
Civil Society Organization (CSO)