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Talent to Watch 2020

Reelworld Film Festival is an Official Partner of the Telefilm Talent to Watch Program


Thank you to all of those who applied to the 2020 Talent to Watch Program through Reelworld. We received many outstanding submissions but ultimately the jury could only select one feature film project and one web series project. Reelworld has chosen Rahul Chaturvedi's family Christmas feature, "Namaste Santa" and Seth Mohan's web series, "Namaste" for recommendation to Telefilm. Congratulations to these E20 alumni!

The Talent to Watch Program aims to support emerging filmmakers, accelerate their career development, and to allow them to develop an expertise in digital marketing and promotion of audiovisual projects.

The maximum contribution amount through this program is $150,000 for feature films and $125,000 for narrative-based projects of over 75 minutes.

All Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American Canadian graduates of the Reelworld Emerging 20 Program are eligible to apply to the program through Reelworld.  Under some circumstances, Reelworld may be eligible to submit a project by a filmmaker who has screened a short at the festival.

Who Can Apply through Reelworld?

To be eligible to apply, the key members (Producer, Writer, Director) of all recommended projects must be emerging talent, i.e. they must have previously produced, directed and/or written at least one short film (under 30 mins) but cannot have previously held the same key position on a feature length film (over 75 minutes). *Special note for Producers: Producers who have previously produced one feature film with a budget of $250,000 and less may apply. Additionally, producers who have produced one feature film under the Talent to Watch Program may also apply.

Directors must have participated in the Reelworld Emerging 20 Program. Producers and writers do not need to be E20 alumni but must be emerging talent as defined above.

Under some circumstances, Reelworld may be eligible to submit a project by a filmmaker who screened a short at Reelworld in the past.

In addition to the above, if you wish to be considered for the Indigenous component, the key members (Producer, Writer, Director) of the project’s creative team must be self-declared Indigenous people.


Reelworld’s Emerging 20 is a prestigious incubator initiative which provides an opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to jumpstart their career. BIPOC content creators gain mentorship with Industry Professionals, networking with decision-makers, and access to learning opportunities which increase creators’ credibility and self-confidence.

Reelworld is dedicated to empowering Indigenous and racially diverse artists. By registering with Reelworld's E20 program, applicants gain hands-on experience and while nurturing their craft in a supportive space. All too often, the voices of BIPOC artists are lost in the industry…Reelworld works to rectify that loss.

Submissions for 2020 are now closed. 

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Emerging 20

Without going through the Reelworld E20 program and then having Reelworld put forward my film for Telefilms Talent to Watch. I'm not sure I would have even gotten this film funded!  Through participating in the Reelworld E20 Program in 2017, I met close friends who I'm still collaborating with and got invaluable experience learning how to pitch to different funders. Reelworld really helped jumpstart my film There's No Place Like This Place Anyplace, by selecting me for Telefilm's Talent to Watch Program. With the Talent to Watch funding, I was able to get the rest of my film funded and finish my first feature, which is premiering at Hot Docs 2020.

Lulu Wei headshot.jpg

Lulu Wei, Filmmaker

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