Emerging 20 Program

Nayani Thiyagarjah


2021 Dates



Applications Open  

Submissions Closed
Deadline to submit your application to the E20 Program





Participants Announcement
Selection of E20 participants announced


   SEPT 22-OCT 1

Pitch + Marketing Workshops and Prep Sessions 



Face2Face Mentorship Sessions
(One day between the dates - specific date TBA)



Industry Mixer & Cocktail Reception
(One day between these dates - specific date TBA)

Applicants must be able to participate in all events which will take place in Toronto. Some experience in the industry is preferred. We are on the lookout for artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, or any Person of Colour from diverse backgrounds and perspectives which are underrepresented in today's media.



The E20 Program is Reelworld’s initiative to connect Canada’s racially diverse emerging talent with film and television executives and professionals. E20s are given the opportunity to network, learn, and pitch their projects to industry decision-makers.

We look for 20 emerging content creators and filmmakers with projects to develop. Whether your project is a documentary, narrative feature, web series, or television pilot, you are encouraged to apply. We are looking for stories that explore important themes and issues in ways that entertain, spark conversation, and expand minds.


“I am eternally grateful to Reelworld Film Festival for its support and faith in me, as a first-generation Tamil filmmaker. I've been working in the screen industries for just over 10 years now and it is only with Reelworld's nomination through the E-20 Program, that I was in the position to receive funding for my first feature drama This Place, through Telefilm Canada's Talent to Watch Program. For artists like me, who did not go to film school or follow a "traditional" path, Reelworld is a space that creates direct access for marginalized and often-excluded filmmakers to realize their dreams. I entered the program with the hopes that I could work towards making my dream of bringing this project to fruition. Through the mentorship I received, I submitted the project for consideration, which was then championed by the Reelworld team, resulting in our success in receiving funding to finally make the film. Now in post-production, I am realizing my dream as a direct result of the platform the festival provides for Black, Indigenous, and other filmmakers of colour. At a time where filmmakers like myself continue to create on the margins, Reelworld helps to centre our stories, by celebrating and supporting our work. This is precisely why Reelworld is so crucial to our communities, helping us navigate the screen industries, as we continue to learn and grow forward. I am ever grateful to Reelworld for working with me to ensure that I can continue onward, practicing my craft and creating new stories for the screen.”

Program Benefits

Access to Funding

E20 Alumi qualify to apply to Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program which offers up to $125,000 towards the production of your web series or feature film project.

Skills Training

The E20 program provides 5 workshop days focused on preparing a compelling pitch, packaging a project, finding partners, marketing training, and other valuable industry insights.

Pitching Opportunities

E20 participants are given the opportunity to meet, and pitch their projects at personal, one-on-one meetings with executive producers, directors, broadcasters, funders, agents, distributors, and union reps.


The E20 networking reception during the Reelworld Film Festival gives participants the opportunity to network with key industry stakeholders including broadcasters, distributors, festival executives, journalists, social media experts and funders.