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!

All BIPOC 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.

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.

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.

What projects are eligible?

Your projects must be fictional or documentary audiovisual projects produced in English, French or an Indigenous language that are either:

  • feature length films of 75 minutes or more; or

  • any other type of narrative-based audiovisual content made in a format specifically designed for online audiences. - These types of projects can be comprised of one or more segments which, in total, must be more than 10 minutes in length.

The average budget for feature film projects is between $ 150,000 and $ 250,000, but, generally, it must not exceed $ 250,000. The average budget amount for web series will vary based on the total duration of the project but should generally not exceed $20,000 for a full 10-minute segment.

What goes in my submission package?

1) A completed screenplay;

2) Presentation video: a downloadable pitch video of a maximum of 5 minutes that will:

  • state the project’s working title;

  • identify the genre, the type, and the length of the project;

  •  identify the key creative team 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;

  • include 1 minute segment of the director’s previous short films; Note: the video must NOT include footage from other projects that are not the team’s own work.

3) Supporting material: the documents listed below must be uploaded in pdf format:

  • Synopsis of the project, maximum of 750 words, which includes the main story developments, and tells the basic story from beginning to end;

  • Director’s vision (up to three pages in length);

  • A promotion and distribution plan (up to two pages in length) which identifies the project’s audience (age, sex, sensibility, culture, etc.). It must also identify how the team will find and access this audience and why will they connect with the project;

  • Talent to Watch Program 

  • Creative team (producer, writer and director) Filmography: submit a filmography using the template available on the Website, which will indicate training, education, experience, accolades, outline past projects and history of team collaboration;

  • A production schedule (from pre-production to digital release) that will ensure completion of the project within 24 months of the receipt of Telefilm’s invitation to apply, as described below;

  • The budget top sheet for the project (see template available on Telefilm’s website);

  • Up to one page detailing any other information that sets this project apart (eg: personal connection to the story material, successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed cameo by a well-known actor, established fan base on social media);

  • Letter of support from the designated industry partner: a brief letter outlining why this team was chosen to represent the designated industry partner;

  • Projects submitted through the Indigenous stream and all other projects with Indigenous content shall address the issue of how the team sought to engage the various Indigenous communities that will be impacted by the project. Suitable means of achieving this may include the following, as applicable: letters of support from the community, letters of support from Indigenous advisors, contracts between the communities and the creative team for the project, community engagement plans, etc.

4) A link to previous work

Where do I send my submission package to apply through Reelworld?

You must either create a Google account or use your existing Google account. 

Create a New Folder in your Google Drive and upload your Screenplay, Presentation Video and Supporting Material.


Please make sure that your supporting material is in PDF. 

Double check that you have all of the Supporting Material and that your Presentation Video addresses all of the required components.

Double check your sharing settings. Ensure that you have allowed anyone with the link to access your folder and all the files in the folder.

Send us the link to your folder no later than Feb 15th, 2020.

How will Reelworld judge the submissions?

Submitted projects to Reelworld will be evaluated by a jury of professional independent media artists, producers, media executives, and programmers. Jurors vote independently for their top projects, they look for work that is compelling, original, innovative, and feasible. Projects with the most votes are selected to move forward in the process and are submitted to Telefilm.

Reelworld may recommend THREE projects only: ONE feature film, ONE narrative-based web project, and ONE Indigenous project. Please note that though Reelworld receives many wonderful projects, we are unable to recommend more than 2-3 projects to The Talent to Watch Program.

Reelworld will submit the recommended projects to Telefilm between March 2nd-March 9th. Please note that only successful applicants will be notified. Teams whose projects have been selected by Reelworld will be notified by March 9th.

Learn more about our

Emerging 20 Program

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 will open in Spring 2020

Reelworld is a registered Canadian charity: Charitable #873045611RR0001


Address: 20 Richmond St. E., Suite #600, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2R9

Tel:  416-598-7933​.

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