The 36th Toronto International Film Festival announced the participants in four industry programs today – returning programs Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!, Talent Lab, and Producers Lab Toronto, and new initiative Rising Stars.
A line-up of esteemed governors and 24 filmmaker participants will be taking part in this year's Talent Lab running September 7-10. Two of this year's governors, who will mentor the participants, including distribution veteran and October Films founder Bingham Ray and director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno, Thank You for Smoking). The Lab is run by Strada Films producers Sandra Cunningham and Brad Fox. Talent Lab leads participants in group discussions on a range of topics focused on the artistic side of filmmaking – sharpening the skills and confidence of a new generation of filmmakers while providing emerging talent with the opportunity to build networks and to learn from some of the most accomplished filmmakers and artists in the world.
The 2011 Talent Lab participants are: Paul-E. Audet, Kaz Cai, Jordan Canning, Jonas Carpignano, Catherine Chagnon, Ron Eyal, Sol Friedman, Tess Girard, Sarah Goodman, Danis Goulet, Ian Harnarine, Matt Johnson , Cameron Labine, Mauricio Leiva-Cock, Nadia Litz, Johnny Ma, Omar Majeed, Moon Molson, Nimisha Mukerji, Halima Ouadiri, David F. Shamoon, Mark Slutsky, Sara St.Onge and Sam Voutas.
Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! is hosted by Canadian actor Ennis Esmer (Wipeout Canada,The Listener, Young People F***ing) and will take place on Tuesday, September 13 in TIFF Bell Lightbox. The winning team, selected by a jury of international industry experts, is awarded $10,000 from Telefilm Canada to further develop their project.
The 2011 Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! finalists are:
Breaking the Band – John Christou, Mark Slutsky, Aisling Chin-Yee
When Ben and Cheryl move in upstairs from the worst, loudest band in the world, they realize their only option is to go undercover and destroy them from within.
Leone Stars – Walter Forsyth, Ngardy Conteh, Allan Tong
Surviving war, poverty and prejudice the Sierra Leone amputee soccer team dreams of victory at the 2012 world championships. Can victims become champions?
The Lost Woods – Sean Wainsteim, Plato Fountidakis
Channeling films like Labyrinth and Time Bandits, The Lost Woods follows a head-in-the-clouds suburban boy who discovers a secret world where fairy tales are real.
The Marksman – Stephen Dunn, Dillon McManamy
A young fishmonger obsessed with winning over a hunter’s daughter desperately tries to prove himself as a marksman by turning to enchanted bullets that develop a will of their own.
The Multiple Selves of Hannah Maynard – Elizabeth Lazebnik
This interpretive biopic highlights the eccentric genius of 19th century Canadian Surrealist photographer Hannah Maynard. Following a number of deaths in her family she developed a surreal vision, a world obsessed with children and death but also with the possibilities of duality and the infinity.
Pinweight – Lynne Kamm, Rahnuma Panthaky, Marc Almon
A hot-headed Muslim tomboy and a quiet Hindu cleaning lady strike an unlikely friendship over their shared dream of becoming champion fighters in a country that considers female boxing a sacrilege.
Producers Lab Toronto
Producers Lab Toronto (running September 7-10) will include pitching sessions, round table meetings and case studies. European producers and their Canadian counterparts will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge and to discuss concrete co-production opportunities between their two regions. Producers Lab Toronto is a creation of European Film Promotion (EFP), in collaboration with the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Financial support for the initiative is provided by the new MEDIA International Programme of the European Union.
Álvaro Alonso, Jaleo Films (Spain)
Gregory Athanasiou, Minus Pictures (Greece)
Mario Gianani, Wildside (Italy)
Tristan Orpen Lynch, Subotica (Ireland)
Daniel Mitulescu, Strada Film (Romania)
Ieva Norviliené, Tremora (Lithuania)
Stella Nwimo, Northpoint Pictures (UK)
Viktória Petrányi, Proton Cinema (Hungary)
Riina Sildos, Amrion Production (Estonia)
Karla Stojáková, Axman Production (Czech Republic)
Mariano Vanhoof, Fobic Films (Belgium)
Anne Walser, C-Films (Switzerland)
Muniré Armstrong, YN Films
Joseph Berger, Pitchstream Media Inc.
Sean Buckley, Buck Productions
Nicolas Comeau, 1976 Productions Inc.
Michael A. Dobbin, Quiet Revolution Pictures Inc.
Jean du Toit, Buffalo Gal Pictures Inc.
Félize Frappier, Max Films
Cher Hawrysh, Phenomenal Films Inc.
Leah Jaunzems, Darius Films Inc.
Chantal Lafleur, Productions La Fête
Byron A. Martin, Byron A. Martin Productions Inc.
Alison Reid, Free Spirit Films
The inaugural programme will take place at this year’s Festival (September 8-18, 2011), and will showcase four talented actors, Sarah Allen, Katie Boland, Sarah Gadon and Keon Mohajeri.
“With resumes that include theatre, dance, television, short and feature films, these promising actors are poised to have their careers break out internationally. We can think of no better platform from which to launch our new initiative than from the Toronto International Film Festival when industry, filmmakers and media from around the world descend upon Toronto,” said Cameron Bailey in a statement. "Rising Stars supports and champion homegrown on-screen artists with the goal of providing them with the professional tools and contacts they need in order to break big."
“There is overwhelming talent within our country. We take pride in our artists and through this programme we can give them the tools and support they need as they make the next big leap in their career,” said Karen Bruce, Director of Canadian Initiatives, TIFF. “Our four TIFF Rising Stars will be offered an intensive professional development experience and be given the opportunity to network with casting directors, agents, managers, producers and filmmakers who can advise them in the realities of the industry.”
The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and the Canadian Film Centre partnered with TIFF on this initiative and assisted in the Rising Stars selection process. Jury members were producer/director Leonard Farlinger, filmmaker Clement Virgo and Manager of the Actors Conservatory, Larissa Giroux. Both Sarah Allen and Keon Mohajeri are alumni of the CFC’s Actors Conservatory.