Toronto, February 23, 2024—Are you a newcomer or refugee filmmaker living in or near the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)? Are you looking to develop specific film-related skills, better familiarize yourself with the film community, or work towards completing a project?

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to announce the launch of the third year of the Newcomer Filmmentor program. The program will allow three participants to each be paired with one mentor practicing in one of the three following fields: Documentary, Experimental or Narrative filmmaking. The mentorship will take place from April to November 2024.

This is a self-directed mentorship; the mentee must present a clear plan of how they would like to structure the mentorship and what they would like to accomplish within the eight months of the program. Proposals exploring analogue or digital filmmaking through LIFT’s workshops, equipment and facilities will be considered.

The successful applicants will:
– Be paired with a mentor to provide advice and guidance once a month.
– Be provided with a LIFT Production Membership until March 31, 2025.
– Receive $2,500 CAD in artist fees in two instalments.
– Have the opportunity to be enrolled in up to three (3) LIFT workshops over the duration of the mentorship.
– Receive $1,500 in-kind equipment credit to use LIFT’s extensive analogue and digital equipment and facilities, expiring March 31, 2025 (any additional equipment, facilities, expendables, and production costs will be the responsibility of the participant)
– Receive financial assistance in the form of a reimbursement for up to $1000 CAD to fund and develop a project, or for further skills development. Acceptable expenses include cast and crew costs, production equipment rental costs, additional workshops or training sessions, etc.
– Have the opportunity to participate in three “Lunch and Learn” sessions with industry professionals
– Receive a Conference Level Industry Accreditation at TIFF 2024

Applicant Eligibility
– Must be 18 years or older in order at the time of the application deadline.
– Must be living in or near the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area areas (GTHA)
– Be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Newcomer (in Canada for less than 7 years without permanent residency) or Refugee (a person who was forced to leave their home country and is now located in Canada). You must live in Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area areas (GTHA) or within commuting distance from the city in order to access LIFT workshops and equipment (travel subsidy and cost of living are not covered by this mentorship).
– Be available for the duration of the program’s various dates from April 2, 2024 – December 1, 2024. Candidates must commit to attending:
i. regular once a month meetings with their mentors;
ii. a mandatory orientation session at the LIFT facility;
iii. training in specific workshops (a mix of predetermined workshops and personal selection);
three “Lunch and Learn” sessions aimed at advancing professional development, of which the themes will be chosen based on the applicants’ interests
– Must be deadline-driven and self-starters.
– In December (date TBC), there will be an opportunity for participants to present their works in progress at a private event for mentors, mentees, family, friends and crew members.

Proposals must include:
– Statement on why you would like to participate in this program and how your artistic practice would benefit from it. (250 words maximum)
– Describe what you will work on during this mentorship. Which skill are you hoping to improve? What project will you be working on (if applicable)? Provide a timeline of activity from April to November 2024. (500 words max)
– Which mentor would you like to work with.
– Why would you like to work with the selected mentor. (250 words max)
– Please indicate what kind of professional development would be useful to your artistic career or practice. (250 words max)
– Short biography that indicates your past experience with film, video/digital and other artistic mediums, if any. (250 words max)
– You may include a résumé or curriculum vitae, but it’s not mandatory (2 pages maximum)
– Support material of one to three samples of previous work or a work in progress, either an audio/visual sample, photography, or writing samples. Please also describe your role on the project. (Up to three examples via online links)
– Please identify any accessibility accommodations you need so we can support you through the application process and into the project phase

LIFT welcomes applicants from all creatives, and strongly encourages applications who identify as candidates from equity priority groups; using the current Toronto Arts Council definition as outlined here.

Application Deadline: 10:00am ET on Monday, March 11, 2024

Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, March 25, 2024