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Composer Filmmaker Accelerator | Apply Now

Take Your Career in Music for Media to the Next Level

As part of their strategic vision for VIFF Amp, Rob Calder & Tony Scudellari wanted to include a more advanced composer program. Renowned composer Miriam Cutler was brought on to conceive and curate the new Composer Filmmaker Accelerator Program in 2023.

As a film composer, it is crucial to understand that the primary goal is to reinforce the narrative of the film that is so carefully crafted by the filmmakers.

Unfortunately, many filmmakers and composers are educated in separate programs, limiting their opportunities to learn from each other and collaborate in their early stages of development.

The VIFF Amp Composer Filmmaker Accelerator was created as an opportunity for the industry to foster an interdisciplinary approach to filmmaking that values the contributions of all team members, and provides opportunities for collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning.

Miriam Cutler, Program Curator

Unique amongst film and music festivals, the CFA is an intensive 6-week hands-on program which unites filmmakers and composers in an immersive environment to rapidly produce symphonic scores to picture, under the mentorship of industry-leading experts in television, advertising and video games.

As part of CFA, VIFF pairs the twelve accepted composer cohort with four filmmakers who provide short clips from a film. The 12 composers of the cohort are selected through a juried application process, and assigned to a filmmaker and film clip. Through dialogue with the filmmaker, and with the support of the CFA faculty team, each composer creates an original score to picture. The CFA cohort benefits from a curriculum covering many of the unique composition requirements for film, including traditional scoring techniques and idiosyncratic song structures within a film score. Through hands-on exercises, practical demonstrations, and shared experiences from industry professionals, participants gain a comprehensive understanding of how to create impactful scores that enhance a film’s narrative.

The program culminates with a recording session for each final score, performed by the members of the renowned Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) and recorded at the world-class Warehouse Recording Studio, followed by a live, in-theatre performance for the greater public. Upon completing the CFA, you will leave with a final recording which will contribute to your career development.

Who should apply?

Applicants must:

  • Attend all weekly online classes (total of 5 weekly classes during the weekend, which could be up to 4 hours long)
  • Be able to come to Vancouver Sept 30–Oct 5 to attend all in-person sessions and performances
  • Have at least 3 credits on IMDB for a short film, TV series, Feature Film, Video Game, Commercial

Priority will be given to those who self-identify as facing institutional barriers** within mainstream music and/or film industry and/or independent film and/or music communities.


For the purpose of this application, you are considered an emerging music professional if you meet one of the following:

  • Are in the early or formative stages of your career in music/film
  • Are enrolled in, or have recently graduated from, a related degree/diploma/training program
  • Demonstrate a commitment to devoting more time to your practice
  • Demonstrate a desire to gain more skills, resources and influences to serve your practice as it pertains to music in film

If you self-identify as a member of an equity-seeking group within mainstream music and/or film industry and/or independent film and/or music communities, and do not meet the above criteria, we would still encourage you to apply.

We receive hundreds of applications for the CFA program, for which there are only 12 acceptances per year. If you have previously applied and weren’t successful, you are encouraged to apply again this year. Successful applications to the CFA program automatically gain access to the wider VIFF Amp program.


**VIFF is committed to offering opportunities to equity-seeking groups. We value a diverse and inclusive industry that’s reflective of manifold interests and encourage applications from individuals that have been marginalized based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, neurotype, disability, racialization, status as an Indigenous person, political belief, religion, marital or family status, low income or low economic status.


Contact us at [email protected]

If you require accessibility accommodations for filling out this application form, please contact the Amp team at [email protected] or call (604) 683-3456.

Key Dates

  • July 19: CFA applications close
  • September 26 – October 6: Vancouver International Film Festival 2024
  • September 30 – October 5: CFA recording session and live performance

Composer Filmmaker Accelerator Applications Now Open

We strongly encourage you to formulate your responses in a separate document as you will not be able to save your work here or edit it once submitted. Applications close EOD, Friday, July 19. We look forward to receiving your application.