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VIFF 2024 Catalyst Application

Catalyst is an intimate cohort-based program that will provide 15 selected emerging filmmakers with a full VIFF 2024 festival pass, one-on-one mentorship, a professional development stipend to help offset any economic impact from attending the festival, and 8 exclusive facilitated group sessions covering all stages of production to kick-start their independent filmmaking careers. Participants are selected based on their demonstrated pursuit in creating boundary-pushing and ambitious work.


Who should apply?

Applicants must:

  • Be living in the Lower Mainland and able to attend sessions in Vancouver
  • Self-identify as an emerging filmmaker who describes their primary role in filmmaking as director or writer/director
  • Be available from September 26 – October 6, 2024, to participate in the program and the overall festival
  • Self-identify as facing institutional barriers within mainstream film industry and/or independent filmmaking communities
  • Be at least 19 years old when the program starts
  • Have created and released at least one film, video, or moving-image project*

*We will also consider applicants who are aspiring filmmakers but have not made moving image work due to barriers or limitations. These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What is an emerging filmmaker?

For the purposes of this program, you may be:

  • In the early stages of your career in filmmaking, usually within the first few years
  • A self-taught and/or aspiring filmmaker
  • Demonstrating a commitment to devoting more time to your filmmaking practice
  • Demonstrating a desire to gain more skills, resources, and influences to serve your filmmaking practice


Applicants will be asked to provide:

  • Statements regarding what they hope to gain through their participation in the program
  • Answers to optional questions regarding the barriers they may have faced and their thoughts on how to support emerging filmmakers. Please note that declining to answer these optional questions will not affect the success of the application

Applicants will also be given the option to submit:

  • Links to samples of their work
  • An artist or professional CV/resume

VIFF is committed to offering opportunities to those who are often under- or misrepresented in the film industry and beyond. We value a diverse and inclusive industry that’s reflective of manifold interests and encourage applications from communities that have been marginalized based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, neurotype, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, low income or socio-economic status, marital or family status, or status as an Indigenous person.

The application deadline is Sunday July 21, 2024 at 12:00 pm PDT.

Apply Now


Contact us at [email protected]

If you require accessibility accommodations for filling out this application form, please contact Catalyst Programmer Laura Arboleda at [email protected].

Application Form

We 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. If you require a copy of your responses for your records, please reach out to our Catalyst Programmer.

Please know that any information on this form will only be viewed by the Catalyst selection committee and will NOT be shared with other cohort members.

VIFF’s privacy policy can be found here