The 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival (September 26 - October 11, 2019) will welcome up to 15 emerging filmmakers to participate in a free Mentorship Program designed to provide an immersive introductory film festival experience. This program will offer creative development opportunities including a festival pass that offers full access to all screenings and conference programming (including Totally Indie Day), exclusive and intimate sessions with acclaimed filmmakers and programmers, and tailored experiences for a diverse group of Mentorship Program participants.
The VIFF Mentorship Program is designed to open doors and eliminate barriers for up-and-coming filmmakers to experience an International film festival first-hand and to build relationships with peers and mentors from Vancouver and beyond. Ideal candidates are in the early stages of their filmmaking career and keen to experience the best in contemporary cinema, meet artists and film professionals alike, and take their own projects to the next level. VIFF is committed to offering opportunities to those who are often under- or misrepresented in the film industry and beyond. We especially encourage applications from filmmakers who are Indigenous, people of colour and people across the spectrums of gender, sexuality and abilities.
In addition to a full festival pass (valued at $435), the Mentorship Program will include the following proposed 90-minute sessions:
Film Festival BootcampThis introductory session will offer hard-earned advice and strategies from VIFF programmers and filmmakers on festival experiences and how to make the most of a festival pass.
Behind the ScenesA facilitated Q&A with various programmers from film festivals around the world.
Starting From the BottomA facilitated Q&A with acclaimed filmmakers who've released note-worthy first features in recent years.
Show Your WorkA facilitated Q&A with various distributors from Vancouver and beyond.
Get in GearA facilitated Q&A with representatives from gear houses around Vancouver who will share information about what is available and how to access gear from any budget.
Funding World CaféA world café-style presentation on how to fund and produce your films in BC.
Crowdfunding to Build IndependenceThis presentation will cover the ins and outs of crowdfunding.
(Sessions are subject to change.)
Mentorship Program participants will also enjoy the benefits of:
Filmmakers participating in the Mentorship Program will receive a free one-year Production Membership at Cineworks (valued at $120), a valued partner of the VIFF Mentorship Program. This membership offers discounts on facilities and equipment rentals, both at Cineworks and through their partners.
Telefilm Talent to Watch eligibility
As a partner organization of Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program, VIFF nominates two micro-budget feature film projects a year for funding. All Mentorship Program alumni are eligible to have their projects considered by VIFF for recommendation to Telefilm. This year, both projects that VIFF nominated – Back Home (director Nisha Platzer, producer Joella Cabalu) and Anyox (directors Jessica Johnson and Ryan Ermacora, producer Alysha Seriani) – were successfully funded.
“Through the VIFF Mentorship Program in 2018, I met several producers and industry professionals and was able to pitch them my current film project. It is undoubtedly due to my participation in this program that my project was selected as one of 28 films from across Canada for Telefilm's Talent to Watch. I will now be making my first feature film because of the support the VIFF Mentorship Program offered me.”
– Nisha Platzer, director of Back Home
Eligibility requirementsApplicants must be
- Between the ages of 19-30.
- Filmmakers with at least one completed film work of any duration and identify as emerging or in the early stages of their career. Those selected will have a strong drive to develop their practice and confidence in filmmaking by applying new skills and resources to their projects.
- Living in Vancouver or within commuting distance. Travel subsidy and cost of living are not covered by this mentorship.
- Available to attend all scheduled sessions related to the Mentorship Program between September 25-29, October 5-6 (see application for details).
VIFF is committed to offering opportunities to those who are often under or mis-represented in the film industry and beyond.
We especially encourage applications from filmmakers who are indigenous, people of colour and people across the spectrums of gender, sexuality and abilities.