AFCOOP Announces Telefilm Talent to Watch Nominations


AFCOOP Announces Telefilm Talent to Watch Nominations

AFCOOP is pleased to announce our nominations for the Telefilm Talent to Watch program. Based on an open call and a peer-jury process, AFCOOP selected two feature film projects to send to the national competition. These projects will compete with submissions from across the country to be one of 50 projects to receive $125,000 in funding from Telefilm’s Talent to Watch fund.

AFCOOP’s nominations this year go to Aphelion, by writer/director Karl van Allen, writer/producer Sean Grady and producers Jon Mann and Rob Ramsay and To the Moon, by writer/director Kevin Hartford and producer T. Nicole Holland.

To the Moon is about Sam, a single dad struggling to come out of the closet at the age of forty. His daughter, Ella, is a misanthrope navigating the treacherous waters of high school while frequently acting as a parent to Sam. Their neighbour, Claire, is an aspiring writer who believes she’s finally found a worthy subject in this complex father-daughter dynamic. And all three are doing their best to keep the moon from crashing into the Earth.

Writer/director Kevin Hartford is a two-time graduate of AFCOOP’s FILM 5 program and his shorts have screened on CBC and at festivals across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. His producing partner T. Nicole Holland is also a graduate of AFCOOP’s FILM 5 and SYNC Music Video Production programs. In addition to being a filmmaker, she’s a member of the DGC and works as an Assistant Director.

“We’re excited to have AFCOOP’s recommendation for Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program,” says Hartford. “To the Moon is a project we’re both very passionate about and we would be, I’m just going to say it, over the moon to one day have the opportunity to share it with an audience.”

In Aphelion, a tragic death in the family causes physicist Diana Keating and research partner Michael Auster to open a gateway to another reality, seemingly offering a second chance. Part tragedy, mystery, and nightmare, Aphelion takes viewers to the fringes of reality while exploring what it truly means to be human.

Karl van Allen is an up-and-coming producer, director and writer. His last short film, Blood & Honey, screened at FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival and the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and his feature film script for Aphelion picked up an award at the Fantasy & Science Fiction Screenwriting Festival, was a top 5 finalist in the screenwriting category of the CFF, and a top 10 finalist in its genre at the Final Draft Big Break Contest in LA, both in 2018.

“It’s an honour to have AFCOOP’s recommendation,” says van Allen, “And we wouldn’t be here without the marvellous crew and supporters we’ve had along the way. Even on a micro-budget level, Aphelion is a movie with global audience appeal and we can’t wait for the opportunity to bring it to life.”

The rest of the Aphelion team includes producer Sean Grady whose short film project ‘Monster Island’ is being developed into a feature, and whose design work on ‘Hobo With a Shotgun’ helped catapult the movie to cult-status. And they’ve also recently brought on board as producers, Jon Mann and Rob Ramsay, two Atlantic Canadian filmmakers who recently adapted the Stephen King short story ‘Popsy’ to the screen, and whose short film ‘Cahoots’ took home the Best Canadian Film Award at the Canadian International Comedy Festival in Winnipeg.

Results of the national competition will be announced in the spring of 2019. For more information about the Telefilm Talent to Watch program visit their website. If you are interested in applying to AFCOOP’s nomination round next year the deadline is generally in January or February.

About Talent to Watch: The Talent Fund-supported Talent to Watch Program (formerly Micro-Budget Production Program) finances emerging content creators who are recent alumni of a partner educational institution, active members of partner cooperatives or recent participants of partner film festival incubator initiative, or who have directed a short film that was selected at a recognized film festival. The program also provides automatic funding to projects directed by an emerging director having previously directed a short film that has won a prize at a recognized film festival.