Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program

AFCOOP Recommendation Phase Application

Deadline: April 5th, 2024 11:59 p.m.

General Information

AFCOOP is pleased to announce the guidelines for the Industry Partner Stream of Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program 2024. Talent to Watch supports emerging filmmakers looking to finance the production stage of their first feature film project. As an Industry Partner, AFCOOP has the ability to nominate one production in the Main component and one production in the Indigenous component. Filmmakers have until April 5th, 11:59pm to submit their application to AFCOOP. Nomination decisions will be made by a peer jury.

Teams nominated by AFCOOP will then re-apply to Telefilm to be considered in the national competition. Successful candidates from the national competition will receive $250,000 for fictional features and $150,000 for documentary features in funding from Telefilm, and a mentorship program to support the film’s production offered through the National Screen Institute. 

In Nova Scotia in addition to AFCOOP the Nova Scotia Community College, NSCAD University and Women in Film and Television – Atlantic are also Industry Partners. There are also some national organizations based in other provinces that you may be eligible to apply to. You can view the full list on the Telefilm website. 

There are two streams that do not need a recommendation from AFCOOP through which filmmakers can apply directly to Telefilm: the Stream for Underrepresented Filmmakers and the Festival Selection Stream. For more information about qualifying for those streams please visit the Telefilm website.

AFCOOP’s Application Process:

Team Eligibility

The key members (producer, writer and director) of the creative teams of all eligible projects must: be Canadian citizens, within the definition of the Citizenship Act, or permanent residents within the definition of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; be residents of Nova Scotia (residing within Nova Scotia for at least six months of the last calendar year); be emerging talent, i.e. they must have previously produced, directed and/or written at least a short film (30 minutes or less), web productions, television, commercials, music videos, or equivalent experience in the screen-based industry. Furthermore, they cannot have previously held the same key position on a feature film (75 minutes or longer) and must be current AFCOOP members (Associate, Full or Lifetime). You can sign up for an Associate Membership at the time of application.

Note that producers who have previously produced one feature film that has received funding under this Program (also previously known as the “Micro-Budget Production Program”) are also considered as emerging talent. Additionally, Telefilm will show flexibility in the eligibility evaluation of key creatives who have previously produced, written or directed a feature film project of micro- budget scope* funded outside of this program and that had a limited release. 

*Examples of this type of projects: films which were self-financed or produced within a festival incubator or school program. 

Project Eligibility

This fund supports fictional and documentary projects. The films must be produced in English, French or an Indigenous language* and must be 75 minutes or more in length.

*This criterion is under revision and will be updated by Telefilm before the deadline, please check the Telefilm website for updates or enquire with AFCOOP if you’re thinking of applying with a project in another language not listed.

To Apply

Please complete the online Application Form and submit the following required materials by April 5th, 2024.

Your application must contain the following:

1) Completed Screenplay suitable for a feature film

2) Presentation Video
            • A downloadable pitch video of a maximum of 5 minutes that will:
                    a) state the project’s working title. 
                    b) identify the genre, the type, and the length of the project. 
                    c) identify the key creative team involved in the project and their individual track records (including samples of past work if applicable or relevant).  
                    d) provide a brief synopsis of the story from beginning to end. 
                    e) outline the creative team’s vision/visual treatment of the material. 
                    f) outline any other relevant information that sets the project apart (e.g.: personal connection to the story material, confirmed appearance by an established actor, successful crowdfunding campaign, relationship with VFX professionals or animators). 
                    g) identify the target audience. 
                    h) include 1-minute segment of the director’s previous short films. 

Note: The video must NOT include footage from other projects that are not the team’s own work.

3) Project Synopsis (max 750 words)

4) Director Vision (max 3 pages)

5) Promotion and Distribution Plan (max 2 pages)
This document must identify the project’s audience (age, sex, sensibility, culture, etc.). It must also identify how the team will find and access this audience and why they will connect with the project.

6) Track Record for Producer, Writer and Director (see template)

7) Production Schedule (from pre-production to release)

Schedule should indicate how the team plans to start principal photography within 18 months of being selected by Telefilm at the national level. 

8) Budget Top Sheet (see template)

9) Financing Structure
Telefilm provides a non-repayable contribution of $250,000 for fictional films and $150,000 for documentaries. Other potential sources of funding might include: NSBI Incentive Fund, Arts Nova Scotia, or team fundraising. The total financing for the project cannot exceed $500,000.   

10) Community Engagement Plan (if applicable)
This document is an opportunity for the filmmaking team to demonstrate a plan for how they will responsibly engage with any underrepresented communities that will be impacted by the project.

Projects submitted to AFCOOP will be evaluated by a peer-jury of local filmmakers and film professionals. Jury members will be asked to consider the following criteria when making their decision:

           • Creative Potential – the quality, originality and innovativeness of the creative content;
           • Participant Suitability – the track record of the creative team
           • Project Feasibility – the feasibility of the production and the production-readiness of the project. 

Henry Colin-