Type of Program:



The Talent to Watch Program – Funding of First Feature Films from Emerging Filmmakers (the “Program”) aims to support a diverse array of emerging filmmakers. The intended outcome of this Program is to discover and develop the next generation of Canadian filmmakers, and to allow them to establish their voice and sensibility through a first feature.

Under this Stream, emerging filmmakers whose short films have been selected at a festival listed in Appendix A will be able to submit an application directly to Telefilm. 

Comments on Funding:

Funding will be in the form of a non-repayable financial contribution16 that may cover up to 100% of the project’s financing. The maximum contribution amount is set at:

  • $250,000 for fiction feature films and 
  • $150,000 for theatrical documentaries.

When It Ends:

Intake opens April 19, 2022


May 3, 2022


The applicant must:

  • operate as a film production company; 
  • own 100% of the rights of the project;
  • be under Canadian control as determined under sections 26 to 28 of the Investment Canada Act;
  • be entirely owned and controlled by the key creative team of the project.

The key members 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 emerging talent, i.e. they must have previously produced, directed and/or written at least a short film (a film of 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 (For the purposes of this criterion, a feature film is 75 minutes or more. Telefilm may consider a project of a lesser duration as a feature film if it was considered as such by the industry).
  • Directors of projects submitted to Telefilm must have directed a short film that was selected at one of the recognized film festivals listed in Appendix A in the two calendar years prior to the application to Telefilm.

Producers who have previously produced one feature film that has received funding under this Program are also considered as emerging talent. This Program was previously referred to as the “Micro-Budget Production Program”. 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 (films which were self-financed or produced within a festival incubator or school program) funded outside of this program and that had a limited release.

Applications Steps:


Applicants who are eligible to these Streams can submit an application directly to Telefilm via Dialogue by the deadline.

Documentation Needed:

The applicant must submit:

  1. 1
    Incorporation Certificate, if modified since company’s last application to Telefilm;
  2. 2
    Corporate Declaration;
  3. 3
    Completed Screenplay;
  4. 4
    Presentation Video;
  5. 5
    Synopsis of the Project;
  6. 6
    Director’s Vision;
  7. 7
    Promotion and Distribution Plan;
  8. 8
    Track Record for Producer, Screenwriter and Director; 
  1. 9
    Production Schedule (from Pre-Production to Release);
  2. 10
    Budget Top Sheet for the Project (template available on the Program's website);
  3. 11
    Details of All Confirmed and Projected Financing;
  4. 12
    Community Engagement Plan,
  5. 13
    Sustainability Plan, optional;
  6. 14
    Festival Invitation Letter.

Other Things to Note:

1. The list of eligible festivals is the same as in the previous year.
2. Guidelines updated on October 7, 2021.

About the author 


Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe's background and how he can help your business.


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