TIFF reveals key festival industry program talent


TIFF organizers unveiled Wednesday a star-studded cast of up-and-coming Canadian and international actors, directors and producers who will participate in the festival’s various programs.

Included in the press conference announcement were the lineups for the TIFF Rising Stars program, Telefilm Canada’s Pitch This!, the Talent Lab and the Producers Lab.

Here, Playback breaks down some of the highlights.

TIFF Rising Stars: Picture Day’s Tatiana Maslany and The Kennedys Charlotte Sullivan

Having debuted at TIFF last year, the TIFF Rising Stars program is back with a brand new cast of emerging Canadian actors.

The program, a partnership with the CFC and The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, will put Charlie Carrick, Connor Jessup, Tatiana Maslany and Charlotte Sullivan through their paces, with a series of public events and industry meetings during the festival.

The actors will also receive intensive professional development with international casting directors, filmmakers, producers and development executives.

Charlie Carrick: A British Canadian, Carrick’s TV credits include guest appearances on Flashpoint, Sanctuary and Psych. He has also appeared on stage, in the Canadian premiere of The History Boys, and on the big screen in Sara St. Onge’s Molly Maxwell. Up next is a recurring guest role on The Borgias.

Connor Jessup: At 18, Jessup has landed leading roles in Stephen Spielberg’s Falling Skies and The Saddle Club. He was also the exec producer of Amy George, which was featured at TIFF last year.

Tatiana Maslany: Regina-born Maslany has had roles in Canadian films like Grown up Movie Star and U.S. flicks like The Vow. Most recently she’s starred in Kate Melville’s Picture Day (bowing at this year’s festival) and rubbed shoulders with Ray Liotta and Kevin Zegers in The Entitled.

Charlotte Sullivan: Toronto-based Sullivan has appeared on both the big and small screens, including a turn as Marilyn Monroe in The Kennedys. She also appeared alongside Peter O’Toole in the film Iron Road. She can currently be seen in the Global Television cop drama, Rookie Blue.

The Talent Lab: Manjeet Singh’s Mumbai’s King, Sophie Goyette’s The Near Future and Ashley Mackenzie’s When You Sleep

This year’s Talent Lab will see 25 aspiring filmmakers put to the test by four mentors, including producer Stephen Woolley and documentarian, Jennifer Baichwal.

During the lab, the participants will attend group discussions and build their business networks.

Featured Canadians include: Mumbai’s King director and producer, Manjeet Singh, The Near Future director and producer, Sophie Goyette and When You Sleep director, Ashley Mackenzie.

The full line-up includes:  Aliocha Allard, Deron Albright, Tony Asimakopoulos, Rafael Balulu, Cliff Caines, Simone Rapisarda Casanova, Dane Clark, Heather Dahlstrom, Stuart Elliott, Kevan Funk, Sophie Goyette, Katherine Hazen, Mako Kamitsuna, Sarah Kolasky, Lindsay MacKay, Philipp Mayrhofer, Ashley McKenzie, Chelsea McMullan, Dan Popa, Christoph Rainer, Clarissa Rebouças, Storm Saulter, Ryan Silbert, Manjeet Singh and Jovanka Vuckovic.

The Talent Lab runs Sept. 5 to Sept. 8.

Telefilm Canada Pitch This!: Body, Delirium B and Unwanted

Telefilm Canada’s Pitch This! will take place Sept. 11 at the Bell Lightbox, with a panel of international judges deciding between six finalists.

The winner(s) take(s) $10,000 to further develop their film project.

The teams and their projects include:

  • Body: Mila Aung-Thwin and Halima Ouardiri
  • Delirium B: Karolina Lewicka and Jon Gustafsson
  • Doubles with Slight Pepper: Ian Hamarine
  • Ivan & Evelyn: Sol Friedman
  • Unwanted: Ed Barreveld and Rama Rau
  • The WBI: Annie Bradley, Daniela Saioni, Marilla Wex and Nikki Payne

Producers Lab: 24 Canadian and European producers put through their paces

This year’s Producers Lab will provide 24 emerging European and Canadian producers with a platform to pitch their film projects.

The Lab, a Canada-Europe co-production in partnership with OMDC, and EFP and supported by funding from the European Union’s MEDIA Mundus program, will see the producers participate in pitching sessions, roundtable discussions.

It will also offer networking and opportunities to exchange ideas and promote future co-productions.

Featured Canadians include:

  • Daniel Bekerman, Scythia Films
  • Aisling Chin-Yee, Prospector Films
  • Svet Doytchinov, Yantra Films
  • Patricia Fogliato, Enigmatico Films
  • Lauren Grant, Clique Pictures
  • Yanick Letourneau, Peripheria Productions
  • April Mullen, WANGO Films
  • Anita K. Sharma, Studio Entertatinment
  • Sarah Timmins, Corvid Pictures
  • Stephen Traynor, The Film Farm
  • Rajvinder Uppal, At The End Of The Day Productions
  • Rayne Zukerman, Zazie Films

Featured Europeans include:

  • Nicole Gerhards, NiKo Film (Germany)
  • Tine Grew Pfeiffer, Alphaville Pictures Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Peter Hiltunen, Illusion Film & Television (Sweden)
  • Macdara Kelleher, Fastnet Films (Ireland)
  • Arnar Knútsson, Filmus Productions (Iceland)
  • Isona Passola, Massa D’Or Produccions (Spain)
  • Donato Rotunno, Tarantula Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
  • Ada Solomon, HiFilm Productions (Romania)
  • Yorgos Tsourgiannis, Horse Fly Productions (Greece)
  • Els Vandevorst, N279 Entertainment (The Netherlands)
  • Fernando Vendrell, david & golias (Portugal)
  • Dan Wechsler, Bord Cadre films (Switzerland)

The Producers Lab runs Sept. 5 to Sept. 8.

TIFF today also unveiled its Canadian film lineup (see the story here).