Call for Applications: LIFT Newcomer Filmmentor 2019


Toronto, October 2, 2018— Are you a newcomer or refugee emerging filmmaker living in or near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)? Are you looking to develop specific film-related skills or complete a project?

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to announce the launch of the second Newcomer Filmmentor Program. The program will allow three participants to be paired with one mentor practising in one the following fields: documentary, narrative, experimental or hybrid filmmaking. The mentorship will take place from January 2019 – July 2019.

This is a self-directed mentorship; the mentee must present a clear plan of how they would like to structure the mentorship and what they would like to accomplish within the six months of the program. Proposals exploring analogue or digital filmmaking through LIFT workshops, equipment and facilities will be considered.
LIFT highly encourages applicants from equity-seeking groups.

The successful applicant will:
– Be paired with a mentor to provide advice and guidance once a month;
– Be provided with a LIFT Production Membership until July 2020;
– Receive $1,500 in artist fees in two instalments;
– Will be eligible to enroll in any training workshop offered during their Winter and Summer 2019 calendar (to a maximum $400 value);
– Will receive $1,500 in-kind equipment credit to use LIFT’s extensive analogue and digital equipment and facilities, expiring July 2020 (any additional equipment, facilities, and production costs will be the responsibility of the participant);
– Receive financial assistance up to $850 to use to develop a project or for further skills development;
– Develop a community event with their mentor and execute it by Summer 2019;

Eligibility Criteria:
– This call is open to newcomer* candidates living in or near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) only
(*The Toronto Arts Council defines newcomer as: an immigrant or refugee who has lived in Canada for less than seven years);
– Candidates must commit to attending LIFT training workshops from January 2019 – August 2019;
– We strongly encourage applicants who are deadline-driven and self-starters;
– You must live in Toronto or within commuting distance from the city in order to access LIFT workshops and equipment (travel subsidy and cost of living are not covered by this mentorship);

About the Mentors:

[Documentary] Aeyliya Husain is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on issues of representation, images of war and their interpretation, women, and photography. She has exhibited at festivals both nationally and internationally including, Tribeca Film Festival, San Francisco Docfest, Glasgow Short Film Festival and São Paulo Film Festival. Her latest film “The Fifth Region” will premiere at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in October (2018). Her work has been supported by production grants from the National Film Board of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council and VICE Media. Husain holds an MFA in Film Production from York University (Toronto, Canada) and a BA from the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada).

[Narrative] Mary J. Daniel is a veteran media artist and educator, with a background in experimental film, an intertwining documentary practice, and a long-standing fascination with narrative forms. She has a 25-year history of making hard-to-categorize works focusing on the poetry and artistry of ordinary experiences, including a feature-length study of everyday storytelling, a series of collaborative documentaries, and an award-winning anthology of poetic shorts. She has an MFA in film & video, and held university teaching positions in departments of communications, film, visual art, and design. Her films and videos have traveled to international, feminist, experimental and LGBTQ festivals; have screened at micro cinemas, cinematheques & galleries; and have featured in curated programs of Canadian works, including at the Kassel Documentary Festival and the Anthology Film Archive in NYC. She currently runs a freelance advising service, offering creative mentorship, practical support and individualized training tailored to the needs of artists, academics and non-profits.

[Experimental] Faraz Anoushahpour (b. Tehran, Iran) holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Architectural Association in London, UK, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. Since 2014 he has acted as film programmer for Images Festival, Toronto and was a participant in the Belligerent Eyes residency at the Prada Foundation (Venice, Italy). His collaborative film and installation work has been shown at Projections (New York Film Festival), Wavelengths (Toronto International Film Festival), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (Germany), Portland International Film Festival, Media City Festival (Windsor/Detroit), Experimenta (Bangalore), Crossroads Festival (San Francisco), and ZK/U Centre for Art & Urbanistics (Berlin), Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (Toronto), SPACES Art Centre (Cleveland), and Trinity Square Video (Toronto).

Your Application Must Include:
– Where did you hear about this program (word of mouth, LIFT website, social media, etc.);
– Which stream you are applying to: documentary, narrative, experimental or hybrid;
– A statement on why you would like to participate and how you would benefit from this mentorship program (maximum 250 words);
– Describe what you will work on during this mentorship? Which skill are you hoping to improve? What project will you be working on (if applicable)? Provide a detailed timeline of activities. (maximum 500 words);
– Why you want to work with the mentor, clearly indicate which mentor (maximum 250 words);
–  A list of LIFT workshops of interest (see;
– This mentorship stresses the importance of giving back to the community. You will be required to organize a community event idea, which organization do you wish to collaborate with, in what capacity and why? Examples include but are not limited to: a screening, a workshop, a panel discussion (maximum 250 words);
– Your biography (no résumé or curriculum vitae please). Please be certain to indicate your past experience with film, video/digital and other artistic mediums, if any (maximum 250 words);
– Support material: minimum of one sample of previous work or a work in progress. Either an audio/visual sample, photography, or writing samples. (maximum file size 100MB or URL link);

To apply:
Fill out the application form via the Google Docs form on our website:

Deadline: Friday, November 30, 2018 at 12 noon ET

Successful applicants will be notified by December 21, 2018.

Should you have additional questions, please contact LIFT Education and Outreach Administrator
Rolla Tahir at 416.588.6444 Ext. 223 or specialprojects(at)
Subject Heading: LIFT Newcomer Filmmentor 2019

This program is made possible by the Toronto Arts Council’s Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement Grant.

About the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
LIFT is an artist-run charitable organization dedicated to facilitating excellence in the moving image through media arts education and production resources. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist-residencies; and a variety of other services. Founded in 1981 by a small collective, LIFT has since grown to become one of the foremost centres of its kind globally.

Follow this program on social media: #LIFTfilm


Starting: Tuesday 2 October 2018 10:00

Non Members: Free to apply

Members: Free to apply

Liaison of Independent Fimmakers of Toronto (LIFT) 
1137 Dupont Street 
Toronto ON Canada