Call for Applications: Newcomer Filmmentor 2024 – Extended


Toronto, February 23, 2024 (Updated April 3, 2024)—Are you a newcomer or refugee filmmaker living in or near the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)? Are you looking to develop specific film-related skills, better familiarize yourself with the film community, or work towards completing a project?

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to announce the launch of the third year of the Newcomer Filmmentor program. The program will allow three participants to each be paired with one mentor practicing in one of the three following fields: Documentary, Experimental or Narrative filmmaking. The mentorship will take place from April to November 2024.

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 eight months of the program. Proposals exploring analogue or digital filmmaking through LIFT’s workshops, equipment and facilities will be considered.

The successful applicants will:
– Be paired with a mentor to provide advice and guidance once a month.
– Be provided with a LIFT Production Membership until March 31, 2025.
– Receive $2,500 CAD in artist fees in two instalments.
– Have the opportunity to be enrolled in up to three (3) LIFT workshops over the duration of the mentorship.
– Receive $1,500 in-kind equipment credit to use LIFT’s extensive analogue and digital equipment and facilities, expiring March 31, 2025 (any additional equipment, facilities, expendables, and production costs will be the responsibility of the participant)
– Receive financial assistance in the form of a reimbursement for up to $1000 CAD to fund and develop a project, or for further skills development. Acceptable expenses include cast and crew costs, production equipment rental costs, additional workshops or training sessions, etc.
– Have the opportunity to participate in three “Lunch and Learn” sessions with industry professionals
– Receive a Conference Level Industry Accreditation at TIFF 2024

Applicant Eligibility
– Must be 18 years or older in order at the time of the application deadline.
– Must be living in or near the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area areas (GTHA)
– Be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Newcomer (in Canada for less than 7 years without permanent residency) or Refugee (a person who was forced to leave their home country and is now located in Canada). You must live in Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area areas (GTHA) 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).
– Be available for the duration of the program’s various dates from April 2, 2024 – December 1, 2024. Candidates must commit to attending:
i. regular once a month meetings with their mentors;
ii. a mandatory orientation session at the LIFT facility;
iii. training in specific workshops (a mix of predetermined workshops and personal selection);
three “Lunch and Learn” sessions aimed at advancing professional development, of which the themes will be chosen based on the applicants’ interests
– Must be deadline-driven and self-starters.
– In December (date TBC), there will be an opportunity for participants to present their works in progress at a private event for mentors, mentees, family, friends and crew members.

Proposals must include:
– Statement on why you would like to participate in this program and how your artistic practice would benefit from it. (250 words maximum)
– 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 timeline of activity from April to November 2024. (500 words max)
– Which mentor would you like to work with.
– Why would you like to work with the selected mentor. (250 words max)
– Please indicate what kind of professional development would be useful to your artistic career or practice. (250 words max)
– Short biography that indicates your past experience with film, video/digital and other artistic mediums, if any. (250 words max)
– You may include a résumé or curriculum vitae, but it’s not mandatory (2 pages maximum)
– Support material of one to three samples of previous work or a work in progress, either an audio/visual sample, photography, or writing samples. Please also describe your role on the project. (Up to three examples via online links)
– Please identify any accessibility accommodations you need so we can support you through the application process and into the project phase

LIFT welcomes applicants from all creatives, and strongly encourages applications who identify as candidates from equity priority groups; using the current Toronto Arts Council definition as outlined here.

*** Extended Deadline: 10:00am ET on Monday, March 18, 2024 ***

Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, April 12, 2024

All questions should be emailed to:
LIFT Education and Outreach Administrator Iman Abbaro at
Subject Heading: Call for Applications: Newcomer Filmmentor 2024 – First and Last Name

Application can be submitted at the following Google Forms link:

Submissions sent through Google Forms are preferred.

However, if you would prefer to apply via physical mail for accessibility purposes, please mail applications to: ***
Newcomer Filmmentor 2024
c/o Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
1137 Dupont Street
Toronto, Ontario M6H 2A3

*** Physical applications must reach the LIFT office before the deadline








(L-R) Maya Annik Bedward, Faraz Anoushahpour and Martin Edralin

Documentary:  Maya Annik Bedward is a producer, director and co-founder of Third Culture Media. Her productions have screened at TIFF, Hot Docs, Black Star and the New Orleans Film Festival. Her latest production “Patty Vs. Patty” won best Short Documentary at the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards. Maya has directed episodes for the docuseries “Blk: An Origin Story” (History Channel, Global TV) and the variety comedy series, “Lido TV” (CBC Gem). She is also a fellow of the EFM Toolbox Programme and a founding member of the Black Screen Office.

Experimental:  Faraz Anoushahpour is an artist and film programmer. He holds a degree in architecture from the Architectural Association in London, UK, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. He acted as film programmer for Images Festival from 2015–2018, 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), Media City Festival (Windsor/Detroit), Experimenta (Bangalore), Crossroads Festival (San Francisco), and ZK/U Centre for Art and Urbanistics (Berlin), Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (Toronto), SPACES Art Centre (Cleveland), and Trinity Square Video (Toronto).

Narrative:  Martin Edralin is a Filipino-Canadian, Toronto-based filmmaker. His first short film, “Hole” (2014), won the Grand Prize at Clermont-Ferrand, jury prizes at Locarno and Seattle, and screened at Sundance, TIFF, and BFI London. His second short, “Emma” (2016), was selected in TIFF Canada’s Top Ten and won Best Live Action Short at the Rhode Island IFF. His debut feature, “Islands” (2021), premiered at SXSW and was awarded Special Jury Recognition.

This mentorship program is made possible by our Lead Funder, the RBC Foundation’s Emerging Artists Grant, and our Supporting Funder, Ontario Creates.

Thank you also to the support of filmmakers Richard Fung, John Greyson and Ali Kazimi who have directed the proceeds for their film “Rex vs Singh” towards supporting this project in 2024 and in subsequent years.

RBC recognizes the struggle many artists go through to gain the recognition they need to become successful in their practice. Since 2007, the RBC Emerging Artists has been supporting organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres such as visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature and film.

Ontario Creates is an agency of the provincial government whose mandate is to be a catalyst for economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors, both domestically and internationally.

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is Canada’s foremost artist-run production and education organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in the moving image. 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. LIFT is supported by its membership, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council.



Starting: Friday 23 February 2024 00:00

Non Members: Free to apply

Members: Free to apply

Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) 
1137 Dupont Street 
Toronto Ontario