LIFT announces the creation of the Mara Da Costa Reis Fund



Toronto, January 31, 2022—Last year, after a five year hiatus, the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) announced the return of the Production and Post-Production Support Grant. The relaunch and expansion of the grant was made possible thanks to the donations made in the memory of Mara Da Costa Reis. Mara was a young actor, writer and filmmaker who was on the cusp of co-directing her first film “Sprout” when she unexpectedly and tragically passed away in February 2021.

Last year, we were able to direct all of the $7,325.00 donated by friends and family towards the relaunch of the Support Grant. LIFT was able to support eight unique film projects with in-kind and cash resources. It was an opportunity to celebrate the growth of a program that had been an essential part of LIFT’s operations for over a decade.

Based on the success of the return of the Support Grant, LIFT has been working with Mara’s parents to establish a permanent fund in Mara’s memory. Which will continue to provide financial support of the Production and Post-Production Support Grant in perpetuity.

Mara’s mother, Helga Marinzel, explained to us last year that, “Mara was intrinsically aware of the complexity that can be transmitted through the ability of film to use images and dialogues to reveal the layered, the secret and the hidden.” With this fund we will be able to continue to celebrate the medium that Mara loved and memorialize her unique talent and sensibility that people who knew Mara loved.

As Executive Director Chris Kennedy notes, “LIFT’s Production and Post-Production Support Grants played a role in kick-starting filmmaking for many years. Whether it is supplying support for emerging filmmakers for their first project, providing a seed for a larger idea, or giving an artist a chance to take a calculated risk with their filmmaking, these grants have been an important catalyst for new filmmaking. Many of our programs teach and mentor, but these grants motivate filmmakers to ‘go out and make!’ We’re happy for the chance to relaunch and reinvigorate these Support Grants with the on-going support of the Mara Da Costa Reis Fund. More importantly, it is an opportunity for Mara’s memory to live on through the projects that this fund will be able to support.”

You can learn more about the Fund as well as the Production and Post-Production Support Grant on our website at For those interested in making a donation you can do so by going to LIFT’s CanadaHelps page or by cheque. Details on how to do that can be found at

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact Development Coordinator Cayley James at


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.