Call for Applicants: LIFT and imagineNATIVE 14th annual Mentorship Program

LIFT and imagineNATIVE

Application Deadline: Friday, December 15, 2017 by 12:00pm

Toronto, November 15, 2017— Are you an Indigenous artist or emerging filmmaker living in or near the GTA? Do you have a great idea for a 5-minute short film?

Celebrating 14 years of supporting independent Indigenous film, the LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship program welcomes you to explore 16mm filmmaking through the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto’s (LIFT) workshops, equipment and facilities (other mediums may be employed in addition to 16mm). Shoot and edit your idea on film and see the completed project on the big screen at the 19th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival which will take place in Toronto from October 17–21, 2018.

The successful applicant will be provided with a LIFT Production Membership until the end of the imagineNATIVE 2018 Festival and be eligible to enroll in any training workshop offered during their Winter and Spring 2018 calendar (to a maximum $750 value). You will have the opportunity to work with LIFT’s knowledgeable staff and a specially selected mentor(s) to help you through the development, production and post-production stages of your project. imagineNATIVE will subsidize some additional costs related to your project and facilitate aspects of your post-production stages.

Please Note: Projects must be realistic in scope and subject matter as they must be completed and delivered as digital exhibition master by Friday, September 14, 2018.

The participant will receive the opportunity to use LIFT’s extensive 16mm production equipment and facilities for their film. As every film is unique, equipment and facilities access will be established in the development phase (past equipment and facilities budgets have ranged from $500–$5,000) at the discretion of LIFT. Any additional equipment, facilities, and production costs will be the responsibility of the participant.

imagineNATIVE will provide a $1,000 bursary towards production costs. Assistance with other production support will also be provided, pending confirmation (in-kind, approximately a $750 value). All other associated costs are to be covered by the participant. The artist will also receive an artist fee for their screening during the imagineNATIVE 2018 Festival.

Eligibility Criteria:
– This call is open to Indigenous (status and non-status First Nations, Métis, Inuit and all international Indigenous Nations) candidates living in or near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) only
– Preference will be given to artists who have not had the opportunity to work in film
(Note: you do not have to be a youth but youth may also apply)
– Candidates must commit to attending the LIFT training workshops from January–August 2018. 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. 

Your Application Must Include:
– One-page short film idea that details the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it (visual style of the film)
– A half to one-page statement on why you would like to participate and how you would benefit from this mentorship program
*Please Note: with the spirit of Indigenous oral storytelling in mind, the first two (2) components of the application can alternatively be submitted via a 5 minute (max) video via YouTube or Vimeo private link*
– A production schedule summary to meet the required final deliverables deadline
Note: Print quality film stills and final synopsis will be required by Monday, July 30, 2018.
– Your biography (no resumes or curriculum vitae please). Please be certain to indicate your past experience with film, video/digital and other artistic mediums, if any, and your Indigenous heritage
– How you found out about the mentorship program
– Contact info including e-mail, mailing address and phone number
– E-mail all documents to

Should you have additional questions, please contact imagineNATIVE Industry Director

Daniel Northway-Frank at 416.585.2333 or
The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 15, 2017 by 12:00pm


About the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto
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.

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Founded in 1999, imagineNATIVE is the international centre for Indigenous-made media arts. Its annual Festival celebrates 19 years in October 2018 and is the world’s largest showcase of film, video, audio, and digital media works created by Indigenous directors, producers, and screenwriters. Year-round imagineNATIVE presents a national tour, screenings across Canada and internationally, and a community screening series based in the Greater Toronto Area. imagineNATIVE is committed to the professional development of Indigenous artists through its numerous workshops, labs, and panels through its Industry Series and through strategic partnerships internationally. imagineNATIVE showcases, promotes, and celebrates Canadian and international Indigenous filmmakers and media artists and is committed to a greater understanding by audiences of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and artistic expressions.

Follow this program on social media: #LIFTiNMentorship


Wednesday 15 November 2017 –

Non-members: Free to apply
Members: Free to apply

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