Call for Submissions: Josephine Massarella Artist Award 2022


Toronto, August 15, 2022—In June of 2018 the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto’s (LIFT) longtime member Josephine Massarella passed away after a short illness.

She was an important part of the LIFT community and she will be truly missed. She was extremely productive in the final five years of her life, returning to filmmaking after many years spent raising family and care-giving for relatives. Once she returned, she was at LIFT often, working on three films, “Light Study,” “No End” and “165708,” the last of which we supported through a production and post-production support grant.

To honour her spirit, and through the support of her family members, LIFT inaugurated the Josephine Massarella Artist Award in 2019. After a long pause due to the pandemic, we are happy to announce the second competition for this award in 2022.

“My sister epitomized love, joy, hope, wonder and delight. Josie was passionate about making films and committed herself heart and soul to her craft. We were very close and during long conversations she would share her hopes and dreams for every new film. In common with other filmmakers she spent a lot of time and energy sourcing financing for her projects. Josie was absolutely thrilled whenever she was successful in obtaining funding and her joy was contagious. I wanted to set up an award in her memory that would keep a bit of that joy alive. I know that Josie would be delighted.”
—Mary Massarella

The Josephine Massarella Artist Award will assist female-identifying artists 50 years and older to return to filmmaking after a long absence. Eligible applicants are female-identifying, moving-image artists living within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, who have had to step away from artistic practice for at least five years and need support in the research and creation of a first new work on their return.

LIFT is an artist-run production and educational media arts organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in the moving image. We support a wide range of production formats, including Regular 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm, Super 16mm, 35mm and HD; our facilities include film and digital editing suites, optical printers, contact printers, animation stands, a darkroom, and more. Toronto also offers a range of lab facilities, a large pool of experienced technicians and talent, a vibrant film community and a dynamic arts environment.

This artist award focuses on the production of analogue film-based works, although strong digital applications will also be considered. Applicants may also propose elements of community collaboration through teaching workshops, artist talks and/or presentation activities—these engagements are a valuable part of each residency offered by LIFT.

The winner receives:
1. The cash award for the project is $2,000 (CAD) towards research, professional development and production expenses
2. A one-year long Production Level membership valued at $175 (CAD)
3. Additional equipment and facilities will be provided by LIFT in-kind to a maximum value of $2,000 (CAD) for the duration of 12 months. LIFT equipment rates can be found at Note: The artist is responsible for the costs of all film stock, chemicals, lab fees and other expendables.

Your Proposal Must Include:
The following contact information:
– First and Last Name
– Complete mailing address
– Telephone Number
– Email Address
2. Where did you see, or how did you find out about, this award?
3. Proposal (maximum 500 words), Artist Statement (maximum 500 words) and a brief statement about your interest in returning to filmmaking (maximum 500 words).
4. Curriculum vitae. (maximum 3 pages)
5. Proposed budget, including travel and accommodation and funding sources for materials.
6. Visual support material of past work (do not send originals, documentation will not be returned).
Accepted formats: URL links (preferred; include applicable passwords) or DVDs (NTSC)

Please Note:
1. Applications are open only to Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas.
2. The ethos of this award is to support an artist who has made the difficult choice to leave their filmmaking practice due to reasons driven by economics and/or life circumstances. Please contact LIFT prior to the deadline if you have any questions about your eligibility.
3. Full-time and retired pensioned academics are not eligible for this fund.
Review regular membership benefits to see how LIFT can support your artistic practice in alternative ways:

Proposals from artists of every background are welcome, but strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) artists to apply.

Submit your proposal via Google Forms:

Extended Deadline: Monday, October 17, 2022 at 5:00pm ET

Questions can be emailed to:
Commissioning and Mentorship Coordinator Robert Lee at submissions(at)
Subject Heading: LIFT Josephine Massarella Award 2022

Submissions sent through Google Forms are preferred. However, if you would prefer to apply via physical mail for accessibility purposes, please mail applications to: ***
LIFT Josephine Massarella Award 2022
c/o Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
1137 Dupont Street
Toronto, Ontario M6H 2A3
*** Must reach the LIFT office before the deadline

The Josephine Massarella Artist Award is funded out of the Josephine Massarella Memorial Fund and is sustainable for a three-year trial period (ending in 2023). We would like to thank her family for their support of this award. Anyone interested in making a donation to continue this award beyond the first three years can make a tax deductible charitable donation to the fund via CanadaHelps at

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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 itsmembership, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council.


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

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