Josephine Massarella Artist Award 2019


Toronto, February 12, 2019—The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto’s (LIFT) longtime member Josephine Massarella passed away in June of 2018 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 grant.

To honour her spirit, and through the support of her family members, LIFT will inaugurate the Josephine Massarella Artist Award in 2019.

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.

The cash award for projects is $2,000 (CAD) towards research, professional development and production expenses. Additional equipment and facilities will be provided by LIFT in-kind to a maximum value of $2,000 (CAD); LIFT equipment rates can be found at The artist is responsible for the costs of all film stock, chemicals, lab fees and other expendables.

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.

LIFT’s residency program 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 Josephine Massarella Artist Award is funded out of the Josephine Massarella Memorial Fund and is sustainable for a three-year trial period. 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

Interested artists should submit proposals, including:

1. The following contact information:
– First and Last Name
– Complete mailing address
– Telephone Number
– Email Address
2. Proposal (maximum 500 words), Artist Statement (maximum 500 words) and a brief statement about your interest in returning to filmmaking (maximum 500 words).
3. How you heard about this award
4. Curriculum vitae
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 Area and Hamilton.
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. Feel free to contact LIFT to discuss how we can support your artistic practice.

LIFT highly encourages applicants from equity-seeking groups.

Email submissions are preferred.

Email applications to submissions(at)
Subject Heading: LIFT Josephine Massarella Award 2019

Deadline: Monday, March 18, 2019 at 5:00pm EST

Mail applications to:
LIFT Josephine Massarella Award 2019
c/o Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
1137 Dupont Street
Toronto, Ontario

Questions to:
Executive Director Chris Kennedy at submissions(at)
Subject Heading: LIFT Josephine Massarella Award 2019

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.


Tuesday 12 February 2019 – Monday 18 March 2019

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

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