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Telefilm Canada has added SMPIA as a Designated Partner of the Talent to Watch Program (formerly known as the Micro-Budget Production Program).

Talent to Watch funds first feature films and web projects from emerging filmmakers. The program aims to support emerging filmmakers, accelerate their career development, and to allow them to develop an expertise in digital marketing and promotion of audiovisual projects.

The maximum contribution amount through this program is $125,000 for feature films and narrative-based web projects over 75 minutes.

Final selection will be made by Telefilm Canada based on projects recommended by designated industry partners across Canada, which SMPIA is now one of.
In order to be recommended by SMPIA, the producer, director and writer of the project must be full SMPIA members (associate members are not eligible).
If you are not currently a SMPIA member you can become one here.

The key members of all recommended projects must be emerging talent, i.e. they must have previously produced, directed and/or written at least one short film but cannot have previously held the same key position on a feature length film.

Furthermore, the key members must be Canadian citizens.

Projects must be fictional or documentary audiovisual projects produced in English, French or an Indigenous language that are either:

  •  feature length films of 75 minutes or more; or
  • any other type of narrative-based audiovisual content made in a format specifically designed for online audiences. These types of projects can be comprised of one or more segments which, in total, must be more than 10 minutes in length.


You must supply the following items to SMPIA by February 4, 2019 along with a completed SMPIA Application Form.
If your project is selected, it will be forwarded to Telefilm Canada by SMPIA.

Presentation video: a downloadable pitch video (maximum of 5 minutes) that will:

  • state the project’s working title;
  • identify the genre, the type, and the length of the project;
  • identify the key creative team involved in the project and their individual track records (including samples of past work if applicable or relevant);
  • provide a brief synopsis of the story from beginning to end;
  • outline the creative team’s vision/visual treatment of the material;
  • outline any other relevant information that sets the project apart (e.g.: personal connection to the story material, confirmed appearance by an established actor, successful crowdfunding campaign, relationship with VFX professionals or animators);
  • identify the target audience;
  • include 1 minute segment of the director’s previous short films;

Supporting material: the documents listed below must be in pdf format:

  • A promotion and distribution plan (up to two pages in length) which identifies the project’s audience (age, sex, sensibility, culture, etc.). It must also identify how the team will find and access this audience and why will they connect with the project;
  • Synopsis of the project, maximum of 750 words, which includes the main story developments, and tells the basic story from beginning to end;
  • Director’s vision (up to three pages in length);
  • Creative team (producer, writer and director) Filmography: submit a filmography, using the template provided in the Templates section, which will indicate training, education, experience, accolades, outline past projects and history of team collaboration;
  • Up to one page detailing any other information that sets this project apart (eg: personal connection to the story material, successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed cameo by a well-known actor, established fan base on social media);
  • A production schedule (from pre-production to digital release) that will ensure completion of the project within 24 months of the receipt of Telefilm’s invitation to apply;
  • The standard production budget top sheet for the project (using the template provided the Templates section);
  • Projects submitted through the Indigenous stream and all other projects with Indigenous content shall address the issue of how the team sought to engage the various Indigenous communities that will be impacted by the project. Suitable means of achieving this may include the following, as applicable: letters of support from the community, letters of support from Indigenous advisors, contracts between the communities and the creative team for the project, community engagement plans, etc.
  • a completed screenplay;
  • a link to previous work, if available;

Please carefully read the detailed list of submission material and program guidelines that can be found in Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program Guidelines.

Request a SMPIA Application Form ahead of your submission from

The required material must be received by SMPIA no later than Monday, February 4, 2019.

To submit your application, compile all of the above, including a completed SMPIA Application Form, into ONE Dropbox or Google Drive folder and send a shareable link to