Telefilm Talent to Watch Programme 2018

(formerly the Microbudget programme)

SAW Video's deadline: tba

SAW Video is a designated partner for Telefilm's Talent to Watch program (formerly the Micro-Budget Production program) that supports the development, production, digital distribution, and the promotion of a first feature film or web content project.   The programme finances emerging content creators who are recent graduates of a partner university or active members of partner cooperatives. The program aims to stimulate the use of new digital distribution platforms and to allow emerging talent to develop an expertise in digital marketing and promotion.

The program is comprised of three different components:

  • Main component
  • Indigenous component
  • Official-Language Minority Communities (OLMC) component

Prospective creative teams must apply to a designated partner of the program who in turn recommend projects to Telefilm.  SAW Video is a recommender for both the Main Component and the Aboriginal Component.

Telefilm's funding will be in the form of a non-repayable financial contribution that may cover up to 100% of the project's financing. the maximum contribution amount is set at $127,500 for feature films and for narrative based web projects of 75 minutes and more in total length. (For all projects, an amount of $7,500 of Telefilm's total contribution must be reserved for the hiring of a digital marketing expert.)

To be eligible to apply, Telefilm must first receive a recommendation from one of the selected partners.

  • Key members of the recommended project’s creative team (producer, writer and director) must be recent alumni from one of the partner’s production programs or active members of the partner’s film cooperative
  • Key members of all recommended projects must be emerging talent: they must already have produced, directed and/or written at least one short film (i.e. 30 minutes or less) but must not have produced, directed or written a feature length film (i.e. 75 minutes or more)
Please consult the guidelines for specific eligibility requirements.

For Guidelines /FAQs click here

Telefilm’s Evaluation Criteria
Projects will be evaluated on:
– the track record of the creative team;

– the quality, originality, and innovativeness of the creative content;

– the quality, originality, and innovativeness of the promotion and distribution strategy on digital platforms;

– the complementary nature of all components of the project (i.e. content, production, distribution and promotion)

The recommended projects must be either fictional or documentary audiovisual projects produced in English, French or an Aboriginal 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.  Please consult the FAQ for more details.

All projects must be distributed on one or more digital platforms and their maximum budget must not be higher than $250,000.

ELIGIBILITY: ALL key members (writer, director, producer) must be emerging talent, i.e. they must already have produced, directed and/or written at least one short film (30 minutes or less) but must not have produced, directed, or written a feature length film (75 minutes or more).

All key members must also be active members of SAW Video at the time of application. Active members are people who have participated in workshops, programs and/or other training initiatives offered by the SAW Video in the last three years measured from the date of recommendation to Telefilm under this Program.

ABORIGINAL COMPONENT: SAW Video is also a partner for the Aboriginal component. To be eligible for this component all key members (writer, director, producer) must be active members of SAW Video. For the Aboriginal component only, applicant eligibility is also extended to members of NIMAC (National Indigenous Media Art Coalition), who is an organizational member of SAW Video.  All key members must be self-identified Aboriginals.

Your application to SAW Video must include:

The entire Telefilm application and related documents including:
•    a video pitch (5 minutes maximum)
•    a trailer of the project, if available
•    a link to previous work, if available
•    a written synopsis of the project including a description of the creative team's vision
•    resumés of key team members that confirms SAW Video membership (3 page max.)
•    the full script (narrative) or treatment (documentary)
•    a promotion and distribution plan for the project including a digital marketing and social media strategy
•    a production schedule (from pre-production to digital release)
•    the total budget for the project including the amount allocated for the promotion and distribution of the project;
•    any other information that sets this project apart.

To submit your application, please send by email the required documents (PDFs only please) and links to your video pitch, trailer and support material by TBA at 11:59pm to penny@sawvideo.com.  Please put Telefilm Micro-Budget Production Program Application in the subject heading of your email and please specify whether you are submitting to the Main Component or the Aboriginal Component.

SAW Video contact :

Penny McCann, Director penny@sawvideo.com

613 238-7648

Outreach partner:


Website © 2014 SAW Video Association
SAW Video Media Art Centre
67 Nicholas Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B9 Canada
t 613-238-7648
e sawvideo@sawvideo.com