Compete for up to $125,000 towards your first feature film or narrative-based web project


The Kingston Canadian Film Festival is excited to be an official partner on the 2020 Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program. Filmmakers who have exhibited a short film at KCFF in the past five years are invited to apply to compete for up to a $125,000 contribution towards creating their first-feature film or narrative-based web project. The Kingston Film Office further commits an additional $10,000 towards any successful Talent to Watch production shot in Kingston.


See full details below and at Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program website.




*2020 program details may vary and will be updated by Telefilm by January. Check:


The Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch program (formerly the Micro-Budget Production program), is intended to support emerging filmmakers seeking to produce, digitally distribute and promote their first feature-length films or other format of narrative-based audiovisual content made specifically for online distribution.


Telefilm Canada’s support under this program will be provided through three separate streams: the Selective stream, the Fast Track stream, and the Festival Selection stream. Under the Selective stream, financing will be given to projects chosen among those recommended by designated industry partners, of which the Kingston Canadian Film Festival is now one. Through the Selective Stream, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival (KCFF) is able to recommend two feature films and one narrative web-based project from those submitted by KCFF eligible filmmakers who match the eligibility and project requirements listed below.





  • The key members of the creative team must be emerging talent:
    • Team members must already have produced, directed and/or written at least one short film (i.e. 30 minutes or less) but cannot have previously held the same key position on a feature length film.
    • Producers who have previously produced one feature film that has received funding under the Talent to Watch/Micro-Budget Production Program will also be considered as emerging talent.
  • The director of the project must have exhibited a short film at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival within the past 5 years and participated in KCFF lead workshops or training opportunities. The producer and writer may not have exhibited a short film at KCFF, provided they match the emerging talent criteria listed above.
  • The key members must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.





  • The proposed Telefilm Talent to Watch project must intend to shoot primarily in Kingston.
  • 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.
  • All projects must be distributed on one or more digital platforms.
  • All projects must be completed within 24 months of receipt of an invitation to apply from Telefilm.
  • Budgets for feature films should be between $125,000 and $250,000. Telefilm’s contribution through the program will be a maximum of $125,000 on chosen feature films.
  • The average budget for narrative-based web projects will vary based on total duration of the project, but should generally not exceed $20,000 for a full 10-minute segment. For narrative-based web projects of 75 minutes and more in total length, Telefilm will contribute a maximum of $125,000. The contribution amount for narrative-based web projects that are under 75 minutes in total length will be prorated based on the total number of minutes of the project, each full 10-minute segment giving access to $15,000 for a maximum contribution of $105,000.


Please visit Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program website for further information on the program, including guidelines and eligibility requirements. 2020 program details may vary and will be updated here when announced.


Click here for Telefilm’s 2019 Talent to Watch program guidelines.


Click here for Telefilm’s 2019 Talent to Watch program FAQs.



Telefilm Statement on Equality

Telefilm will aim to support a balanced portfolio of projects reflecting a variety of genres, regions across the country, and different viewpoints. Telefilm will, for projects of equal quality, prioritize projects whose key creatives (director and/or writer and/or producer) reflect the diversity of the country in terms of gender, Indigenous communities or cultural diversity.





The new Kingston Film Office will support KCFF’s submission to the Telefilm Talent to Watch program and make an additional $10,000 contribution towards any successful Telefilm Talent to Watch feature film shot primarily in the greater Kingston area. The Kingston Film Office will also help facilitate access to locations, cast, crew, resources and suppliers, including additional in-kind sponsors, partners and/or mentors for a Kingston shoot. Contact alex@filminkingston.ca for more information.


The Kingston Canadian Film Festival also commits to exhibiting final Talent to Watch projects at their festival.





Expression of Interest Deadline: January 13

If you have made a short film that was exhibited at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival within the past 5 years, meet the requirements outlined above and are interested in applying through KCFF, please contact talentfund@filminkingston.ca to confirm your intention to submit.

In your email, please indicate the type of project (fictional or documentary, feature film or other narrative-based audiovisual online project).

Note: An information session on how to pitch your project is tentatively scheduled for Jan 20, 2019. Contact talentfund@filminkingston.ca for details.


KCFF Supported Project Application Deadline: February 24

Materials required for KCFF consideration will be project logline and synopsis, latest draft of script, director’s statement, lookbook, overview of financing plan/budget, names of attached key creatives, and draft of project pitch video per Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program guidelines.


KCFF Supported Project Decision: March 11-15

KCFF’s support decision will be publicly announced at the 20th Kingston Canadian Film Festival


KCFF Supported Project Submission to Telefilm: March 20

Please see Page 5 of the Talent to Watch Guidelines for a list of the elements that will be required for submission of recommended projects.


For any additional questions concerning the Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program, please contact talentfund@filminkingston.ca



The Kingston Canadian Film Festival is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact talentfund@filminkingston.ca