WIDC Advantage Award
(formerly Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program & WIDC mentorship award)

Launched in 2022 as part of the WIDC 25th Anniversary celebration, the WIDC Advantage Award is a peer juried development award for a WIDC alumna preparing to direct her/their first feature film (low budget). The award includes a spot at Story & Leadership, a one-year tailored mentorship and WIDC’s nomination for the Telefilm Talent to Watch program.

As determined by the CWWA Board, all WIDC Director alumnae are eligible to apply for this nomination and award. Application criteria and deadlines are subject to change per WIDC and Telefilm Canada.

Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program
Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program has aimed to support emerging filmmakers, accelerate their career development, and to allow them to develop an expertise in digital marketing and promotion of audiovisual projects.

Creative Women Workshops Association (CWWA) through our Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) program, is one of Telefilm Canada’s designated Talent to Watch nominating partners.

Applications for the WIDC nomination(s) are adjudicated by a jury of WIDC peers.  According to Telefilm’s program instructions, and as they may change from time to time, the CWWA Board submits the WIDC nomination(s) to Telefilm Canada along with the Nominee’s project portfolio (as provided by the nominee(s)).

To be eligible, at least one of the applicant team members MUST be a current participant or an alumna of the WIDC program. The director of the project must identify as a woman or non-binary individual. Only projects that are narrative live-action fiction will be considered. Scripts featuring a protagonist who identifies as female or an under-represented gender identity or expression, are preferred but not required.

WIDC Talent to Watch Mentorship Award
In order to strengthen the chances of WIDC-nominated projects being selected by Telefilm Canada for Talent to Watch program funding, the WIDC Nominee director and by extension, the project’s key creative team (writer, producer) will receive coaching to polish the nominee submission package. Additionally, a one-year mentorship will be automatically awarded, specially tailored to the needs of the team including  assisting them with Executive Producing* services towards further project development, polish and packaging. Should the project achieve funding support and/or upon mutual agreement, the WIDC Talent to Watch Mentorship Award may be extended through to project completion.

*This WIDC Award Executive Producer role does not claim copyright or ownership of the project.

February 11, 2023

How to Apply:
By the deadline (per above), send link to a Dropbox folder (NOT Google or OneDrive) to: directors@widc.ca

What to include in the Dropbox (may be subject to change):
– brief cover letter to WIDC jury (how this award and nomination will benefit you and your project)
– cover letter to Telefilm (why this project, why you are the one to tell this story, special qualities of this project)
– screenplay
– video presentation script (see Telefilm guidelines for more details)
– synopsis (750 words max)
– director’s vision (up to 3 pages)
– promo & distribution plan (up to 2 pages)
– creative team filmography (use Telefilm template from their web site)

N.B. The Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch program, criteria and deadlines are all subject to change and/or cancellation at the sole discretion of Telefilm Canada.  WIDC reserves the right to change any part of or cancel this WIDC Award accordingly.

Further, while Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch is open to both narrative fiction and documentary formats,  the WIDC program seeks to support narrative live-action fiction project development.

Past WIDC Advantage Award Recipients:

2022 – Luvia Petersen, Human Nature

Past Talent to Watch Nomination Recipients:

Feature Film:
2013 – Maureen Bradley, Two4One 
2014 – Gail Maurice, Bloodlines
2015 – Patricia Harris Seeley, My Human
2016 – Adelina Suvagau, Box of Freedom
2017 – Shelley Thompson, Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor
2018 – Elizabeth Lazebnik, Be Still
2018 – Reem Morsi, Hysteria
2019 – Meeshelle Neal, Sweet Release
2019 – Paige K. Boudreau, Just Off Main Street
2020 – Hayley Gray, Dry Year
2021 – No Talent to Watch program offered due to COVID-19

Web Series:
2016 – Kate Green, NarcoLeap
2017 –
Winnifred Jong, Tokens On Call
2018 –
Leah Cameron, The Communist’s Daughter
2019 – Ana de Lara, Best Friend Me
2020 – Sarah Deakin, Happenstance