imagineNATIVE Originals features the World Premieres of works commissioned through the Festival by new and rising Indigenous storytellers. These works are the result of imagineNATIVE partnerships with the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), Charles Street Video (CSV), and the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) and the New Brunswick Filmmakers Cooperative (NBFC), the iN Bullseye contest and the APTN/imagineNATIVE Web Series Open Call + Pitch Competition.

Mentorship Commissions

Through this program, imagineNATIVE and artist-run centres across the nation partner to provide in-kind training and production services, along with a commission fee, to selected recipients to develop their filmmaking skills, culminating in the creation of a new short work, up to ten minutes in length, that premieres at the Festival.

Currently these programs offer up to $5,000 in in-kind services from artist-run centres, a $1,000 commission fee to the artist, and an honorarium to an Indigenous mentor selected to assist the artist. Our partner organizations are Charles Street Video (Toronto), Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) in Toronto, Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF) in Calgary, and New Brunswick Filmmakers Cooperative (NBFC) in Fredericton. 


LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship

Now in its 15th cycle, provides production support and services to an emerging artist with their first 16mm film project.

Past Recipients:

Natasha Naveau, Menaptwi (Smoked) (2018)


CSV/imagineNATIVE Residency

The seventh iteration of the annual Residency that provides a mid-career artist support and skills development with new video-making technology.

Past Recipients:

Jonathan Elliot, Her Water Drum (2018)


April 26, 2019. Application details HERE.


CSIF/imagineNATIVE Mentorship

Now in its sixth iteration, this mentorship trains and supports emerging, Alberta-based Indigenous artists in the creation of a new work.

Past Recipients:

Chantelle Anderson. Chasing Tears (2018)


NBFC/imagineNATIVE Incubator

The fifth annual partnership with the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative, training emerging artists from the region in the creation of a new film.

Past Recipients:

Natasha Francis, A Prayer for the Lost (2017)

iN Bullseye Talent Search Contest


iN BullsEye

iN Bullseye is an Indigenous music talent search contest that seeks to nurture Canada’s newest music talent with unprecedented opportunities, including a $10,000 cash award, to turn their talent into a career and to work with and Indigenous director for their first music video. It is free to enter this contest. For full details visit:

Past Recipients:

Liv Wade, Mixed Blood (2018)

APTN/imagineNATIVE Web Series Open Call


APTN/imagineNATIVE Web Series Open Call

Indigenous Canadian creatives to learn how to develop and pitch web series projects professionally to industry decision makers for over $60,000 in production funding and in-kind services.

Past Winners:

Madison Thomas + Darcy Waite, Colour of Scar Tissue (C.O.S.T.) (2018) WATCH IT ONLINE NOW:

For more information, visit 2018’s call:

2019 Open Call: TBC


Success Stories

The impact of this program is clear with the first recipient of the LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship Program in 2007, Michelle Latimer, who realized through this opportunity that she wanted to pursue filmmaking, and not become a doctor. She most recently directed VICE's RISE series and is in post-production of the film adaptation of Thomas King’s An Inconvenient Indian.


Lead Partner