LIFT and imagineNATIVE



Application Deadline: January 21st, 2019


 Are you an Indigenous filmmaker with a great idea for a 5-minute short film?

Celebrating 15 years of supporting independent Indigenous film, the LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship program welcomes you to explore 16mm filmmaking through the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto’s (LIFT) workshops, equipment and facilities (other mediums may be employed in addition to 16mm).

Shoot and edit your short film, with the guidance of LIFT staff and an Indigenous mentor, and see your film on the big screen at the 20th anniversary imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival from October 22–27, 2019 in Toronto!

The successful applicant will be provided with a LIFT Production Membership until the end of the imagineNATIVE 2019 Festival and will be eligible to enroll in any training workshop offered during LIFT’s Winter and Summer 2019 calendar (to a maximum $750 value).

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with LIFT’s knowledgeable staff and a specially selected Indigenous mentor to help with development, production and post-production.

imagineNATIVE will provide a $1,000 CAD bursary towards production costs. Assistance with other production support will also be provided, pending confirmation (in-kind, approximately a $750 value). All other associated costs are to be covered by the participant. The artist will also receive an artist fee for their screening during the imagineNATIVE 2019 Festival.

Please note: Projects must be realistic in scope and subject matter as they must be completed and transferred as a digital file by September 15, 2019.

The successful applicant will receive the opportunity to use LIFT’s extensive 16mm production equipment and facilities for their film. As every film is unique, equipment and facilities access will be established in the development phase (past equipment and facilities budgets have ranged from $500–$5,000). Any additional equipment, facilities, and production costs will be the responsibility of the participant.

Eligibility Criteria:

·       This call is open to Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, Inuit, other international Indigenous) candidates living in or near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) only

·       Preference will be given to artists who have not had the opportunity to work in film
(Note: you do not have to be a youth, but youth may also apply)

·       Candidates must commit to attending the LIFT training workshops from March–August 2019 We strongly encourage applicants who are deadline driven and self-starters.

·       You must live in Toronto or within commuting distance from the city in order to access LIFT workshops and equipment. Travel subsidy and cost of living are not covered by this mentorship.


Your Application Must Include:

·       One-page short film idea

·       A half to one-page statement on why you would like to participate and how you would benefit from this mentorship

·       A production schedule to meet the required final deliverables deadline.       
Note: Print quality film stills and final synopsis will be required by July 31, 2019 for publication in the imagineNATIVE catalogue and online

·       Your biography (no resumes or CVs please). Please be certain to indicate your past experience with film, video/digital and other artistic mediums, if any, and your Indigenous affiliation

·       How you found out about the mentorship program

·       Contact info, including email, mailing address and phone number

·       Email applications to


For any questions, please contact Adriana Chartrand at 416.585.2333 ex. 5 or


 The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 21st, 2019


About the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)

LIFT is an artist-run charitable organization dedicated to facilitating excellence in the moving image through media arts education and production resources. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist-residencies; and a variety of other services. Founded in 1981 by a small collective, LIFT has since grown to become one of the foremost centres of its kind globally.

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the largest international festival of its kind that celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media. The imagineNATIVE Institute, a department within the organization, also runs year-round professional development opportunities for Indigenous screen creatives, and hosts a series of industry relevant talks each Spring.


Each fall, the Festival presents a selection of the most compelling and distinctive Indigenous works from around the globe. The festival's screenings, parties, panel discussions, and cultural events attract and connect filmmakers, media artists, programmers, buyers, and industry professionals. The works accepted reflect the diversity of the world's Indigenous nations and illustrate the vitality and excellence of our art and culture in contemporary media. This year’s festival runs Oct. 22-27, 2019.