The Wind's Thirst is among nine documentaries set to receive funding through Talent to Watch.

Nine Documentaries Receive Support from Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch Fund

Docs represent half of this year's selected projects

6 mins read

Nine documentaries are set to receive funding via Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program. The docs represent half of this year’s slate of 18 features supported through the program to bolster emerging talent. The full list of films will receive a total of $3.6 million in production support through Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund. Doc projects represent six of the provinces and territories: Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Quebec.

“Films from the Talent to Watch Program consistently shine a spotlight on emerging talent spread across the country,” said Julie Roy, Executive Director and CEO of Telefilm Canada, in a statement. “The opportunity we give to propel their careers as filmmakers and establish themselves amongst our nation’s vibrant film community is one we take pride in. This year’s selections present a dynamic range of cinematic gems, and we cannot wait to see the final product.”

This year’s slate draws from 126 applications through the English and French markets and the Indigenous stream. Projects were selected by a panel of internal and external assessors with an eye for creating “a balanced portfolio of productions that reflect a variety of genres, budgets and company sizes, regions of the country and points of view.” Audiences can also expect to see a wider range of experiences reflected in these stories as the projects expand linguistic representation with films told Spanish, Farsi, Wayuunaiki, Hungarian, Vietnamese, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, Punjabi, and Nehīyaw (Plains Cree) in addition to English and French.


The list of 2023 Talent to Watch projects is as follows:


A Cree Approach (Documentary)
Director/screenwriter: Tristin Greyeyes
Producers: Kaitlyn Redcrow and Tristin Greyeyes
Province:  British Columbia
Languages: English and Nehīyaw (Plains Cree)
Stream: Indigenous Stream
Partner organization: imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival


Autonomy & Dignity (Working Title) (Documentary)
Directors: Daniel Ennett and Frederick Kroetsch
Screenwriter: Daniel Ennett
Producer: Rebecca Campbell
Province: Alberta
Language: English
Stream: Industry Partner
Partner organization: Directors Guild of Canada


Blue Heron (Drama)
Director/screenwriter: Sophy Romvari
Producers: Ryan Bobkin and Sara Wylie
Executive Producer: Riel Roch Decter
Province: British Columbia
Languages: English and Hungarian
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Con Nhang I Enfants d’encens (Documentary)
Director/screenwriter: Eva-Loan Ponton-Pham
Producer: Marie-Michèle Cyr
Province: Québec
Languages: French and Vietnamese
Stream: Industry Partner
Partner organization: Hot Docs


El Padrote (Drama)
Director/screenwriter: Andrés Estrada
Producer: Irène Bessone
Province: Québec
Language: Spanish
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Foreigner (Horror)
Director/screenwriter: Ava Maria Safai
Producer: Nicco Graham
Province: British Columbia
Languages: English and Farsi
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Her Last Supper (Drama)
Director/screenwriter: Becca Willow Moss
Producers: Becca Willow Moss and Stephanie Chiasson
Province: Ontario
Languages: English
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Invisibles (Drama)
Director/screenwriter: Junna Chif
Producers: Leslie Dabit and Pierre Villepelet
Executive Producers: Laurent Allaire, Yanick Létourneau and Junna Chif
Province: Québec
Language: French
Stream: Industry Partner
Partner organization: Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema – Concordia University


Joan’s Kitchen Table: Stirring the Revolution (Documentary)
Director: Olesya Shyvikova
Screenwriter: Louise Delisle
Producer: Karim Kafafy
Executive Producer: Walter Borden
Province: Nova Scotia
Language: English
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


KUBANA (Documentary)
Director/screenwriter: Alunaya
Producer: Will Prosper
Province: Québec
Languages: English, French and Kinyarwanda
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Last Stop Video Rentals (Comedy)
Director/screenwriter: Eric Janvier
Producer: Megan Shott
Province: Alberta
Language: English
Stream: Indigenous Stream


Mute Out Sound (Documentary)
Director/screenwriter: Kenza Derkaoui
Producer: Stefan Supplice
Province: Ontario
Languages: French, English, and Arabic (Darija)
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Séga : la musique de l’océan Indien (Working Title) (Documentary)
Director/screenwriter: Vincent Toi
Producer: Guillaume Collin
Province: Québec
Language: French
Stream: Industry Partner
Partner organization: Main Film


Strong Son (Drama)
Director/screenwriter: Ian Bawa
Producers: Ian Bawa and Markus Henkel
Executive Producer: Kyle Bornais
Province: Manitoba
Languages: English and Punjabi
Stream: Industry Partner
Partner organization: TIFF, Winnipeg Film Group, and OnScreen Manitoba


The Snake (Dark Comedy)
Director: Jenna MacMillan
Screenwriter: Susan Kent
Producers: Sharlene Kelly
Province: Prince Edward Island
Language: English
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


The Wind’s Thirst (Documentary)
Director/screenwriter/producer: Alejandro Valbuena
Province: Ontario
Languages: Wayuunaiki, Spanish, and English
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Women of No Nation (Documentary)
Director/screenwriter: Diana Saqeb Jamal
Producer: Caroline Cox
Province/Territory: Northwest Territories and Alberta
Languages: Farsi and English
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Yo, We’re Dying… (Comedy)
Directors: Keisha Phoenixx-McLeggon and Jay Carolyn Wu
Screenwriter: Keisha Phoenixx-McLeggon
Producer: Fonna Seidu
Province: Ontario
Language: English
Stream: Filmmaker Apply-Direct


Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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