Talent Lab

Talent Lab is a four-day intensive programme that offers artistic-development opportunities to emerging Canadian filmmakers. The programme provides participant filmmakers the opportunity to build networks in a creative environment and to learn from some of the most esteemed filmmakers and artists in the world.

Talent Lab filmmakers are provided with video-capture mobile phones by Motorola in order to experiment with mobile movie filmmaking first hand.

The Talent Lab initiative is run by Strada Films producers Sandra Cunningham and Brad Fox. Strada Films has produced works by some of Canada 's most notable directors, and is currently in production of the feature music documentary 27.

Congratulations to the 2008 Talent Lab participants:

Mark Adam (Montreal, QC), A.J. Bond (Vancouver, BC), Sean Carley (Toronto, ON), Matthew Cervi (Vancouver, BC), Chris Chong (Toronto, ON), Katherine Collins (Vancouver, BC), Mike Downie (Toronto, ON), Igor Drljaca (Toronto, ON), Tony Elliott (Toronto, ON), Larissa Giroux (Toronto, ON), Oliver Irving (Sevenoaks, UK), John Christou (Montreal, QC), Sami Khan (Sarnia, ON), Kris Lefcoe (Toronto, ON), Renata Mohamed (Brampton, ON), Lucie Pagé (Toronto, ON), Ngozi Paul (Toronto, ON), Tom Quinn (Philadelphia, USA), Marlene Rodgers (Vancouver, BC), Craig Wallace (Toronto, ON), Adrian Wills (Montreal, QC), Aonan Yang (Montreal, QC).

2008 Talent Lab Governors

Don McKellar was born in Toronto and is one of the most prominent figures on the Canadian film scene. His many acting credits include Bruce McDonald’s Highway 61 (91), which he also wrote; Gary Burns’s waydowntown (00); Thom Fitzgerald’s The Event (02); and Olivier Assayas’s Clean (04). He co-wrote the screenplays for François Girard’s Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (93) and The Red Violin (97), among others. In 2005, he wrote and directed the short films Phone Call from Imaginary Girlfriend: Istanbul and Phone Call from Imaginary Girlfriend: Ankara. He has received three Genie awards, including the Claude Jutra Award for direction of a first feature for Last Night (98), which also won the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival. His second feature, Childstar, played at the Festival in 2004. He recently wrote and starred in Fernando Meirelles’s Blindness (08).

Olivier Assayas was born in Paris, where he received his master’s degree in French literature and studied painting at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. He was a member of the editorial board for the influential film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma between 1980 and 1985 and has also authored several books. He has written several films, including André Téchiné’s Rendez-vous (84) and Le Lieu du crime (85). He began his prolific filmmaking career by writing and directing several short films including Copyright (79) and Winston Tong en Studio (84). His filmography also includes Désordre (86), L’Enfant de l’hiver (89), the 1992 Jean Vigo award-winner Paris s’éveille (91), Une Nouvelle Vie (93), L’Eau froide (94), Irma Vep (96), Fin août, début septembre (98), Les Destinées sentimentales (00), Demonlover (02), Clean (04), the short film Quartier des Enfants Rouges, which was part of the omnibus film Paris, je t’aime (06), Boarding Gate (07) and L’Heure d’été (08).

Stephen Woolley was born in London, England. He has been a film producer for twenty-five years, often working closely with the accomplished director Neil Jordan. His credits as producer include The Company of Wolves (84), Mona Lisa (86), Scandal (89) the Academy Award®-winning The Crying Game (92), Interview with the Vampire (94), Michael Collins (96), Backbeat (94), and The End of the Affair (99). His work has earned him numerous acclaimed awards and prestigious nominations, including winning the Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award from the Producer’s Guild of America for The Crying Game.  Woolley is also a former Chairman of the Film Committee of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.  Woolley’s recent productions that have screened at the Festival include Intermission (03), Breakfast on Pluto (05), his directorial debut Stoned (05) and When Did You Last See Your Father? (07). His most recent film as producer is the soon-to-be-released How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (08).

2008 Talent Lab Guests

Terence Davies was born in Liverpool. His first successes came with three short films, Children (76), Madonna and Child (80) and Death and Transfiguration (83), which were later combined and screened as a feature, The Terence Davies Trilogy (84). He went on to direct the acclaimed features Distant Voices, Still Lives (88), The Long Day Closes (92), The Neon Bible (95) and The House of Mirth (00). Of Time and the City (08) is his most recent film.

Samira Makhmalbaf was born in Tehran. She first became involved in cinema at the age of eight, when she appeared in The Cyclist (88), directed by her father, Mohsen. She later worked as an assistant director on his film The Silence (98). Her feature directing debut, The Apple (98), screened at the Festival in 1998. Her subsequent features, The Blackboard (00) and At Five in the Afternoon (03), received jury prizes at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000 and 2003, respectively. Two-Legged Horse (08) is her most recent film.
Deepa Mehta was born in Amritsar, India, and studied philosophy at the University of New Delhi before immigrating to Canada. Her feature debut, Sam and Me (91), received a special mention in the Caméra d'Or competition at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. After directing Camilla (94), she started on her elemental trilogy about India. She completed Fire (96) and Earth (98) before returning to Canada to make Bollywood/Hollywood (02) and The Republic of Love (03) while production on Water (05) was suspended due to protests. Heaven on Earth (08) is her most recent film.
Dorothee Wenner is a freelance writer and filmmaker living in Berlin. She is the director of the Berlinale Talent Campus, and has been on the selection committee for the International Forum of New Cinema since 1990. Her work includes the short film Hollywood Killed Me (88) and the feature Peace Mission (08).


Sponsored By:

Talent Lab participants receive support through the RBC Emerging Artist Bursary program.

Thanks to Skillset and NOW Magazine for their support.