The Norman Jewison Film Program - Directors' Lab

2021 PROGRAM DATES

    PROGRAM START:

    January 2021

    PROGRAM END:

    July 2021

      *2022 program application dates are to be determined. To receive email notifications regarding key program dates, please SIGN-UP HERE.*
Overview
Program Design
Apply

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Directors’ Lab is one of four labs in The Norman Jewison Film Program. It is a 5 1/2-month, full-time program that offers a productive and immersive creative and business experience for up to five (5) directors a year.

We celebrate and champion a director’s original voice and perspective. We offer a deep dive into artistic expression and process, from development right through to delivery. We focus on strengthening a director’s technical, business and collaborative skills, across a number of projects, both on and off the floor.

Voice, cinematic storytelling and collaboration are key pillars.

The Directors’ Lab affords participants the opportunity to:

  • Strengthen their dramatic, cinematic and technical storytelling skills
  • Engage in the entire script-to-screen process
  • Work with actors to nurture strong onscreen performances
  • Build a greater understanding of the professional screen industry
  • Increase their confidence leading a team of creative collaborators
  • Establish strong professional and creative partnerships
  • Develop a body of onscreen projects; package projects for the marketplace
  • Define what their unique offerings are within the marketplace

Ultimately, the Directors’ Lab exposes directors to many perspectives and constant practice. The more directors experience working within different frameworks, with different creative and business partners and with different narrative material, the better equipped they will be to navigate, adapt and engage with the marketplace.


ELIGIBILITY

This program is designed for emerging/mid-level directors who are committed storytellers and looking to build strong creative relationships with other onscreen creators. We are looking for directors who have:

  • Produced onscreen work as directors
  • A distinct cinematic voice and strong creative instincts
  • A feature project that is aligned with their creative vision
  • A desire to create and a commitment to work as a director within a professional artistic framework

We are looking for directors who bring different points of view, different types of projects, and different experiences and skills to the table. Directors can have experience in grassroots independent filmmaking, documentary, commercials, music videos, or can be transitioning from other creative roles in the onscreen industry.

Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.


TUITION & FEES

Tuition and bursary information for 2022 program labs is to be determined, and will be posted in advance of the application window.

Please note that there is a $100.00 application fee via PayPal for all applications to The Norman Jewison Film Program.


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact programs@cfccreates.com.

Program Design

The Directors’ Lab is an immersive conservatory-like forum focused on the creative, collaborative, practical and business aspects of directing. Directors often have different goals/trajectories coming into and upon leaving the program, so we focus on helping them realize their individual potential by taking a customized approach to deliver on each director’s needs.

Throughout the Directors’ Lab, directors exercise their cinematic storytelling skills and their ability to execute through continued engagement in the script-to-screen process. Directors hone their creative process and develop what makes them and their projects distinct through the following:

CREATIVE & COLLABORATIVE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

A series of workshops, case studies and complex production exercises that expose directors to a variety of perspectives and approaches to the narrative script-to-screen process. Directors put into practice their ability to work with actors, maximize the cinematic potential of a scene, articulate their creative vision from development through production/post, and lead a creative team.

BUSINESS OF DIRECTING & THE MARKETPLACE

Directors meet with producers, distributors, funders, production/post and other industry professionals to gain a better understanding of the wider screen-based industry. Bridging the gap between a director’s creative aspirations and the business of filmmaking, experts and mentors share knowledge, coaching and feedback on each director’s feature project, slate and larger career strategy.

SHORT FORM & FEATURE PROJECT ACCELERATION

Directors come into the program with a primary feature project and project slate that support their voice. Through the Lab they work to identify and articulate the distinctive elements of these projects. These projects and slates can include dramatic features, documentaries, shorts, TV or web series, VR or AR projects, etc.

Directors also produce a short film in the Lab, which champions their original voice and acts as a calling card for their primary feature project, or wider project slate. Directors will leave the Lab with a fully realized festival-ready short film that speaks to their distinct voice.


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact programs@cfccreates.com.

Apply

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

PART 1: COMPILED PDF

As part of the online application form, you will be asked to upload a single PDF file comprised of each document listed below in their respective order. Be sure to include your full name at the top of each page, as well as the title of the document.

1. LETTER OF INTENT (ONE PAGE)

This is our introduction to you! Please include a description of what your immediate and long term goals are as a director. How might the lab specifically help you advance your craft and/or primary project?

2. RESUME/ CURRICULUM VITAE

A current and brief account of your previous work experience, education, and qualifications.

3. FILMOGRAPHY

Please include a list of all your produced onscreen work. This should include any applicable credits you have as a director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer, etc. Please include the year the project was produced, along with any other key creatives involved. Only produced projects should be included.

4. FEATURE PROJECT SYNOPSIS (MAX 500 WORDS)

A brief description of the primary project you are most keen to develop/workshop during the Lab. Please include a summary of the plot, major characters and story points, as well as any development history (if applicable).

5. FEATURE PROJECT ARTIST STATEMENT (MAX 500 WORDS)

Why are you interested in telling this story and why now? What is your connection to the material? Please share your creative vision for this project and how you plan on realizing the piece cinematically.

6. PROJECT SLATE

A rundown of all film, television, documentary and web projects you are interested in exploring that have not yet been produced. Please include a brief synopsis (one paragraph per project), including genre, stage of development, funding history and key creatives (if applicable). Please include your primary feature project outlined above in your project slate.

7. TWO LETTERS OF REFERENCE

Letters from two people who are familiar with your work as a director. The letters should emphasize your proven commitment to your craft and be addressed to the ‘Directors’ Lab Selection Committee.’ These can be uploaded with the application, or emailed by the referee to programs@cfccreates.com.

PART 2: VISUAL SUPPORT MATERIALS

Visual support materials submitted should showcase your directing talent, demonstrating the strength of your vision as well as your ability to tell a compelling story. This can include film, TV, doc, web, commercials, and/or music videos.

All materials submitted for review must be in their entirety, including shorts and/or feature films (please do not submit demo reels, clips or trailers). If submitting multiple works, please compile them into an album/ playlist in order of preferred viewing.

Please note that at any time during the selection process, we may request additional materials.

To accompany your visual support materials, you will be asked to provide a summary of your submission. Please provide short synopses (1-2 sentences) of all visual support materials. Include the year produced, running time and a list of key creatives credited on each piece (writer, director, producer, editor), production/post-production status and distribution status (any festival/broadcast/online to date).


SELECTION PROCESS

APPLICATION

Please review the application requirements in advance of submitting.

All applicants will be notified via email of their application status.

Due to the high volume of applicants, feedback will only be offered to shortlisted applicants.

INTERVIEW

A selection committee comprised of industry professionals and key program staff is assembled to create a shortlist of applicants who will be selected for an interview.

Prior to the interview, we will put you in touch with a recent alumnus or alumna to answer any questions you have about the program design and expectations.

The interview is structured as a conversation with the filmmaker and is intended to assist the committee in determining which candidates will best contribute to, and benefit from, the program’s design.

Whenever possible, the CFC sets up in-person interviews with those applicants based outside of Ontario. At a minimum, phone interviews are arranged.

Applicants selected for the program are contacted shortly after interviews. 


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact programs@cfccreates.com.

Applications for this program are closed.