August Alumni Updates: More Films at TIFF, Industry News + Content to Watch

Posted: Sep 1, 2020

August saw a number of exciting industry updates for CFC alumni, including the election of the first female chair of the DGC Ontario, as well as funding from Telefilm Canada for alumni projects through their Production Program, Indigenous Stream and Talent to Watch Program. This month, we were also pleased to see that several alumni projects will participate in TIFF 2020 and other upcoming Canadian film festivals. Read on for the latest updates, as well as new alumni films and series to start watching.


A head shot of a woman smiling, sitting outside in front of a background of blurred trees

Tracey Deer

  • Tracey Deer, director of Beans, has been named the recipient of the TIFF Emerging Talent Award for 2020
  • Anna Fahr’s webdoc Migrant Mothers of Syria won the Audience Award and Jury Award at the inaugural Mimesis Documentary Festival in Boulder, Colorado
  • ICYMI: Last month, CBC Actors Conservatory alumna Annie Murphy was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Alexis Rose on Schitt’s Creek


Two young girls hold hands in a forest, with distressed looks on their faces


Toronto International Film Festival 2020
  • We’re so pleased that BEANS, directed by award-winning Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer, who co-wrote the script with alum Meredith Vuchnich, is headed to the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival for its World Premiere; BEANS is the 25th feature to be developed and financed for production with the support of CFC Features
  • Additionally, 23 CFC alumni are involved in 11 additional shorts and/or features in Official Selection at TIFF 2020; see the full list here
2020 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival Online

Catch the following alumni films participating in FIN 2020, which runs online from Thursday, September 17 to Thursday, September 24:

  • FallingDaniel Bekerman, producer
  • Little OrphansSherry White, executive producer; starring Andy McQueen
  • 4 North AJordan Canning, co-director
  • The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary SequelTrish Dolman, producer
  • No Ordinary ManAisling Chin-Yee,co-director/writer
  • Wharf Rats – starring Annie Briggs
  • StatelessJennifer Holness and Lea Marin, producers; Anita Lee and Sudz Sutherland, executive producer; Ben Fox, composer
  • There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace Laura Barrett, composer
  • Disco ApocalypseShelley Thompson, actor
  • Old DogAnn Marie Fleming, director
  • You Will Still Be Here TomorrowMichael Hanley, writer/director; Jonathan Watton, actor; Rebeka Herron and Heidi Tan, producers; Pauline Decroix, editor

DC Shorts Film Festival

  • Alumni short Liminal, which recently took home the award for Best Short at the 2020 Canadian Film Fest, is an official selection at DC Shorts Film Festival, which runs (online) from September 10-23, 2020; Liminal features the work of 7 alumni: Dan Abramovici (writer/director); Ali Mashayekhi (producer), Mike Reisacher (editor), Emily Piggford and Vladimir Alexis (actors), with music by Spencer Creaghan and Chris Reineck


A woman in a trench coat looks off to the side while holding a cell phone up to her ear

Emily Piggford in ‘The Sounds’

  • In Spinster, Gaby tackles her fears of loneliness as well as preconceptions of what it means for a woman to be single after her partner breaks up with her on her 39th birthday; written by Jennifer Deyell, produced by Marc Tetreault and William Woods, associate produced by Luke Black, edited by Simone Smith; now available on digital
  • Tito, the feature directorial debut from Grace Glowicki, which she also wrote and stars in is now available on digital and demand; Tito tells the story of a traumatized man who, paralyzed by fear of the outside world, seeks refuge in an abandoned house until the arrival of a cheerfully intrusive neighbor; and features involvement from Nicole Hilliard-Forde (associate producer), Aeschylus Poulos (executive producer), with music by Casey MQ
  • Catch Actors Conservatory alum Lovell Adams-Gray as Dru in Power Book II: Ghost, which picks up shortly after the earth-shattering events of POWER as Tariq St. Patrick grapples with a new world order: his father dead and his mother facing charges for the murder her son committed; premieres on STARZ Canada on September 6, 2020
  • Actors Conversatory alum Emily Piggford stars as Esther Ishikawa on relationship-driven thriller The Sounds, set to premiere on October 5 on CBC; directed by Peter Stebbings, with Christina Jennings serving as executive producer, this A Canada/New Zealand co-production tells the story of grieving wives, cheating husbands, epic embezzlement and historic crime, which collide to weave a complicated web in Pelorus Sounds, New Zealand
  • Trickster, which follows the story of an Indigenous teen struggling to keep his dysfunctional family above water when he starts seeing strange things that turn his already chaotic life upside down, will premiere this fall on CBC; featuring loads of alumni talent, including Tony Elliot (writer, executive producer), Zoe Hopkins (writer), Joel Thomas Hynes (actor), Matt Code (producer), Jennifer Kawaja (executive producer), Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith (co-producer), Todor Kobakov (composer) and Kye Meechan (editor)


Thumbnail of a song on Spotifyt

  • Wish U Were Here,” the new single from Slaight alum L CON (Lisa Conway)
  • Babycasey, the debut album from Slaight alum Casey MQ


  • Molly McGlynn has been named the recipient of TIFF’s Micki Moore Residency for 2020
  • The following alumni are among the 16 filmmaking teams and projects selected for 2020-2021 Talent to Watch Program:
    • Bitter Sweat: D.W. Waterson (director), Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs (producer)
    • Doug Find Rose: Grace Glowicki (director and writer)
  • Annie Bradley has been elected as the first female chair of DGC Ontario
  • Several alumni are involved in English-language feature films set to receive funding from Telefilm Canada under the Production Program, including:
    • BloodthirstyMichael Peterson, producer
    • Door MouseKyle Mann, producer
    • Indians in CowtownAnand Ramayya
    • InediaLiz Cairns, director and writer
    • KipkemboiLeonard Farlinger, producer
    • OrahAmos Adetuyi, producer
    • SweetlandChristian Sparkes, director and writer
    • The Incident ReportNaomi Jaye, director and writer
    • The Young ArsonistsSheila Pye, director and writer
  • Projects from alumnae Lori Lozinski, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Lisa Jackson and Lauren Grant have been selected for support from Telefilm Canada dedicated to funding Indigenous creators through the Indigenous Stream
  • Game Theory Films, launched by William Woods, has unveiled a new distribution fund aimed at supporting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour filmmakers
  • Principal photography on writer/director Bretten Hannam’s Wildhood began on August 12 in Windsor, Nova Scotia and will run until September 16; it is one of the first film productions in Nova Scotia to start up post-COVID-19; fellow alum Damon D’Oliveira will serve as executive producer
  • Montreal-based WaZabi Films has picked up worldwide sales rights (excluding Canada) to Tracey Deer’s feature debut Beans


Catch up on these hit alumni films, now available to watch on digital and/or demand:
  • CATCH AND RELEASE: from co-director Laurie Colbert and producers Rechna Varma and Jennifer Mesich
  • THINGS I DO FOR MONEY: from co-writer/director Warren P. Sonoda
  • A PERFECT PLAN: starring Actors Conservatory alum Gia Sandhu
  • HAMMER: from Christian Sparkes (writer/director), Joel Thomas Hynes (story by), Chris Agoston and Will Woods (producers), Alona Metzer (associate producer), Jeff Morrow (composer), and Jorge Weisz (editor)
  • THE REST OF US: directed byfrom Aisling Chin-Yee, produced by Emma Fleury and William Woods, executive produced by Damon D’Oliveira, with Mark Van de Ven as story editor and Brendan Brady as production manager/actor
  • STEALING SCHOOL: produced by Mark Sirju, executive produced by William Woods, edited by Graham Tucker, featuring Sugith Varughese (actor), with music by Virginia Kilbertus
  • EASY LAND: written and directed by Sanja Zivkovic, produced by Julie Strifler, executive produced by Matt Code, edited by Chris Mutton, with music by Casey MQ.
  • CASTLE IN THE GROUND: produced by Luke Black and William Woods, associate produced by Jennifer Mesich, edited by Jorge Weisz
  • RED ROVER: scored by current Slaight Music Resident Anthony Wallace
  • GIANT LITTLE ONES: written/directed by Keith Behrman, executive produced by Daniel Bekerman and co-produced by Lauren Grant is available to watch on Crave
  • BLOOD QUANTUM: from writer/director Jeff Barnaby, produced by John Christou, starring Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs
  • TAMMY’S ALWAYS DYING: from director Amy Jo Johnson, producer Jessica Adams, writer Joanne Sarazen, editor Bryan Atkinson and composer Casey MQ
  • SHE NEVER DIED: directed by Audrey Cummings
  • CANADIAN STRAIN: from writer/director Geordie Sabbagh
  • THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN: from alumnae co-writers and co-directors Kathleen Hepburn and ElleMáijá Tailfeathers and produced by Lori Lozinski
  • JAMES VS HIS FUTURE SELF:co-written/directed by Jeremy LaLonde and produced by Jordan Walker


Discover or rediscover the following alumni series:
  • GHOST BFF: from Katie Bird Nolan (producer)
  • QUEENS: directed by Pat Mills and edited by Maureen Grant (CBC Gem)
  • SNOWPIERCER: from showrunner Graeme Manson, featuring Actors Conservatory alumnus Matt Murray (Netflix)
  • #blackAF: features editing by Editors’ Lab alumna Christine Armstrong (Netflix)
  • THE ORDER: created by Dennis Heaton, with writing from alumni Shelley Eriksen, Rachel Langer, Jason Filiatrault, and starring Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs (Netflix)
  • AVOCADO TOAST: story edited by Annie Briggs, with music by Neil Haverty and Chris Reineck (OUTtvGo)
  • FUTURE HISTORY: from director and executive producer Jennifer Podemski and director Maya Inukshuk (APTN and CBC Gem)
  • CANADA’S DRAG RACE: Betty Orr as an executive producer and alum Jade Hassouné and Allie X as guest judges (Crave)
  • MOHAWK GIRLS: from co-creators Cynthia Knight (co-creator/executive producer/head writer/showrunner) and Tracey Deer (co-creator/executive producer/director) (CBC Gem)

Alumni! Do you have news to share? Want to update your alumni profile? Get in touch anytime at

Share this post: