August 8, 2019

WIFT-T at TIFF 2019

Almost 50% of TIFF's 2019 Canadian official selections are directed by women, including projects by WIFT-T members!

Congratulations to all members with projects selected for the 2019 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival! We're also proud of all the emerging filmmakers accepted into TIFF programs this year, many of whom are alumni of our professional development programming and special events.

TIFF 2019 runs from September 5-15. See the full lineup at Search for projects via these keywords: Female Director, Women in Film.

TIFF Filmmaker Lab

Karen Chapman (WIFT-T Showcase 2017 & 2019; Audience Choice Award, Walk Good, 2017; Best Screenplay Award, Lessons Injustice, 2019)

Karen is an award-winning filmmaker and an alumna of Emily Carr University, the Banff Centre, and the CaribbeanTales Incubator. In 2018, Playback named her one of five filmmakers to watch and she completed the Canadian Film Centre's Directors' Lab. In 2019, she received support from the Harold Greenberg Fund for her film Esequibo Rapture. Currently, Karen is preparing to shoot her first feature film, Village Keeper, through Telefilm Canada's Talent Fund. Also, you can catch the World Premiere of Karen's short film, Measure at the Festival.

Karen will also participate in TIFF Talent Accelerator—a customized, year-long development experience for promising Canadian female creators—along with past WIFT-T program alumni Jasmin Mozaffari (Development Incubator, 2016) and Shasha Nakhai (Ubisoft Producer Internship, 2014).

Telefilm Canada's Pitch This!

Lauren Grant, Lisa Rideout (WIFT-T Showcase 2018)

Along with Ashley Cooper, Lauren and Lisa are finalists for the 20th edition of Telefilm Canada's Pitch This! competition where they will pitch their documentary, What Night Taught Her, for a chance to win $15,000 towards project development. The competition will take place on September 8 at Glenn Gould Studio. What Night Taught Her is an intimate look inside Canada's first sex workers' rights organization and the people who run it. Delving into the ups and downs of three outreach workers' lives, the film reveals the harsh realities of a job that can mean the difference between life or death. See the full list of finalists here.

“We take so much pride in giving these up-and-coming Canadian storytellers a platform to tell an international audience of industry professionals about the films they mean to bring into the world, and in granting the winning team funds that often make the difference in bringing projects to completion.”

Jane Kim, TIFF Industry, Programming Producer

Short Cuts

56% of this year's lineup are projects from female filmmakers including the following WIFT-T members and program alumni:

  • Life Support, Renuka Jeyapalan (Kodak New Vision Mentorship Award, 2010)
  • Measure, Karen Chapman
  • No Crying at the Dinner Table, Carol Nguyen (member & 2018 DGC-WIFT Award winner, Reel Asian Film Festival)
  • Volcano, Karen Moore (produced by member, Alona Metzer; starring member, Hannah Cheesman)
"This year's Canadian Short Cuts selection includes a variety of works from women, people of colour, and Indigenous filmmakers, whose stories are sadly, frequently under-represented. It is an honour to bring these perspectives to our audiences."

Robyn Citizen, Short Cuts programmer

  • American Woman, Semi Chellas (WIFT-T Crystal Award winner, 2013); The film is produced by Christina Piovesan (Crystals, 2015), with Sally Catto (Crystals, 2014), and Sarah Gadon (Crystals, 2012) in the role of Pauline.
  • David Foster: Off the Record, Barry Avrich (Archival Producer, Elizabeth Klinck, WIFT-T member)
  • Tammy's Always Dying, Amy Jo Johnson (WIFT-T Showcase, 2015); Jessica Greco (WIFT-T Showcase 2018) stars as Kelly Seamus.

This post will be updated as more projects, events and presentations are announced. If you are a member participating in this year's Toronto International Film Festival as an official selection, program participant or speaker, please email to be added to this article.