“If ever there was a time to empower young BIPOC Creatives, that time is now. It’s time we ended implicit bias and ushered in an era of conscious and open inclusion. As a first step of many in this direction, I’m announcing a $25,000 fund for two short films to be awarded to young BIPOC Creatives in partnership with BIPOC TV & FILM. I’m honored to give back through this amazing grassroots organization, whose infrastructure and resources make sure BIPOC Creatives no longer feel alienated and lends a powerful voice to their dreams. The “Reel Work” starts now!”
~ Vinay Virmani
BIPOC TV & FILM x Vinay Virmany
The Reel Work Filmmaking Initiative
2 BIPOC Filmmakers
2 Short Films
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vinay on this Reel Work initiative. Vinay has lived experience navigating a system that often dismisses and devalues stories from BIPOC voices. His investment in emerging BIPOC filmmakers, to be the change he wants to see, is inspiring. We are in a moment of unprecedented change in the industry and we are heartened by the alliances being forged.”
~ Nathalie Younglai, Founder of BIPOC TV & Film
What we're looking for:
We are in search of two short films from BIPOC-identifying creatives that can be springboards for a future feature film or TV series. These short films will act as their creators’ calling card.
We are also paying close attention to the feasibility of the films. For example, the closer to camera a project is, the better. We are aware that physical distancing measures related to COVID-19 have complicated productions. As such, we are in search of projects that propose effective and attainable measures to maintain the safety of their cast and crew members.
Primary applicants must be:
18 years old or older
Canadian citizens or permanent residents only
The writer, director, and/or producer of the submitted project. Primary applicants can hold more than one title on the project (e.g. writer & director)
Creative Team Requirements:
Canadian citizens or permanent residents only
2 out of the 3 of the key above-the-line creative positions (i.e. writer, director, producer) must be filled by BIPOC-identifying folks
At least 2 of the 3 key above-the-line creative positions (i.e. writer, director, producer) must be filled at the time of submission, one of which must be a producer.
Must have full ownership of underlying rights
One primary candidate* must submit a package for their project, all in PDF format. Incomplete submission packages will automatically be disqualified. The following materials must be included in your package:
Letter of intent (max 1 page)
Script (max 12 pages)
Topsheet of budget (see ‘Budget’ section in the full guidelines for more details)
Key creatives attached (writer, director, producer) - bios (max 200 words each), CVs, and email addresses.
Pitch deck (max 5 pages), which must include the following:
Synopsis (500 word max.)
Director’s statement: vision, why them, what makes them the right person to be telling it (700 word max.)
Visual treatment (outlines the visual aesthetic of the film, any visual motifs, the colour palette, etc.)
Outline of the production’s COVID-19 related safety measures (max 1 page, see list of resources below)
Submission release form, signed by the primary candidate
You may also include up to 2 additional supporting materials:
*While only one film per primary applicant can be submitted, primary applicants can be involved in more than one submitted project (e.g. writer of one submitted project, director of another submitted project).
Here are a list of resources for COVID-19 related safety measures:
Conditions of Application
By submitting an application, the primary applicant warranties that all collaborators listed are aware of and agree to collaborating on the proposed short film.
Though it is not required to submit a written agreement between these parties, Reel Work reserves the right to request such a document at any point throughout the process
Applicants must, to the best of their abilities, provide current contact information for ALL members of the above-the-line creative team. This includes the writer(s), director(s), producer(s), and any other key personnel.
*Only successful applicants will be contacted.
Link to submit below
The winning short films will be selected by an esteemed jury of BIPOC filmmakers and creatives:
The Jury’s deliberation will be confidential, with packages only being shared amongst jury members and Reel Work’s program lead.
Jury members will only be providing feedback to the winning candidates.
Writer and Director
Writer, Director, Producer, and BIPOC TV & Film Visioning Committee Member
Producer and Chief Content Officer at Uninterrupted
Writer, Director, Producer, and Founder of BIPOC TV & Film
Director of Content Programming at TikTok Canada
Each winning project will receive $10 000 CAD from Reel Work. Mentorship, private workshops, in-kind equipment packages, and other forms of support will also be supplied to the selected projects, coordinated and negotiated by Reel Work after selections.
For comments and questions related to these guidelines, please contact our program lead Jackie Batsinduka at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am based in Canada, but not Toronto. Can I apply?
Yes, any productions based in Canada are eligible for this fund.
I am a POC and fill 2 out of the 3 key creative positions (i.e. writer, director, producer). Is the 3rd creative position required to be filled by someone BIPOC?
No. 2 out of 3 key creative positions must be filled by someone BIPOC, but those positions can be filled by the same person. For example, a short film that is written and directed by a BIPOC identifying individual and produced by a non-BIPOC identifying person is eligible.
As a primary applicant, can I be involved in more than submitted project?
Yes, primary applicants can be involved in more than one submitted project (e.g. producer of one submitted project, director of another submitted project), but they can only be the primary applicant for one submission. Note that the primary applicant will be the one receiving the funds if they win, so keep that in mind if the primary applicant of one of your submitted projects is not a producer.
Can I submit a documentary project?
Yes, fiction and nonfiction projects of any genre are eligible.
I’m still in the process of getting my permanent residency in Canada. Can I still apply?
Yes, so long as you are able to work in Canada for the duration of your production.
Is there an age limit for applicants?
Applicants must be 18 years old or older.
Is a certain number of previous credits required to apply?
No previous credits are required, although past experience/credits will be taken into account when determining the feasibility of applicants’ proposed short films.
Since Reel Work will help coordinate in-kind-equipment donations, should I still include a budget for equipment in my top sheet?
Yes. In-kind donations will all depend on where the winning projects will be shot and what each winning project needs. We want to know exactly what your project would need to be made so that if you win, we can negotiate relevant donations on your behalf.
Must I use the downloadable budget topsheet template when making my topsheet?
No. The budget template on the Reel Work page is more a guide for those who may not be as familiar with making production budgets. But any and all applicants are free to use/modify it or any other template for their submission.
Must my crew and/or cast be union?
Applicants are free to employ both union and non-union cast and crew. It is the responsibility of the applicants to respect any union agreements, communicate with union representatives, and deal with all union-related needs for their productions.
Can I submit my submission package in French?
We are only accepting submissions packages in English at this time, with the exception of scripts. Scripts can be submitted in French, and it is not required to include a version translated to English.