Talent Lab

Talent Lab, which marked its 10th anniversary this year, is an intensive multi-day artistic development programme that provides emerging talent with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the world's best film artists.

Using the Festival's outstanding relationships with acclaimed filmmakers, Talent Lab leads participants in group discussions on a range of topics focused on the artistic side of filmmaking, ultimately sharpening the skills and confidence of a new generation of filmmakers.

Talent Lab 2013 took place September 4 through 7.

For more information on Talent Lab, please contact us at talentlab@tiff.net.
Congratulations to the 2013 Talent Lab participants!

Juan Andres Arango

  • Juan Andrés Arango was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He has lived and worked as a director of photography in The Netherlands, Spain, and Mexico. In 2006 he moved to Canada, where he started shooting and directing documentaries. His first feature film, LA PLAYA D.C.,  was part of the official selection at Cannes Film  Festival and was shown in 45 countries around the globe. He is currently developing his second feature, X QUINIENTOS, which will be shoot in Colombia, Mexico and Canada.

Jens Assur

  • Jens Assur (born 1970) is a world-renowned photographer and filmmaker whose debut film,  THE LAST DOG IN RWANDA, won numerous awards including the Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand and Best Film at Tribeca Film Festival. With his second film,KILLING THE CHICKENS TO SCARE THE MONKEYS, Assur pushed the envelope further with precisely thought-out aesthetics and a provocative narrative technique. The film premiered at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes 2011 and has received over 20 prestigious awards at international film festivals. Assur's third short, A SOCIETY, was in the official selection at Clermont-Ferrand 2013 and won the Jury Prize at Busan International Short Film Festival in South Korea. Assur lives and works in Stockholm.

Alexandre Auger

  • Alexandre Auger worked as a film editor before moving to screenwriting. Concerned by the the inequalities and the social injustices, he tries to reflect modern society through his stories. He wrote the short films GASPÉ COPPERAND PAS LA GROSSE SOPHIE (NOT FAT SOPHIE) and is currently working on his first feature films. 

Annick Blanc

  • Annick Blanc graduated from Film Production at Concordia University in 2004. She now works in Montreal as a director and producer led by a love of visually intriguing and innovative storytelling. Her short film Nowhere Elsewhere (2010) garnered 8 international prizes. She produced Surveillant (Yan Giroux - 2011), selected by the Sundance Film Festival, as well as acrobat (Eduardo Menz – 2012), which will premiere internationally at the Locarno Film Festival. She is currently writing North, her first feature script, while preparing to shoot her next short film, Turn off before Living, in Thailand next autumn

Valerie Buhagiar

  • An awarding-winning actor and filmmaker, Valerie began her career as a puppeteer before earning a scholarship to study acting at The George Brown Theatre School.  Her most recent theatre work includes We Are Not Afraid of the Dark  (one woman show, Frankfurt) and Peter and Valerie which she co-created at the National Theatre, UK.  As a filmmaker, her first short, "The Passion of Rita Camilleri" won 7 awards, and was the first of many to receive international acclaim.  Her most recent film, "Small, Stupid, and Insignificant," won best experimental film at the Female Eye Film Festival.  Valerie recently completed work as the lead role in the independent Canadian feature A Trip to the Island, and she is currently developing 3 feature scripts as a writer/director along with two new theatre pieces.

Naomi Jaye

  • Award winning director Naomi Jaye's roots in visual design bring a distinctive charm to her work that often focuses on the comedic side of human frailty. She has just completed her first feature film THE PIN, Canada's first Yiddish language feature film.

    Naomi is currently adapting Martha Baillie's Giller Prize Nominated Novel THE INCIDENT REPORT and developing WAXING POETIC, a musical set in the heart of Toronto.

    A graduate from the Canadian Film Centre's Director's Lab, Alumna of the Women in the Director's Chair Master Class, and recipient of the WIFT Kodak New Vision Mentorship, Naomi's films are frequent recipients of Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council Grants.

    It should also be noted that Naomi is the recipient of a bowling trophy engraved with 'Best Director' that sits on her mantle.

Jason Lapeyre

  • Jason's first feature, the gritty crime thriller COLD BLOODED, won Best Canadian Film at Fantasia 2012.  His second feature, I DECLARE WAR, was an official selection of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, won the Audience Award for Best Film at Fantastic Fest the same year, and will be released theatrically in 2013 by Drafthouse Films.  He has also directed a documentary feature about mental illness called FACELESS and produced the short film THE CAPTURED BIRD, which was Executive Produced by Guillermo del Toro.  His films have played in over 75 film festivals around the world and won prizes at over a dozen of these.  He is represented by APA in Los Angeles and Vanguarde Artists in Toronto.

Catriona MacInnes

  • From a background in theatre and performance Catriona went on to study filmmaking at Edinburgh Napier University. Her grad filmpremiered in competition at the 65th Venice International Film Festival in 2008, and was nominated for a Bafta New Talent Award the following year.  Her last short, A Cuillin Rising, premiered at the 55th BFI London Film Festival in October 2011 and was nominated for theBest New Short at London Short Film Festival. Catriona is now in development with her first feature film, Gift From God, following mentorship with Binger Film Lab's Mollie Stensgaard.

Aristotelis Maragkos

  • Aristotelis was born in 1985 in Athens. 
    After graduating from the department of Architecture in N.T.U.A. he decided to continue his studies at the London Film School. 

    He has written and directed several short films. In 2011 he won best newcomer award in Drama Film Festival 2011 with his film "If you have no place to cry". 

    He participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus 2013.

    He works as a director and production designer of short films and documentaries while preparing his first feature fiction film.

Shannon Masters

  • Shannon Masters' first produced feature, EMPIRE OF DIRT, directed by Peter Stebbings (Defendor), will begin its festival run in late 2013.

    Masters is a two-time recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Media Grant, first International Participant of the 2008 Tribeca All Accessprogram in New York, recipient of the Spring 2007 Praxis Centre for Screenwriters Fellowship, and graduate of the Canadian Film Centre's 2005 Film Resident Writer's Lab.

    A mixed Native-Canadian writer, her work encompasses both drama and comedy, deals with themes such as identity and self-worth, and shows real people finding their place in a modern world.

Byoung-Gon MOON

  • Born in Seoul, 1983, Byoung-Gon entered Chung-Ang University Film School in 2002 and graduated in 2011. Through his not-so-short school period he was able to experience a variety of different things within the film industry. He was invited to the Cannes Critics Week in 2011 for his graduation project FINIS OPERIS and in May 2013, received the Palme d'Or for his short film SAFE, the first time a Korean film has ever received this award.

Evan Morgan

  • Evan Morgan is a Toronto‐based writer, director, and bounty hunter. Both of his shorts, The Pedestrian Jar (2011) and A Pretty Funny Story (2012) premiered at TIFF, and the later recently won the Canal Plus Prize at Clermont‐ Ferrand. Evan is also the co‐writer/producer/editor of The Dirties (2013), a feature length drama that won the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival. It will be released in select cities this fall by Phase 4 and director Kevin Smith. His most notable bounty was Osama Bin Laden, as depicted in last year's Zero Dark Thirty, in which Evan was portrayed by Jessica Chastain.

Kareem Mortimer

  • Kareem Mortimer is a Bahamian filmmaker from the island of Nassau. Kareem's debut feature film Children Of God,which is one of of the first narrative features  from the English speaking Caribbean to deal with LGBT issues has won 18 awards and distributed in over 24 countries. Following this Kareem has directed the short  documentary SHE about transgender women living in the Bahamas.  Currently, he is in post-production of a short narrative film called Passage that is a precursor to his 
    follow up feature called Cargo.

Carlo Guillermo Proto

  • Raised in Quillota, Chile and Mississauga, Ontario, Carlo Guillermo Protois a Montreal based filmmaker whose work focuses on the unique interplay between identity and the human experience in relationship to issues of geography, ethnicity and perceived disabilities. Carlo's first feature length documentary, El Huaso, screened at over 30 international film festival after its 2012 premiere at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival. He is currently in production with his second feature length documentary,Resurrecting Hassan, which chronicles the lives of a Quebecois blind family with hopes of resurrecting their only son from the dead. Carlo is also in the process of developing his first feature length fiction script with Toronto based producer, Julia Rosenberg.

Deepak Rauniyar

  • Deepak Rauniyar's 2012 feature film debut, HIGHWAY, premiered at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, becoming also the first film from Nepal ever to screen at a major international festival. The film has screened internationally at festivals and universities such as Yale University, and opened the New York Museum of Modern Art's 2013 ContemporAsian, a series of contemporary Asian cinema and received a weeklong run at the Museum. His earlier short films CHAUKAITH (THRESHOLD) (2008) and POOJA (2010) were also screened internationally. CHAUKAITH was awarded a Special Jury prize at the Ahmedabad International Film Festival (2009). Previously joining the film, Deepak worked as a senior writer/ producer for the BBC World Service Trust (2007 – 2010), where he wrote and directed several award-winning radio dramas. He is a fellow of Berlin Talent Campus (2012), Asian Cultural Council New York (2013) and Toronto Talent Lab (2013). He is currently in final stage of development of his second feature film WHITE SUN (2014). 

Marialy Rivas

  • Film Director, her works include commercials, short films, video clips and TV series. Currently she works in Fabula, where she directed her first feature film called JOVEN & ALOCADA (Young & Wild), which was released in Sundance 2012, and was part of the Generation Section of Berlin International Film Festival.Young & Wild has been invited to many important festivals in 2012, and sold for distribution in European and American territories. Her first short film, DESDE SIEMPRE, won the FICS, after being bought by the Canal +España. In 2010, she directed the short film BLOKES, based on a story by Pedro Lemebel. BLOKES was produced by Fabula. The short film was released in the Official Competition of Cannes in 2010, selected for the festivals of Berlin, NYFF, Sundance, Miami IFF, Outfest, Newfest, Stockholm, among others, and distributed worldwide. In 2005, she was elected as "The best advertising film director" in "El Ojo  de Ibero América".

Anocha Suwichakornpong

  • Born in Thailand, Anocha Suwichakornpong graduated from an MFA film program at Columbia University, New York. Her thesis, "Graceland" became the first Thai short film included in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival (Cinéfondation). Anocha's first feature "Mundane History" received the Hubert Bals Fund from Rotterdam and Post-production support from Asian Cinema Fund (ACF). The film won six international film awards and was screened at film festivals worldwide including Rotterdam (Tiger Award Winner), Transilvania, Romania (Grand Prix), New Horizons, Poland (Grand Prix), Mumbai (Best Director). Mundane History was released in Thailand in 2010 and in France in 2013.

Musa Syeed

  • Musa Syeed's first feature VALLEY OF SAINTS, shot in Kashmir, won the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and Special Jury Prizes at the Mumbai and Dubai International Film Festivals. With his current features in development, he was selected for the Torino Film Lab, supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, and awarded second place in the San Francisco Film Society's Hearst Screenwriting competition

    Syeed previously co-produced/directed the docs "Bronx Princess" (Official Selection, Berlinale) and "A Son's Sacrifice" (Best Documentary Short, Tribeca). He also co-produced the interactive storytelling platform #30DaysRamadan.

Bassam Tariq

  • Bassam Tariq is an independent film director and editor. His first feature film, THESE BIRDS WALK (SXSW '13), will be released theatrically by Oscilloscope Laboratories and Kinosmith in November 2013. He is a Sundance Fellow and named Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2012.  His prior transmedia project, 30 Mosques in 30 Days, was named CNN's Top Newsmaker of 2010  and won the Brass Crescent Award in 2011. He lives in New York City with his wife. 

Grace Wang

  • Grace Wang is a writer, filmmaker and producer. She programmed for film festivals, authored a feature column on films and China, contributed to New York and BeiJing editions of World Films Locations books, and was one of Roger Ebert's Far-Flung Correspondents. Her first short film, I REMEMBER, premiered at 2013 Berlin International Directors Lounge and opened 2013 Ebertfest. Her second short, LONESOME TOWN, premiered at 2013 Scarborough Film Festival. Her upcoming narrative short,THE TRIP, is the winner of 2012 Toronto Reel Asian Pitch Competition. She has lived and worked in eight countries on three continents. In her spare time Grace wanders down strange roads, daydreams on public transport, and has a weakness for red shoes and good people.