NSI Features First

Presented by the National Screen Institute in association with Telefilm Canada

Application deadline

NSI Features First is taking a short hiatus while we retool the curriculum, explore our funding model and new partnerships, and make important upgrades.

NSI’s mission has always been to deliver training that is current, relevant and of the highest standard. In that spirit NSI Features First will undergo a re-design before we issue the next call for applications to ensure we continue to meet the needs of an evolving industry.

What is NSI Features First?

Read the full course information.

NSI Features First is a renowned development training launch pad for producer/writer teams looking to produce their first or second feature film with strong commercial appeal. It is NOT necessary to have a director attached to the project. Teams meet with top-level experts throughout the program and receive a cash award towards the final development and packaging of their feature film project.

Check out the webinar below with program manager Shelly Quade and program grads Kyle Rideout, Josh Epstein and Trinni Franke who share their knowledge, tips and advice about the course.

Success stories

The course gets results. Since 1997, when we launched NSI Features First, over 20 feature films have been produced.

  • Level 16, writer/director Danishka Esterhazy
  • SuperGrid, producer Hugh Patterson, writer Todd McCauley
  • Venus, producer Joe Balass, writer/director Eisha Marjara
  • Adventures in Public School, writer/producer Josh Epstein, writer/director Kyle Rideout
  • The Sun At Midnight, writer/director Kirsten Carthew
  • Two 4 One, writer/director Maureen Bradley
  • The Dark Stranger, producer Glen Wood, writer/director Chris Trebilcock
  • Bang Bang Baby, writer/director Jeffrey St. Jules
  • I Declare War, writer/director Jason Lapeyre
  • Every Emotion Costs, producer Joseph Mansourian, writer/director Darlene Naponse
  • Foodland, writer/director Adam Smoluk
  • Love and Other Dilemmas, producer Clare Hodge, director Larry Di Stefano, writer Deborah Peraya
  • Fetching Cody, producer Carolyn Allain, writer/director David Ray
  • 7 Times Lucky, producer Liz Jarvis, writer/director Gary Yates
  • On the Corner, producer Wendy Hyman, writer/director Nathaniel Geary
  • Goldirocks, producer Lisa Hayes, writer/director Paula Tiberius
  • Flower and Garnet, producer Trish Dolman, director/writer Keith Behrman
  • Leaving Metropolis, producers Ken Mead, Paul Stiles, director/writer Brad Fraser
  • Inertia, producer Brendon Sawatzky, director/writer Sean Garrity
  • Turning Paige, producer Carolyn McMaster, director/co-writer Robert Cuffley, writer Jason Long
  • My Father’s Angel, producer David Bouck, co-executive producer Trevor Hodgson, director Davor Marjonovic, writer Frank Borg
  • Violet, producer Mary Sexton, director/writer Rosemary House
  • The Bend, writer/director Jennifer Kierans (developed in part through NSI Features First)

How much does it cost?

  • $100 application fee per team.
  • $1,500 tuition fee per team member if your team is selected.

When does it take place?

NSI Features First is a 10-month training course. The week-long, phase 1 training session takes place in Toronto in February 2019.

Teams that successfully move on to phase 2 will attend a second four-day training session in April (producers) and June (writers) 2019 (dates TBC).

Who are the NSI Features First faculty?

Read about the faculty.

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NSI Features First is funded by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Super Channel, Corus Entertainment and Breakthrough Entertainment; Provincial Sponsor Creative BC through the Daryl Duke and William Vince Scholarship Fund; and Industry Supporters William F. White and Deluxe. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.