Call for applications: RBC Emerging Indigenous Filmmaker Award

RBC Emerging Indigenous Filmmaker Award
Rachel-Young

Rachel Young

Outreach and Engagement Lead

Are you an emerging Indigenous filmmaker looking to fund a current or upcoming project, gain additional training or further your career?

RBC has unveiled a new award aimed at supporting the career and talents of an emerging Indigenous filmmaker in Canada.

Through the RBC Emerging Indigenous Filmmaker Award, powered by the National Screen Institute, one recipient will be awarded $7,500 and two hours of mentorship and advice from acclaimed filmmaker and award advisor, Sonya Ballantyne.

Sonya is a Swampy Cree writer, director and sensitivity consultant based in Winnipeg. She is the founder and creative director of the film production company Code Breaker Films. Her work focuses on Indigenous women and girls in non-traditional film genres.

“Representation behind the camera is just as important to me as representation in front of the camera,” said Sonya. “I am very excited to take part in this process and look forward to working with the award recipient!”

This award is for a filmmaker who has an inspired vision for their project and / or career. Applicants must explain their career goals, what inspires them and how this financial support will help them as they launch their career, develop their project or build on their skills.


Applications are now open. Read more about how you can apply.


“At RBC, we are committed to supporting the voices and careers of Indigenous creators,” said Kim Ulmer, RBC Regional President, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut & Western Ontario. “Through this award, we hope to not only provide the recipient with financial support, but also the opportunity to build on their career as a filmmaker. We are thrilled to partner with the National Screen Institute as we share this award with Indigenous creators from across Canada.”

Applications are capped at a maximum of 75. An external industry selection committee will choose 25 applicants for a shortlist. A second selection committee made up of independent screen professionals and the award advisor will then select five candidates for an interview via phone or video call.

Once selected, the recipient will be announced and celebrated online through a series of activities which may include a podcast interview, spotlight article on nsi-canada.ca, paid social media posts and more.

Indigenous filmmakers in Canada aged 18 or over who self-identify as emerging are encouraged to apply. Application deadline is October 14 at 5 p.m. Central Time.

This award is funded by RBC Emerging Artists.

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About RBC Emerging Artists

RBC Emerging Artists honours the past and looks to the future, reaffirming our commitment to listen, take action and continue the reconciliation journey. We will always stand for Indigenous inclusion and prosperity — now and for all generations to come.

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About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Propelled by a visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, board members and staff, the National Screen Institute supports creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories. Through industry-informed training and mentoring in film, television and digital media, students and alumni find their voice and place on the global stage, inspiring us to shape a better world.

We are committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+), people with disabilities, those outside large urban centres, those from regional and remote areas and various religious groups.

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Rachel Young, Outreach and Engagement Lead


The National Screen Institute is supported by: Core Funders: Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactors: TELUS, Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund (CMF), Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE); Patrons: CBC, Creative Saskatchewan; Builders: APTN, TikTok Canada, Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), The Winnipeg Foundation; Indigenous Training Programs Partner: Directors Guild of Canada; Strategic Sponsors: Manitoba Film & Music, Bell Media, RBC Emerging Artists, documentary Channel, CBC Gem, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD), Alberta Film Commission, Manitoba Arts Council; Industry Partner: National Film Board of Canada; Friends: Ontario Creates, Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), Bell Fund, Stantec, William F. White International, Company 3.