Celebrating National Screen Institute alumni at TIFF 2023!

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Apoorv Bhatt

Marketing Coordinator

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is back for its annual celebration of cinema. TIFF stands as one of Canada’s most esteemed film festivals, uniting storytellers from around the globe.

The 48th edition takes place from Thursday, September 7 to Sunday, September 17, 2023.

The festival will showcase a diverse array of contemporary films with works by National Screen Institute alumni, participants, faculty and associate faculty including Close To You (pictured) by producer Daniel Bekerman. See the lineup highlights below.

Feature films

In present-day Karachi, a medical student struggles to keep her family together while being stalked by forces she can’t entirely understand.

Producer: Anam Abbas (Access BIPOC Producers)

Sam (Elliot Page) has a chance encounter with an old friend (Hillary Baack) on his way home to a dreaded family reunion that forces him to confront long-buried memories. Still

Producer: Daniel Bekerman (NSI Features First)

Fitting In mines a traumatic, rare reproductive abnormality diagnosis for laughs and tears in director Molly McGlynn’s second feature film, starring Maddie Ziegler as a teen who must confront her new health reality.

Writer / director / executive producer: Molly McGlynn (NSI Drama Prize)

A week at a couples’ therapy retreat — where kids can explore the Pacific coast while their parents work on their issues — exposes the fractures in a biracial family, in Meredith Hama-Brown’s debut feature.

Executive producer: Randall Okita (NSI Diverse TV Director)

Fawzia Mirza’s stylish feature debut mashes up the textures of Indian cinema and a Canadian coming-of-age picture, tracing key moments in the lives of a mother and daughter born three decades apart.

Executive producers: Damon D’Oliveira (Telefilm Spark Plug); Anam Abbas (Access BIPOC Producers)


This comedy series from Sasha Leigh Henry shows what adulthood is like for a smart young Black woman reluctantly entering the workforce.

Executive producer: Mark Montefiore (NSI Totally Television)


At Camp fYrefly in rural Alberta, queer, non-binary, and trans teens get to just be kids in a supportive space, surrounded by counsellors who can relate to their experience ― and help them toast the perfect marshmallow.

Executive producer: Michelle Mama (Access BIPOC Producers)


Riveting performances by Kaniehtiio Horn and Ellyn Jade add further levels of tension and texture to Eva Thomas’s drama about two Indigenous women whose evening outing takes a dangerous direction.

Director: Eva Thomas (NSI Totally Television)

Industry conferences

Thousands of short films are made every year. What does it take to have a breakout in such a crowded landscape? And how can you use it to create momentum for your next project? Learn about the ins and outs of getting shorts made and seen ― and sold ― by programmers, buyers, and key decision-makers.

Guest: Inga Diev (NSI Drama Prize)

Two groundbreaking directorial voices, Nora El Hourch and Katja Gauriloff, join DIALOGUES to discuss their lauded official selection films Sisterhood and Je’vida. El Hourch unveils her riveting debut feature navigating the contemporary realities of girlhood in the era of #MeToo. Gauriloff’s second narrative feature is an intimate portrait of a Sami woman in the process of mourning her cultural identity. Together, the two filmmakers discuss their distinct approaches to filmmaking, the process of working with their actors, and tackling themes that are deeply resonant yet carry with them a strong sense of urgency.

Guest: Danis Goulet (NSI Drama Prize)

Hear from director and producer teams about the journeys they travelled, from their first steps with short films to developing and creating their first features. Learn about how they honed their scripts, found the collaborators and supporters they needed, and coped with the innumerable practical challenges while protecting their creative visions.

Guest: Anam Abbas (Access BIPOC Producers)

Using the Canadian crime thriller, Orah (2023), which was shot in Canada with a second unit shoot in Nigeria as a case study, the panelists will discuss the opportunities and challenges of collaborating across borders and the potential benefits of deepening connections between the two countries’ innovative and successful audiovisual industries.

Guest: Floyd Kane (NSI Totally Television)

Now in its 14th year, this competitive event is the last step in the nine-month CaribbeanTales Black Incubator and Studio Access Project (CTBISAP) and the CineFam Limitless Incubator, which champions the creativity of women and non-binary people of colour, which provides Black Canadian filmmakers market-driven training from concept through delivery and monetization to ensure their success in the film and television industry.

Mentor: Sudz Sutherland (NSI Totally Television)

CMPA Indiescreen Award nominees

TIFF provides a platform for screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, events, professional development and encounters with filmmakers from across the globe. See the full slate of films.

If we missed your participation at this year’s festival, please let us know.

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