In harnessing the power of philanthropy to support emerging filmmaking talent, the Talent Fund is shaping the future of entertainment.
The Talent Fund is a private donation fund dedicated to the discovery, development, and promotion of Canada’s next generation of emerging filmmakers and content creators through Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program. It relies on philanthropic donations from corporations, along with the generosity of individual donors from across the country. It was created by Telefilm in 2012 as a way of diversifying the industry’s sources of financing.
Sandi Treliving, Advisory Committee Chair of Talent Fund
Supporting emerging talent in a competitive industry
By supporting the production of first feature films, the Talent Fund has a direct impact on the health and economic prosperity of the Canadian audiovisual industry, while generating significant financial benefits for the entire cultural sector.
“The Talent Fund has produced more than 150 projects since its inception and has raised over $17 million to date,” says Sandi Treliving, Talent Fund’s Advisory Committee Chair. “Those funds support up-and-coming directors, writers, and producers.”
By supporting emerging filmmakers and their productions, the Talent Fund directly encourages and stimulates Canada’s thriving audiovisual industry. It also plays an active role in supporting new voices in the film industry. “We provide opportunities for new talent to break into a competitive scene,” says Treliving.
Giving a voice to creators from underrepresented communities
A passionate mental health advocate, Treliving is a director on the CAMH Foundation Board and a founding funder of womenmind, a new CAMH initiative that supports female scientists researching women’s mental health. She has an innate understanding of the power of supporting and encouraging people to tell their stories.
“We get to hear stories from all different corners of this beautiful country, and we’ve been successful in support of women and filmmakers from underrepresented communities including the Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and LGBTQ2S+ communities,” she says. “Filmmakers from Talent to Watch are the future of entertainment.”
For Treliving, it all comes down to the power of storytelling. “It’s all about the stories of our shared human experiences,” she says. “That’s what connects Canadians from coast to coast.”
And Canadian filmmakers are desperate to share their stories with the world. “They need encouragement, financial support, and someone to believe in them,” says Treliving. “I’m proud to be associated with CAMH and the Talent Fund, as they each are highly-respected Canadian institutions that focus on the universal need to create connection, enhance compassion, and inspire change, in their own way.”