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TIFF announces 2022 Rising Stars, Filmmaker Lab, and other Talent Development programme participants

TIFF announced today this year’s talent development programmes and participants, including TIFF Rising Stars, TIFF Filmmaker Lab, TIFF Series Accelerator, the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network Micro Talent Summit, TIFF Micki Moore Residency, and TIFF Talent Accelerator.

“There’s an explosion of new talent telling new stories and changing the creative landscape,” said Anita Lee, Chief Programming Officer, TIFF. “By providing participants with mentorship from industry professionals, access to insider knowledge, and tools to develop  their projects, TIFF aims to play a key role in supporting the most exciting new voices today who will shape the industry of the future. We’re thrilled to add two new initiatives this year ― TIFF Series Accelerator and the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network Micro Talent Summit ― to expand our support to even more creators.”

“Our Talent Development programmes make space for promising filmmakers and on-screen talent from around the world with diverse approaches to meet ― paving the way for innovation, mentorship, and collaboration ― all while fostering a sense of community and a safe space to take creative risks,” said Jane Kim, Industry Programming Producer.


The TIFF Rising Stars programme provides actors on the verge of making big waves on the international stage with an exclusive opportunity to experience and engage with the Festival. They will have access to professional development sessions, industry events, red carpets, mentorship, and valuable networking opportunities. All Rising Stars are featured in films in TIFF 2022 Official Selection. IMDbPro is proud to be the Media Partner for TIFF Rising Stars. The 2022 TIFF Rising Stars participants are:

Natalia Aranguren (Colombia/Canada), So Much Tenderness – TIFF Share Her Journey Fellow
Gabriel LaBelle (USA/Canada), The Fabelmans 
Isaiah Lehtinen (Canada), I Like Movies
Carmen Madonia (Canada), Something You Said Last Night – TIFF Share Her Journey Fellow
Thuso Mbedu (South Africa), The Woman King – TIFF Share Her Journey Fellow
Joshua Odjick (Canada), Bones of Crows
Aaron Pierre (United Kingdom), Brother
Choi Seung-yoon (South Korea), Riceboy Sleeps – TIFF Share Her Journey Fellow
Ty Simpkins (USA), The Whale 

Please see here for full bios and more information on the Rising Stars.


TIFF Filmmaker Lab provides 20 Canadian and international directors with an exceptional professional development experience at the Toronto International Film Festival and an introduction to the global community of filmmaking. Over a five-day period, participants will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from internationally acclaimed mentors and programme governors including Ramin Bahrani, Deepa Mehta, and Roger Ross Williams. The participants will also be joined by guest speakers that include Official Selection filmmakers Sally El Hosaini, Nikyatu Jusu, Cristian Mungiu, and Clement Virgo. Fellowships generously sponsored by Share Her Journey and For the Love of Film donors ensure that programme participants are given additional financial support to help them fulfill their creative vision. The 2022 TIFF Filmmaker Lab participants are:

Zhannat Alshanova (Kazakhstan) – TIFF Canada Goose Fellow
Nadine Gomez (Canada) – TIFF Jennifer A. Tory Legacy Fellow
Sis Gurdal (Turkey) – TIFF Every Story Fellow
Jayden Rathsam Hua (Australia)
Zarrar Kahn (Canada/Pakistan)
Aaron Lucas (Australia/Germany)
Miki Magasiva (New Zealand)
Isabelle Mecattaf (Lebanon/France) – TIFF Every Story People’s Fellow
Araya Mengesha (Canada)
Sophia Mocorrea (Germany/Argentina) – TIFF Canada Goose Fellow
Carol Nguyen (Canada) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow
Olive Nwosu (Nigeria/United Kingdom) – TIFF Share Her Journey Fellow in honour of Viola Desmond
Naishe Nyamubaya (Zimbabwe)
Melanie Oates (Canada) – TIFF Canada Goose Fellow
Mahsa Razavi (Canada/Iran) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow
Caleb Ryan (Canada)
Gavin Seal (Canada)
J Stevens (Canada) – TIFF Every Story Fellow
Nesaru Tchaas (USA)
D.W. Waterson (Canada) – TIFF Every Story Fellow

Please see here for full bios and more information on the Filmmaker Lab participants.


New this year, TIFF Series Accelerator, presented by Canada Media Fund, is a one-day intensive mentorship programme for four Canadian series-creator teams from underrepresented communities. 

“The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is happy to partner with TIFF and invest in a program that helps members of diverse communities develop new series,” said Tamara Dawit, VP of Inclusion & Growth, CMF. “Creating opportunities for diverse creatives to access mentorship, build skills, and grow their networks is critical to ensure that all Canadians’ stories have their time in the spotlight and can reach more audiences, both here at home and abroad.”

The selected series-creator teams receive tailored mentorship from industry professionals, refine their series pitches, and work towards developing a business plan for their projects. The 2022 TIFF Series Accelerator participants are:

Meher Jaffri, Mariam Zaidi (The Chosen One)
Jessica Landry, Hannah Johnson (Ghosts of Lakeland)
Abdul Malik, Shant Joshi (Salt)
Bianca Kenna, Shelby Manton (Thread)

Please see here for full bios and more information on the Series Accelerator participants.


As part of Share Her Journey, the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network supports a year-round program to advance the careers of women and non-binary alumni of TIFF Writers’ Studio. New this year, the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network Micro Talent Summit is a one-day intensive programme designed to inspire and support storytelling, by connecting the participants with leading industry professionals. The 2022 CHANEL Women Writers’ Network Micro Talent Summit participants are:

Abbesi Akhamie (Nigeria/USA)
Maggie Briggs (USA)
Yasmine Mathurin (Haiti/Canada)
Mayumi Yoshida (Japan/Canada)


The TIFF Micki Moore Residency programme was established to elevate and support women who are outstanding Canadian feature-film screenwriters. Each year, one writer is provided with the opportunity to work and be mentored in the heart of Toronto’s dynamic downtown district, so they may develop their feature-film screenplay. The Residency began as a five-year initiative in 2018, and is being generously supported by Toronto-based actor, journalist, and author Micki Moore, in response to TIFF’s Share Her Journey campaign. The 2022 TIFF Micki Moore Writer-in-Residence is Sarah Gadon.

Please see here for the full bio and more information on the Micki Moore Writer-in-Residence.


TIFF Talent Accelerator provides year-round mentorship to a select group of women who are emerging producers, directors, and screenwriters in Canada, with the goal of fast-tracking careers and projects. Talent Accelerator participants are supported by the Share Her Journey campaign, including ongoing support from the RBC Women Creators’ Initiative. The 2022 TIFF Talent Accelerator participants are: 

Carol Nguyen (Director) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow
Mahsa Razavi (Director) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow
Britt Kerr (Producer) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow
Alona Metzer (Producer) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow
Teyama Alkamli (Writer) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow
Berkley Brady (Writer) – TIFF Talent Accelerator Fellow

Please see here for full bios and more information on the Talent Accelerator participants.

Other guest speakers and mentors at this year’s Talent Development programmes include Sheila Atim, John Bain, Karla Bobadilla, Clea DuVall, Kate Hagen, Felicia Pride, Kiva Reardon, Trevor Rotenberg, Bird Runningwater, Sanjay Sharma, Samantha Starr, and Kevin Williamson.

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