The deadline for the NSI Features First
program. It's a part time training and mentorship program for teams of emerging writers, directors and producers with a project they'd like to refine. It's not an award -- it doesn't pay -- but thirteen features have been produced since the program started in 1997, or almost one a year. That's pretty good.
The catch is that all three participants have to be a little bit experienced, but not too experienced. The producer must have "production or craft experience" but cannot have made more than one feature in a producing capacity. The director must have directed several short dramas, but can't have directed more than one feature. The writer can't have more than one produced feature film credit.
It's fairly hard to find three competent people on the knife's edge between being up to making a feature, and not having made more than one feature. And if I'm a first time director (as I hope to be), I don't want a first time producer. I want a highly experienced producer.
There are all sorts of training, mentorship and grants programs up here in Canada, all with their own particular cutoffs. For example SODEC's Jeunes Créateurs program helps filmmakers under 36. That's a little more tendentious of a cutoff: some filmmakers are quite experienced at 30, while many, particular women, may have come from another career and are "baby" writers/directors/producers at 40. But if you're trying to help emerging artists, you have to define some sort of cut-off, I guess.
Labels: breaking in