Industry: TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award

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TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award

Applications are now closed. The winner will be notified in April 2024.

The TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award was created to support Canada’s emerging screenwriting talent and to fund the development of great Canadian screenplays. The Award provides $15,000 to a Canadian writer of an outstanding feature-film screenplay as well as mentorship opportunities, supporting them to develop their project.

The Award is open to all screenwriters who are from equity-deserving communities. Applicants must also have a writer or director credit on a feature film that has been presented at one of this Award’s recognized festivals.

Our commitment is to fund the development of high-quality productions that reflect, represent, and reframe diverse perspectives through character-driven stories at the centre of the Canadian experience.

The winner of the 2023 Award is Yasmine Mathurin, for her screenplay Sorry Pardon Madame.

Previous winners:

  • 2022: Boris Rodriguez, Zoila and Andy
  • 2021: Melanie Jones, Switchback
  • 2020: Elyse Friedman, The Relationship Experiment
  • 2019: Tracey Deer and Meredith Vuchnich, Beans
  • 2017: Jorge Manzano, The Strike

What’s Included

  • A $15,000 award for the development of the submitted feature-film project
  • Mentorship from a script consultant
  • Mentorship from TIFF’s programming team
  • One-on-one meetings with CBC Films and CBC Scripted Series Teams
  • Peer to Peer mentorship with a creator currently working, or who has worked in the past, with CBC Films
  • A complimentary one-year TIFF Membership, which includes discounts on film tickets at TIFF Lightbox
  • Access to the 2024 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Access to TIFF’s Industry Conference, Business Centre, and Delegate Resources.


Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a resident of Canada who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be over the age of majority in their province or territory of residence
  • Have received a writer or director credit on a short or feature film that has screened in Official Selection at one of the recognized festivals on this list
  • Demonstrate ownership of all underlying rights to their submission

The Award is open to all screenwriters who are from equity-deserving communities.

Key Dates

Applications open
November 27, 2023
Applications close
January 8, 2024
Winner notified by
April 2, 2024
Winner announced
April 17, 2024

Submission Guidelines

Submissions must be original works in English, written solely by the applicant. Adaptations of books, plays, or magazine articles are eligible, provided the applicant has secured the necessary legal rights. There is a limit of one submission per applicant.

In order to be considered for the Award, the applicant must submit all of the materials listed below via the online application by 11:59pm EST on January 8, 2024:

  1. The project title
  2. The genre
  3. The intended target audience (one sentence)
  4. A completed online Application Form, with digital signature
  5. A completed online Submission Release Form, with digital signature
  6. The project that is being submitted for consideration. Submissions must be in the form of an 85- to 120-page feature-length screenplay in “script format standard.” The cover page should include only the project title and no other identifying markings.
  7. A short synopsis that encapsulates the story and does not exceed 60 words
  8. The proposed production budget (approximate) + projected production timelines
  9. Any key attachments in place, e.g. director, producer, and/or any proposed cast
  10. Information on confirmed sources of financing (if applicable)
  11. A short statement of no more than 150 words that outlines the progress of the project to date, identifying the current challenges and the approach that will be used to explore these challenges in the next stage of development. Please also outline distribution goals.

Terms and Conditions

Applicants should carefully read the Terms and Conditions set out on the application form on FilmFreeway and abide by these.

Contact us by email at

CBC Films supports feature films that reflect, represent, and reframe a range of perspectives at the centre of the Canadian experience. Committed to creative excellence, cultural relevance, and talent development, CBC Films prioritizes storytelling that amplifies equity-deserving communities, along with a parallel commitment to gender parity. CBC Films encompasses CBC’s continued investment in Canadian features, filmmakers and film industry, including the TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award, now in its seventh year of supporting the country’s dynamic screenwriting talent. With a robust library of over 200 Canadian films available to stream on CBC Gem, CBC strives to create an unparalleled destination for Canadians to discover homegrown film.

    CBC Films