TIFF Industry: Rising Stars


Applications are now closed!

Each year, TIFF Rising Stars showcases new Canadian and international acting talent during the Toronto International Film Festival — placing the emphasis on the next generation poised for success.

The actors who are selected for the programme are immersed in a series of public events and private industry meetings during the Festival. They undertake professional development with international casting directors, filmmakers, producers, and industry executives. The actors are also front-row centre at some of the biggest red-carpet events at the Festival. TIFF Rising Stars alumni include Stephan James, Tatiana Maslany, and Sarah Gadon.

What’s Included

  • A four-day intensive programme, taking place September 11–14, 2020
  • Mentorship from TIFF’s programming team and expert guests
  • National and international media exposure
  • Complimentary guest accreditation at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Complimentary access to TIFF’s Industry Conference, Business Centre, and Delegate Resources


The TIFF Rising Stars programme is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are 20–40 years old.

  • Applicants must have a minimum of three screen credits in a principal role (short films, feature films, or scripted broadcast TV shows).
  • At least one of these screen credits must be for a feature film.
  • Priority will be given to candidates who have a principal role in a feature film submitted to the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

Key Dates

Applications open
April 9
Standard application deadline
June 17
Participants notified of selection
By August 4

Submission Guidelines

Applicants must provide the following materials in support of their application:

  • Two clips from films in which the applicant has a principal role (maximum length of each clip: three minutes)
  • One video self-interview, maximum three minutes in length (see below for more information)

Clip and Video Submission Protocol
All clips and the video self-interview must be submitted electronically as a video file through the TIFF Rising Stars application form. NOTE: One of the film clips should be from the film that has been submitted to the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (if applicable); the other clip can be from a previous feature, short film, or TV show in which the applicant had a principal role. Please read the following before you submit the link to your clips:

  • The film clips and self-interview must each be less than three minutes.
  • The film clips and self-interview must be edited together into one file.
  • Please ensure that all of the clips are in high resolution. The jury will review the clips on a large screen.
  • If the language spoken in any of the film clips is not English, please ensure that English subtitles are included.
  • Demo reels, trailers, and music videos will not be accepted.
  • Submissions of full-length films with time codes will not be considered by the jury.

IMPORTANT: TIFF takes applicants’ confidentiality seriously. Video files will not be shared with any third parties. Access to TIFF Rising Stars clips and applications is limited to the TIFF Rising Stars programming team and jury members. While in TIFF’s possession, all clips are securely stored. No duplication of the clips is permitted.

Video Self-Interview
Applicants will need to answer three questions in a video self-interview. The maximum length of the entire video should be no longer than three minutes.

  • What do you hope to get out of TIFF Rising Stars?
  • What kind of roles would you like to play? Please explain.
  • Name three directors or showrunners with whom you’d like to work. Tell us why.

Selection Process

Each submission to TIFF Rising Stars is carefully reviewed by a pre-selection committee comprising up to three members of the TIFF Industry programming team. A shortlist of candidates will then be presented to a jury that may include members of the TIFF Industry, Festival, and Audience and Community programming teams. Using an established set of criteria, the jury will convene to review and deliberate each application to collectively determine programme participants.

Contact us at industry@tiff.net.




2019 Rising Stars

The 2019 class of selected actors consists of Shamier Anderson, Kacey Rohl, Nahéma Ricci, Mikhaïl Ahooja, Chino Darín, Geraldine Viswanathan, Josefine Frida, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.


2018 Rising Stars

The 2018 class of selected actors consists of Devery Jacobs, Lamar Johnson, Michaela Kurimsky, Jess Salgueiro, Stéphane Bak, Ahmed Malek, Josh Wiggins, and Eleanor Worthington-Cox.


2017 Rising Stars

The 2017 class of selected actors consists of Theodore Pellerin, Ellen Wong, Mary Galloway, Vinnie Bennett, Jessie Buckley, Lina El Arabi, and Mamoudou Athie.


2016 Rising Stars

The 2016 class of selected actors consists of Grace Glowicki, Jared Abrahamson, Mylene Mackay, Oc Ukeje, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, and Sophie Nélisse.


2015 Rising Stars

The 2015 class of selected actors consists of Aliocha Schneider, Deragh Campbell, Karelle Tremblay and Stephan James.


2014 Rising Stars

The 2014 class of selected actors consists of Alexandre Landry, Julia Sarah Stone, Shannon Kook and Sophie Desmarais.


2013 Rising Stars

The 2013 class of selected actors consists of Cara Gee, Evelyne Brochu, Jonathan Sousa and Megan Park.


2012 Rising Stars

The inaugral Rising Stars class of selected actors consists of Charlie Carrick, Charlotte Sullivan, Connor Jessup and Tatiana Maslany.

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