Industry - Writers’ Studio

Writers’ Studio

Since 2012, TIFF Writers’ Studio has provided Canadian participants with a fulsome, curated experience through a unique integration of public and private programming. As of 2020, TIFF has invited international screenwriters and writer-directors to apply. The programme offers a space for screenwriters to consolidate skills, exchange ideas, and discuss challenges, all within a collaborative five-day intensive lab. Participants are supported to take their careers and projects to the next level as they participate in workshops, panel discussions, peer-to-peer mentorship, and one-on-one project development consultations guided by both Canadian and international experts.

The Renee Perlmutter Memorial Fellowship for Literary Adaptation: One applicant focusing on adapting literary work for the screen will be selected to participate in the programme. The recipient of the Renee Perlmutter Memorial Fellowship will receive an additional $3,000 grant toward developing their project.

The Sloan Science & Technology Writer Fellowship: The recipient of the Sloan Science and Technology Writer Fellowship will participate in Writers’ Studio.

CHANEL Women Writers’ Network

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. CHANEL’s participation extends and enriches TIFF’s support for writers and writer-directors by providing funding to 2024 participants to facilitate the acceleration and development of their projects, and by offering opportunities to connect with a diverse network of mentors and peers year-round.

The CHANEL Women Writers' Network Members include: Abbesi Akhamie, Teyama Alkamli, Maha Al-Saati, Berkley Brady, Maggie Briggs, Luis De Filippis, Adrianna DiLonardo, Idil Ibrahim, Lisa Jackson, Melanie Jones, Karabo Lediga, Lindsay MacKay, Yasmine Mathurin, Katie McMillan, Fawzia Mirza, Jasmin Mozaffari, Lina Roessler, Silvina Schnicer, Mayumi Yoshida, Farida Zahran, and Sanja Zivkovic.

2024 Writers’ Studio Participants

Zhannat Alshanova (UK)
Present Perfect

Originally from Kazakhstan, Zhannat is a London-based writer, director, and producer. Her short films has been screened at numerous international film festivals, such as Cannes, Sundance, TIFF, Locarno (Pardino d’Argento award for the Best Short Film). She is a London Film School (MA in Filmmaking) and Berlinale Talents alum.

Aram Collier (Canada)
Intro to Swimming

Aram’s feature, documentary, and experimental films have played festivals across North America and internationally. Collier is a mixed-race Asian Canadian/American originally from San Francisco, now based in Toronto, Canada. His Asian diasporic stories deal with race and class through a humanist lens of observed ironies.

Rebecca Fisseha (Canada)
Daughters of Silence

Rebecca Fisseha is an Ethiopian Canadian writer whose short stories, creative non-fiction, personal essays, and articles appear in various publications, most recently in Addis Ababa Noir, the Humber Literary Review, and Tongues: On Longing and Belonging Through Language. Born in Addis Ababa and raised there and in Austria and Switzerland, Rebecca is now based in Toronto, where she is working on the screenplay adaptation of her first novel, Daughters of Silence (Goose Lane Editions, 2019), and on completing her second novel, Only Because It’s You (Doubleday Canada, Spring 2025). Fisseha is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School’s program in Writing for Film & Television.

Sophie Jarvis (Canada)
Taking the Waters

Sophie Jarvis is a Swiss Canadian filmmaker whose feature debut Until Branches Bend (TIFF ’22, SXSW ’23, Locarno ’23) earned her a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2023. Jarvis’ background as a production designer deeply informs her practice as a writer and director.

Amy Trefry (Canada)
Lenin’s Embalmers

Amy Trefry is an emerging Canadian filmmaker, who elevates marginalized voices as a queer, non-binary storyteller. Their Masters in Environmental Sociology and upbringing on a Peregrine Falcon breeding facility fuel narratives entwining social and environmental themes. They are a 2022 graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, and were selected as one of ten emerging Canadian Television Producers by RDV Canada in 2021. Collaborating with playwright Vern Thiessin and guided by industry mentors, Trefry blends science and filmmaking, striving for cinematic inclusivity and representation.

Asia Youngman (Canada)
Until It’s Time to Go

Asia Youngman is an award-winning Indigenous (Cree-Métis) filmmaker. She co-wrote, co-directed and executive produced I’m Just Here for the Riot (2023) for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. Her previous short films include N’xaxaitk’w (2022) and This Ink Runs Deep (2019), both of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.