Monday, January 1, 2020 | 12am EST

This free multi-week online lab hosted in fall 2020 will guide 16 emerging queer and trans filmmakers through the process of making a DIY film under working conditions shaped by COVID-19. In this program, participants will learn the creative and technical skills required to develop, plan, shoot, and edit their projects. Final films will be screened at TQFF in 2021.

Over the course of 8 online evening sessions and through a range of participatory activities, the group will workshop each participant’s project. Combining peer feedback with hands-on instruction and mentorship from established filmmakers, these sessions will not only serve as a training ground for emerging filmmakers from the LGTBQ+ community, but will also aim to build a resilient creative community and mutual support among artists during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to filmmaking skill development and community building with other artists, participants will receive:

  • $700 ($500 for purchase of materials, $200 as a screening fee).
  • A three-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Toronto-based participants will also receive a weekly food box from TQFF’s Food Knows No Borders program.

Eligible Participants

Emerging filmmakers of any age who self-identify as queer or trans. Must be available for 8 online workshops on Thursday evenings between 7pm and 10pm ET. Participants can be living anywhere in Canada, provided their internet access will allow participation in video calls.

Our curatorial mandate is to centre the programming of work by and about queer and trans people of colour, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities, as well as the work of local artists, low-income, DIY filmmakers, and emerging artists. As such, we encourage self-identifying in your application if you belong to one of these priority groups.

Eligible Projects

Projects of any genre are eligible for this lab, however note that the workshop facilitators have strong backgrounds in documentary and narrative (i.e., scripted) filmmaking. Projects must be:

No more than 10 minutes in length (5 minutes is ideal)
Technically simple (able to be made using a DIY approach, with equipment already available the participant, such as smartphones and laptops)
Possible to produce in a COVID-safe manner (following all the relevant public health guidance)

*Note that at TQFF, we are especially interested in supporting formally experimental films and/or social justice-themed projects that center the experiences of Indigenous people, people of color, people with disabilities, transgender people, sex workers, porn makers, and other communities often marginalized in contemporary LGBT cultural programming and spaces.


Lab Facilitator
Chanda Chevannes

is a Canadian documentary filmmaker, writer, and educator. She makes artful documentaries that seek to amplify women’s voices. As a biracial and bisexual woman, she hopes her work serves to bring both joy and justice into the world. Chanda’s award-winning films have been broadcast on six continents, have been seen by more than four million people, and have inspired tangible legislative and social change. Her most recent film is UNFRACTURED, a triumphant documentary about the fossil fuel resistance. Chanda has authored several educational resources and has trained as an arts educator with the Royal Conservatory and as a workshop facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project. She was recently an Innovator in Communities with the Toronto Public Library, leading filmmaking workshops in the city’s underserved communities. Chanda lives in Toronto and is a part-time instructor at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre. She is the mother of two beloved and badass children, Hannah and Henry.

Lab Facilitator
Ryan Cooper (Wilson)

is a Ojibwe, two spirited, LGBTQ filmmaker from Treaty One Territory Peguis First Nation, Ryan is a graduate of the National Screen Institute’s CBC New Indigenous Voices program, The NSI Indigidocs program where he had the opportunity to producer an award winning short documentary that went on to be programmed in festivals all around the globe. Ryan is also the creator of two web series: Daybreak People, which aired on Bell MTS Fibe TV1 early this year, and ImagineNative/APTN pitch winning series iNdigiThreads. Ryan and his teammate Adeline Bird were awarded funding from Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program in 2019 for iNdigiThreads. Ryan is focused on producing and writing contemporary, cultural & modern stories in an authentic way through scripted and factual storytelling. He looks forward to bringing empowerment through film and television, and the arts, to his home community.

min Canada