Directors' Lab

Directors' Lab

The responsibilities of a director are constant and all-encompassing. The Cineplex Film Program Directors' Lab challenges you to maintain your creative vision, both on and off the floor, as you develop and workshop a number of projects. Please find additional information below, and if you have any questions, please contact


This program is designed for directors who are deeply committed to expanding their creative toolbox and broadening their scope as cinematic storytellers. We are looking for directors with a distinct POV and a strong desire to collaborate. You should be actively working toward your first, second or third feature film.

To apply, you must have a reel showcasing your directing talent and voice, experience in the film and television industry, a proven commitment to the craft of directing and a feature film project at some stage of development.

You must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada to apply.


Project Development

For maximum impact, the development of each director’s feature film is on an individual basis. Projects will be developed through a series of rigorous and highly productive workshops, writing assignments and story editing sessions. You will be challenged to articulate what makes your feature distinctive and the factors that make it attractive in the international marketplace.

The goal for each director is to complete the lab with a feature project that champions your original voice, is in an advanced stage of development and that is viable in the evolving media landscape.

Craft and Collaboration

The program offers a chance to explore and push your creative boundaries through a series of complex production exercises, workshops and case studies. These are designed to inform and help shape your creative and collaborative choices. Sessions are customized each year to meet the needs of the directors, both as a group and individually, as required.

Business and Marketplace

Directors are exposed to a variety of perspectives on the current landscape of filmmaking and directing. This includes meeting with producers, distributors, funders and other key players in the industry to gain a better understanding of production and business considerations and how these factors impact project slates and long-term career strategy.

You will also be coached and guided on the best way to successfully represent yourself and your projects within the industry, bridging the gap between your creative aspirations and the business of filmmaking.


Deadlines and Fees:

Applications for the 2019 Cineplex Film Program are now closed. If you would like more information on this program, please contact

There is a $100 application fee via Paypal at the end of the application process.

Directors' Lab Application Requirements:

Letter of Intent: A one-page description outlining what you hope to achieve by attending the lab. Include your expectations of the program and touch on your immediate and long-term goals as they relate to strengthening your craft and how you feel this will support your creative vision.

Curriculum Vitae: Please provide your current CV.

Filmography: Outlining your directorial experience in the film industry. All writing, development, production and post-production experience is valid; however, all non-directorial experience is to be listed in your Curriculum Vitae. And only produced projects should be included.

Visual Support Materials: Visual support materials submitted should showcase your directing talent, demonstrating the strength of your directorial vision as well as your ability to tell a compelling story. 

This can include film, TV, doc, web, commercials, and/or music videos. All pieces submitted for review must be in their entirety, including shorts and/or feature films (please do not submit demo reels, clips or trailers).

Provide a link to either a Playlist or Album of projects (in their entirety) in order of preferred viewing, as the selection committee may have limited viewing time and we want to ensure we prioritize what you believe is your strongest work; please specify scenes (time codes) to be viewed from these materials in the Visual Support Synopses.

Please note: we prefer to receive a link to view your materials online, but if that isn’t possible please send us 3 copies on DVD via mail. If you would like your DVDs returned, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Visual Support Synopses: Provide short synopses (1-2 sentences) of all visual support materials. Include year produced, the running time and a list of key creatives credited on each piece (writer, director, producer, editor) and distribution status (any festival/broadcast/online to date).

Feature Project Synopsis & Artist Statement: Directors spend significant time developing a feature project over the course of the program. We ask that you submit a 1 paragraph synopsis of the project you are most keen to develop/workshop through the Lab along with a brief artist statement which outlines why this project and what you want to explore with it. Please be sure to also include a brief summary of any development history with the project (i.e. funding, producers, development initiatives).

Please also indicate if your feature is based on source material (play, short story, short film, graphic novel etc.) and that you have the option and/or rights to adapt the material.

Project Slate: We also ask directors to include a project slate with their application. Slates can include Film, TV, documentary and/or web projects. Please submit 1 paragraph synopses of each project noting genre, stage of development, development/funding history (if applicable), and key creatives attached to the project (if applicable).

2 Letters of Reference: From anyone who is familiar with your directing ability. The letters should emphasize your proven commitment to your craft and be addressed to the ‘Directors’ Lab Selection Committee.’ These can be uploaded with the application, or emailed by the referee to

Please note that at any time during the selection process, we may request additional materials. When uploading the above materials to the application, please include the following in a single PDF, with your name and title of the required document at the top of each page: Letter of Intent, CV/Resume, Filmography, Visual Support Synopses, Feature Project Synopsis & Artist Statement, Project Slate, and 2 Letters of Reference. 


A selection committee comprised of industry professionals and key program staff is assembled and short-lists applicants for interviews.

All applicants will be notified no later than end of March of whether or not they have been short-listed for an interview. Applicants whose submissions are not short-listed will be notified by email. Due to the number of applications we receive, we are not able to give individual feedback at this stage of the process.

The interview is a conversation with the filmmaker about his or her work and who they are, and is intended to assist the committee in determining which candidates will best contribute to and benefit from the program’s design. Prior to the interview we will put you in touch with a recent alumnus or alumna to answer any questions you have about the program, expectations, and design.

Whenever possible, the CFC sets up in-person interviews with those applicants based outside of Ontario. At minimum, phone interviews are arranged.