"If I'm being honest... I don't wanna learn all this marketing and business shit, I just wanna get funded and make great films."
A step by step system where we manage your film for you, so you can get your film made, and more importantly seen. Oh yea, and we help get it funded too.
*starts May 1st, 2017 - Aug 1st, 2017.
"What is this weird "incubation" stuff, Curt?"
It's a three-month intense program that gives that practical, actionable steps to developing not only films but filmmakers themselves. We don't want to meddle in your art, but we do want filmmakers who are willing to experiment, adapt, and change.
Whatever your vision is, we're big on taking MASSIVE action (as Curt always says). Whether you’re still developing your script, or you have a completed film trying to take it to market, we’re there to make sure you make enough money off of your films, that you can make a living making movies (that's our goal at least).
You can get your film made the way you want. No selling out. No corporate hands. Just our passion, mixed with your vision.
We also understand that this is all vague terms and “marketise” so if you are ready to know what indiefilmTO’s incubation is all about then keep reading!
All loose ends are tied up, and post is near completion. Distributors and marketing ramps up until the very last day, which we call... "D Day."
You work really intensely and closely with us to put out a new "prototype version" of your film every four days, while we raise funds for you.
Month One: Bootcamp
Month Two: Blitzkrieg
Month Three: Breakdown
Under our support, you create and film the entire feature the best you can. Yup, we told you it was intense.
No, indiefilmTO is not some big corporation. We're run by filmmakers who have all been through the worst nightmare sets and hell gigs. Sometimes, we feel like we’re still going through them!
This is exactly why we’re starting the world’s first film incubator.
Hi. I'm Curt Jaimungal and I’m the Director of indiefilmTO.
If you are making your first film, there are plenty of places you can go and we are more than happy to put you touch with some of them, but you're not for us right now.
We are looking for the struggling filmmaker. The filmmaker who's worked his/her ass off, and who is just bursting with talent but doesn’t know what to do with it. Sure you can make ANOTHER feature and try again, or you can hopefully do it through us.
This is a huge 7000-sqft work space that we share with other startups. You can book unlimited amounts of office hours with us, to talk about your progress and stumbling blocks.
A place to write and cast
What is “Incubation”?
You must have made at least ONE feature OR a handful of shorts.
You must be ready to take ACTION on your project NOW.
You must be willing to meet us at our offices at least every Thursday.
In the tech world, an “incubator” is a place where startups go to get EVERYTHING they need in order to grow and accomplish their wildest dreams.
Just like how a startup incubator's created such juggernauts like Dropbox and Airbnb, we are a film incubator.
We want you to grow and cultivate your talent by taking to the next level.
You must be willing to take criticism and suggestions on your film.
How much experience do I need?
What we want
indiefilmTO will never tell you what to do, or even expect you to do exactly as we say. We are here to serve your needs, not the other way around. So if you wanna make another corporate “product” for a “market", we're not for you.
We are independent filmmakers and the independence of our filmmakers are our number 1 concern.
It's still your film
When does this start and end?
You don't need to know how to make a "successful film." Just worry about making a "good" film, and we'll guide through each step of the process to ensure it actually makes some money.
Winter incubation starts May 1, 2017 - Aug 1, 2017.
Learn the insider tricks and hacks that we've used to make our films make profit, plus the same techniques that made indiefilmTO grow fast. (of course, you'll have to sign an NDA)
A step-by-step system
The anti-Hollywood way
You get to keep the rights to your film. In fact, you don't even have to put the indiefilmTO logo in the credits if you don't want to. Yup, you read right.
What is D Day?
You will showcase 15 minutes of your completed feature film, to a dinner with large white tables, and an industry speaker for a Keynote that has never been delivered, will not be recorded, and will never be heard of again. The speech will happen when dessert is being served.
Between and after the presentations on D Day, filmmakers and investors mingle and talk further.
You’re going to be working hard for three months for it all to culminate to one day... D Day.
D Day has become a big deal. From the first one, which had 3 people in the audience, it has grown into a full day-long event for a couple hundred people.
On D Day you show the first bit of your film to a room of 50+ distributors and investors who can grow your baby to an adult. It’s not only about the size though, it’s about the quality.
It’s not a networking event. It’s not a screening. It’s everything.
It’s where your movie will be chosen. Hopefully.
Dinner and a Screening
The keynote speakers will speak very candidly about what the industry is truly like, encouraged by the fact that none of this is being recorded. We will see a stark difference in the speaker’s private persona here, versus how they act in regular interviews on TV.
Yes, the audience is composed of the cast and crew, but mainly it will have industry investors, distributors who want to lock-in a film, as well as other private investors. It’s where offers and futures will be made.
The next D Day is set to take place Mar 10th, 2017.
“How do you guys choose who to incubate?”
Hey, this is Curt.
I want you to know something. Everyone on staff at indiefilmTO is a filmmaker. That’s something I was adamant about from Day 1 and it still holds true more than a year later.
Just like any filmmaker, we’re soo fucking uninterested in anything unless it makes us really passionate. That’s how we feel about the projects we incubate.
We won’t incubate unless we feel really passionate about your project, and to be quite honest, we won’t incubate unless we feel really passionate about you.
It’s like we always say: We’re not just incubating a film, we’re incubating a filmmaker.
So the question then becomes, what are the factors that make us feel passionate about a film/filmmaker? There’s no formula but all I can say is that it’s a mix of:
The fact that you’ve read this far puts you past 90% of filmmakers. It shows you’re taking things seriously. I’m excited to have you apply for the Winter 2016 round of incubation. You’re beautiful.
Good luck, my love.
You can email me personally at curt [at ]indiefilmTO.com and I’ll do my best to get back to you. I know what it’s like to apply for something and get “rejected” and have no idea why. I don’t want that to happen to you, so if you request it, I’ll tell you exactly why we said no. But I want you to know that I’m gonna be brutally honest.
Do we have to be in Toronto to apply?
You may apply at any stage. Even at the end stage.
You have to be able to get to the downtown core of Toronto on a regular basis. We encourage all of our filmmakers to either move to downtown or the Greater Toronto Area. No virtual clients (Skype / Hangouts / Facetime) allowed.
You can also ask any question to me personally at curt [at] indiefilmTO [dot] com
Do you guys fund films?
Only if we raise the funds. If you come in with grants already, we don't take anything of your existing budget. It costs the filmmaker zero out of pocket basically.
We don’t personally fund but if we believe in your film, then we will try to get financing for it (funding). We can’t promise anything, but honestly, if we believe in your film, we fight on your behalf.
We don't want funding, but will you give us advice?
Do we need a business plan? Do we need to know how to market?
You don’t need a business plan or know how to market (although it would help). The business plan is not for us, it would be for people who invest in your film. If you get chosen, that means we really believe in your film, and we will help you come up with one.
Can we apply even though we’re in the middle of production?
We want your film to make money so if it's a narrative, we generally want it to be greater than 60 minutes. If it's a documentary then greater than 22.5 minutes (since we can sell it to TV for you).
However, we are incubating a narrative short film that is about 12 minutes long right, so don't worry.
Is this free? How much will this cost?
Yes it's 100% free.
Why? Because I'm amazing. Also because we are experimenting with our models and testing a shitload of things out.
It's not fair to you to be a "beta" tester, if you will, and charge you. That's the honest truth.
Good question. The fact that you're even thinking of doing a webseries is really interesting to me personally.
Only because it's mildly non-traditional (the traditional thing being, trying to create a feature), which shows me you're willing to experiment.
Based on this, I kind of like you already. So apply. You might be eligible.
I have two film ideas, can I submit twice?
Do I still own the film?
Why didn’t you accept us?
We don’t take ownership of the film, you still retain all rights. Unless you do some separate deal with a distributor or investor, which is your choice, it’s all your film. In fact, you don’t even have to put our logo on your film! (I’m hoping you will, but you don’t have to)
If we’ve chosen you, it’s because we believe in you, and we just wanna make your film grow.
Likely we didn’t believe in the idea, at this stage. Obviously there’s some business aspects to it, but to be honest, we at indiefilmTO have to be passionate about your project. If it just doesn’t jive right now, then we can’t go through with it. Everyone on the indiefilmTO staff are filmmaker’s too.
I’ve never made a film before, should I apply?
Do you take shorts or features?
No. We want you to have made a few shorts, and preferably to have gotten into a few festivals. You have to demonstrate that you’re a great filmmaker in some way.
Do you take a percentage of any credits/grants we receive?
What do the people look like that generally apply?
I'm afraid you're selecting based on what you think is "commercial"...
We select not based on what funding is available, but what projects WE believe in. Think of it like Y Combinator (a tech startup in California).
They get a bunch of applicants, and they don't go by what's marketable. They go by if they believe in the team, and the idea.
What we would do would be to fight for funding, in nontraditional sources, without compromising the integrity of the script. That's the goal. (we're filmmakers too!)
What are you, racist? Oh, you meant in terms of their skill / budget?
Well the majority of filmmakers that come to us need films in the range of $50k - $250k. Our largest budget is $1M, and our smallest was $5k.
Generally they’ve done several shorts and sometimes a feature or two.
Do you take documentaries?
We don't want funding, but will you give us advice?
What about web series? Or a TV pilot?
Sure, a few of the filmmakers that came us were already fully funded. They just wanted to know how they could take their movie to that next level. Have people see their films, have it sold, and have it so their next film gets funding. Of course, we have to believe in your project in the first place.
Plus we give 98% of our material away for free now via our newsletter.