Audience Awards

Exercise your right to vote!

Scan the QR code during the pre-show or at the cinema exit following the screening.  If you require assistance submitting your vote you can speak to one of our volunteers following the film. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- “I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart.” (You’ve Got Mail, 1998)

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – “Kiss me. Now. In front of all these people.” (Saving Face, 2004)

⭐⭐⭐ – “You know you’re really pretty good!” (Chicago, 2002)

⭐⭐- “It’s the ones you love the most who always disappoint you in the end.” (Love Lies Bleeding, 2024)

⭐- “Surely you can’t be serious!” (Airplane!, 1980)

Sponsored by Paramount+

This $2,500 cash award will be presented to the audience’s favourite feature-length film.

Sponsored by Paramount+

This $2,500 cash award will be presented to the audience’s favourite feature-length documentary film.

Sponsored by Paramount+

This $1,000 cash award is presented to the audience’s favourite film within a shorts program.

Canadian Juried Awards

Canadian works completed in the last 18 months and screening at this year’s Festival are eligible for consideration by the jury.

Sponsored by DGC National

This $3,000 cash award is presented to an established Canadian artist for their feature-length narrative or documentary film.

Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

This award includes a cash prize of $5,000 from our Lead Sponsor, RBC. It will be presented to an early career Canadian filmmaker. The recipient must have directed no more than two fiction narrative short films or no more than one fiction narrative feature-length film.

Sponsored by Warner Brothers Discovery

This $2,000 cash award is presented to a Canadian filmmaker for their short-form narrative or documentary film.

International Juried Awards

Sponsored by NBC Universal 

This $3,000 cash award is presented to the International Jury’s selection for best film by a first-time feature director. 

Leadership Circle Award

This $1,000 cash award is presented by the Leadership Circle for the most outstanding performance by an actor in a feature-length narrative film.

Pitch, Please!

Sponsored by Netflix.

Our pitch competition will take place in person on June 1, 2024, at 2:00pm, as competitors from across the globe present a short, two-minute pitch to a jury and audience, with one winner taking home a $5,000 production grant.

Andrea Walter (She/they)

Andrea A. Walter (she/they) is a British Filipino writer, director and cinematographer, residing in Los Angeles, USA. They graduated with a BA in Film from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studying cinematography under the mentorship of Michel Hugo, ASC. Afterwards, they worked in live concerts, filming musicians that ranged from Morrissey to Bruno Mars. They are currently under the mentorship of Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix). Andrea wrote, directed and shot their first feature film, Empty by Design (2019) in their hometown of Manila. Andrea’s work can be seen on Netflix, Hulu, and as well as has premiered at notable film festivals such as SXSW, CAAMFest, LAAPFF and HIFF. Most recently their script, Syncopation was chosen for the Stowe Story Narrative Labs 2023.

Ariel Mahler (She/they)

ARIEL MAHLER (she/they) is an award-winning trans writer and director. She’s a recent graduate and scholarship recipient from the American Film Institute (AFI) Directing Fellowship. Ariel’s AFI thesis film, RE-ENTRY, received an Alfred P. Sloan production grant in 2023. Her short documentary, EVAN EVER AFTER, screened at festivals across North America and won multiple jury & audience awards. Ariel was a two-time finalist for Newfest’s New Voices Grant. Her screenplays have advanced to the top-five in ShoreScript’s Film Fund, the second round of the Sundance Development Track, and the final round of the WeScreenplay’s Diverse Voices Lab. Ariel produced DEATH AND BOWLING, a feature film that world premiered at OUTFEST in 2021, and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. In addition to her MFA from AFI, Ariel holds an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College, and a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic. Originally from the East Coast, Ariel is currently based in Los Angeles. She is driven to tell queer stories about misfits and weirdos seeking authenticity through human connection.

Vanessa Sandre (She/her)

Vanessa Sandre (she/her) is a filmmaker and performer originally from Brazil, now based in Toronto, Canada. With a Bachelor’s degree in Film and a Master’s degree in Literature focused on Women and Gender Studies, Vanessa is driven to create and contribute to projects promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity both on and off the screen. As a Latina immigrant and artist, she advocates for these values through decolonial and intersectional feminist perspectives.

With 14 years of experience in the film industry, Vanessa has primarily focused her career on writing, directing and producing. Her latest short film, ‘The Pleasure is All Mine’ (O Prazer é Todo Meu, 2023), filmed in Brazil, tackles the taboo subject of female sexuality in old age.

Shaun Soutar (They/them)

Shaun Soutar (they/them) is a queer-Latinx filmmaker, performer, and multimedia artist based in Toronto (Tkaronto), Ontario. With a BFA in Film Production from York University, Shaun’s work blends genres to tell unapologetically queer stories. Their artistic practice explores the intersections of queerness, race, and culture, and how this defines their own identity. Shaun seeks to disrupt traditions of cis-heteronormativity by creating space for people like them in an industry which excludes genderqueer voices.

Andrew Chappelle (He/him)

Andrew is a queer, Black, and Indigenous creator, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. In 2022, Andrew wrote and produced “FANATIC,” a short film directed by Taran Killam that made its rounds in the 2023 festival season. “FANATIC” achieved official selections at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, Outfest, NewFest, and Provincetown International Film Festivals. It also won the LGBTQ Audience Award at the 2023 SCAD Film Festival, in addition to Best Comedy at the London Worldwide Comedy Festival and Atlanta Shorts.

More recently, he appeared in the first two seasons of the critically acclaimed Starz series “BLINDSPOTTING” as the sharp-tongued and lovable character “Scotty.” He also played the role of spitfire felon “Jlo” in Showtime’s “ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA” opposite Paul Dano and Benicio Del Toro, directed by Ben Stiller. Furthermore, he guest-starred on “MOESHA” and Amazon’s “THE TICK.”

On Broadway, Andrew is renowned as an original company member of “HAMILTON,” where he completed a historic five-year run in the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning production. He is featured on the certified Diamond and Grammy Award-winning album. His other Broadway credits include “& JULIET” and “MAMMA MIA.”

He currently resides in New York with his rescue dog, Patti LuBone, as he focuses on his newfound passion for writing for film and television.