TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival Jury Unveiled

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

The TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is back for a third year, and it’s better than ever. Launched in 2016, TIFF’s tiniest film festival was created in partnership with Instagram to discover and celebrate emerging, diverse, and creative voices from the global film community. This year, the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is committed to meeting gender parity within its final selection. In line with this objective, TIFF is delighted to announce the addition of the new Share Her Journey Prize

TIFF’s Share Her Journey campaign is a five-year commitment to championing women, both in front of and behind the camera, by investing in their skill development. The TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is supporting this initiative by enlisting an all-woman jury made up of some of the industry’s most creative, knowledgeable, and experienced experts.

This year’s jury features award-winning UK writer, director, and Share Her Journey Ambassador Amma Asante (@iammasante); leading arts-marketing guru and #oscarssowhite creator April Reign (@reignofapril); TCM and FilmStruck host, author Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone), rapper, comedian, and Ocean’s 8 star Awkwafina (@awkwafina), and activist, artist, and actor Sarain Fox (@sarainfox).

Since the launch of TIFFxInstagram Shorts Film Festival, jury members have included Isabelle Huppert, Lake Bell, Ava DuVernay, Xavier Dolan, Ashton Sanders, Director X, and Priyanka Chopra. The Share Her Journey Prize recipient will be selected by Amma Asante. Eligibility for the prize is based solely on a film’s direction by an individual who identifies as a woman. Additional jury members will be revealed in the coming weeks. 

“In many ways, the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is reflective of the ever-evolving nature of storytelling and digital media. The film industry is going through a period of change, and the addition of the new Share Her Journey Prize reinforces our commitment to achieving gender parity,” said Malcolm Gilderdale, Director of Content, Creative, and Digital at TIFF. “With the support of our amazing partners at Instagram and the generous participation of our jury, we are grateful to have the opportunity to champion the brilliant work that we know will be presented during this year’s edition of the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival.” 

Last year saw entrants from regions all over the world — including submissions from America, Europe, Asia, and Africa — whose films reached more than 64 million users on the social platform. The 2017 TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival featured the Fan Favourite Award winner, Canadian-born, Paris-based filmmaker Justin Wu for Overtime, and Jury’s Choice Award winner Confession, by Russia’s Natalia Gurkina. In early 2018, the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival was nominated for a Webby Award in the category of Social: Promotions & Contests.

“We’re thrilled to once again collaborate with TIFF to celebrate the craft of short filmmaking through the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival.” said Claudine Cazian, Head of Entertainment Partnerships at Instagram. “More than 800 million people come to Instagram to engage with a positive, highly engaged community where they can express their creativity around shared interests. The TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival is just another way in which creators can showcase their inspiring work and connect with new fans all over the world.”

To enter, filmmakers may submit a 60-second-or-less film on Instagram using the hashtag #TIFFxInstagram and complete the submission form at tiff.net/shortsfestival. The deadline for submissions is June 18. Entries must be submitted from a public Instagram account that must remain open until August 21. Winners will receive a round-trip flight to Toronto and three nights’ accommodation to attend the Toronto International Film Festival this September, and get a chance to network with the film community at the popular Industry Conference and see a selection of exciting film premieres. The winning short films will also be showcased on TIFF and Instagram’s digital channels.

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