How to apply for the alumni residency at LIFT in Toronto

Deadline for applications

29 February 2024 at 23:59 in Finnish time (GMT+2).

Grant and spaces

The twelve week long residency at The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers in Toronto is fully funded with the support of Saastamoinen Foundation and it will take place in autumn 2024. The grant covers travel expenses back and forth to Toronto, a workspace at the LIFT, in-kind equipment and facility rental and expendables such as film stock and related production expenses, guidance towards finishing the film where necessary as well as mentor and workshop fees. An artist stipend is granted for three months accommodation and living costs. The stipend should also cover the costs for visa, pension and insurance. LIFT will put a call out to members to assist with finding a flat and will introduce the artist to other people working in the field. The selected artist is expected to present in collaboration with LIFT and other local organisations one work of moving image in Toronto. The presentation will not necessary happen during the residency but afterwards. In the total budget there is a support for performances and festivals.

The selected artist will receive:

  • A 1 500 euro travel allowance from Finland to Canada
  • A work space with media equipment at LIFT
  • A stipend of 8100 euros in total for living and accomodation costs
  • Production guidance and support, mentoring and workshop opportunities
  • General support, advice, studio visits and networking opportunities
  • Up to 1000 euro for possible performances at local events after the residency

As a grantee, the selected artist commits to share his/her processes in the form of a blog or another open digital platform during the residency and talk about the opportunity to fine art students at the Academy of Fine Arts in events agreed upon.


MFA graduates from the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki working with experimental or/and analogue film are invited to apply for the programme at LIFT, although strong digital applications will also be considered. The residency welcomes alumni of all ages and career stages. Students are not considered for the alumni residency.

LIFT supports the residency artist to prepare or to finish their project. The residency is meant for a personal active work and invited artist are encouraged to travel alone because this helps them to better integrate to the whole field of moving image in Toronto.

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 29 February 2024 by midnight (23:59) Finnish time.

Please read about the LIFT residency program in the call announcement and on the organisation´s web site. To apply, applicants must fill out a basic form (link below) and submit the following in one single PDF file:

  1. A cover letter with full contact details (including telephone, email, mobile number and address) and a short presentation.
  2. Project or production proposal to be developed or completed during the residency period (in the proposal, please include a section on how this residency will fit within your practice and why this is a good time for you to be applying for it)
  3. Description about the synergy and contacts you would gain from the residency: max 500 words.
  4. Documented examples of recent work. Please note that a website link alone will not be accepted, a PDF portfolio is required. For voluminous files (like videos), please insert a link to the server/website/YouTube/Vimeo where the file can be viewed. Please include the basic information about each work (year, technique, materials, measures / duration etc.)
  5. Your resumé (max. two A4 pages)

Please make sure that the files can be opened and that all the links to external sites work at least up to two months after the deadline has past.

Selection process

All applications will be reviewed by an international panel who will create a shortlist of three (3) applicants. The panel is formed by one Uniarts Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts representative and two invited international experts. The final decision will be made by Chris Kennedy, Director at LIFT. All applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application within a month after closing the call. We will offer short overview feedback based on the decision-making framework when requested by the applicant at a specified time given when informing about the selection.

All applications will be treated confidentially, only the staff and the jury concerned will have access to the information received. For further information on the handling of personal data, read Uniarts Helsinki’s data protection statement for scholarship applicants.

About LIFT

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto is an artist-run charitable organization dedicated to facilitating excellence in the moving image through media arts education and production resources. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist-residencies; and a variety of other services. Founded in 1981 by a small collective, LIFT has since grown to become one of the foremost centres of its kind globally.


  • Diversity in all its manifestations, including race, ethnicity, language, gender identity, sexuality, class, age, disability, immigration status, film genre and level of experience as a filmmaker.
  • Affordable and equitable access to services and programs that minimize economic barriers to creating films.
  • The materiality and technology of working with celluloid as a medium.
  • Developing and cultivating the “cinematic” qualities within digital cinema and new platforms.
  • Serving as a community hub for filmmakers and artists.
  • Providing quality service to an engaged and participatory membership. – Providing a space for diverse communities to produce representations on their own terms.

Further information

Information on the residency programme:
Chris Kennedy, Director, LIFT, Toronto

Information on the call for applications and stipend:
Sade Kahra, project manager at Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts