NSI Features First

Presented by the National Screen Institute in association with Telefilm Canada

Application deadline

Applications are currently closed.

What is NSI Features First?

Read our course guidelines for full information.

NSI Features First is a development training launch pad for producer/writer teams looking to produce their first or second feature film with strong commercial appeal. It is NOT necessary to have a director attached to the project. Each team will be paired with executive producer mentors and story editors to help with the final development and packaging of their feature film project.

Each team will receive a cash award to put towards additional story editing and development costs.

Past training opportunities have included Judith Weston and Robert McKee workshops, Produced By and AFM conferences in Los Angeles, attendance at festivals such as the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, the Screenwriters Festival in the UK, and TIFF, and Michael Hauge pitch coaching.

Success stories

The course gets results: 18 feature films have been produced since the course launched 17 years ago.

  • Two 4 One – writer/director: Maureen Bradley
  • The Dark Stranger – writer/director Chris Trebilcock; producer Glen Wood
  • Bang Bang Baby – writer/director: Jeffrey St. Jules
  • I Declare War – writer/director: Jason Lapeyre
  • Every Emotion Costs – writer/director: Darlene Naponse; producer Joseph Mansourian
  • Foodland – writer/director: Adam Smoluk
  • Love and Other Dilemmas – producer: Clare Hodge; director: Larry Di Stefano; writer: Deborah Peraya
  • Fetching Cody – producer: Carolyn Allain; writer/director: David Ray
  • 7 Times Lucky – producer: Liz Jarvis; writer/director: Gary Yates
  • On the Corner – producer: Wendy Hyman; writer/director: Nathaniel Geary
  • Goldirocks – producer: Lisa Hayes; writer/director: Paula Tiberius
  • Flower and Garnet – producer: Trish Dolman; director/writer: Keith Behrman
  • Leaving Metropolis – producers: Ken Mead and Paul Stiles; director/writer: Brad Fraser
  • Inertia – producer: Brendon Sawatzky; director/writer: Sean Garrity
  • Turning Paige – producer: Carolyn McMaster; director/co-writer: Robert Cuffley; writer: Jason Long
  • My Father’s Angel – producer: David Bouck, co-executive producer: Trevor Hodgson; director: Davor Marjonovic; writer: Frank Borg
  • Violet – producer: Mary Sexton; director/writer: Rosemary House
  • The Bend – writer/director: Jennifer Kierans (developed in part through NSI Features First)

How much does it cost?

  • $100 application fee per team.
  • $1,500 tuition fee per team member if your team is selected.

When does it take place?

NSI Features First is a 10-month training course. The week-long, phase one training session takes place in Toronto in February/March 2016.

Teams that successfully move on to phase two will attend a second week-long training session in April/May 2016. Exact dates and locations will be determined once the final teams are chosen. Phase two teams also attend the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016.

Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary

In memory of Jim Murphy, NSI along with his friends and colleagues established the $3,000 Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary which is presented annually to an NSI Features First team.

Who are the NSI Features First faculty?

Shelly Quade and Melissa Kajpust.