TUFF Eyes on the Prize

It seems every year the Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF) gets larger, and this year it’s no different. What started as an experimental cultural initiative by Sharon Switzer, has grown over the years into one of the world’s largest public film festivals.

Now in it’s sixth year, the festival is inviting Canadian and international filmmakers, animators and video artists to submit one-minute silent films that are of interest to urban audiences. The festival gives artists an opportunity for exposure to millions of daily transit commuters through Pattison ONEstop’s media boards that line subway platforms all across Toronto.

We are lucky to have some incredible local partners who support this festival. Each year, that partner list grows. One of our returning partners this year is Women in Film and Television Toronto (WIFT-T). WIFT-T, which supports women in screen-based media by providing high quality programming, mentoring, networking and industry events that recognize the talents and potential of women. This year they have given us a $1200 programming pass and a one-year membership to offer a female director. This could be YOU!

Every year, TUFF enlists an accomplished Canadian filmmaker with the role of judging your submissions. This year, the festival has the honour of announcing documentary filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (“Payback”, “Manufactured Landscapes”) as the star judge of the 6th annual Toronto Urban Film Festival. Ms Baichwal is one of Canada’s most well renowned female documentarians and we’re very excited to have her awarding the top three films of this year’s festival. This year, she will have the pleasure of also awarding the Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Toronto Filmmakers.

The Naish McHugh Award is a $2,500 cash prize that goes toward a Toronto-themed film. Sponsored for the fourth year in a row by the City of Toronto, this is an award that strives to promote and expose homegrown talent. If you’re a Toronto filmmaker, and the city is what inspires you, this is the award you should be aiming toward.

In relation to this great city of Toronto, this year we are pleased to announce a brand new award. The Candian Urbanism Award, sponsored by Spacing Magazine, is a dream prize for the artist who loves Spacing Magazine and free promotion! The prize includes a 1-year subscription to Spacing magazine and a mystery prize pack worth $150 dollars. Plus, the winning film and artist of this years award will be promoted throughout Spacing’s large expanse of blogs and social-media networks. This is an opportunity to be seen and heard by your community through the vast expanse of Spacing magazine’s readership.

Of course, the DRAKE Hotel could not resist supporting the festival, and we couldn’t be more excited. Once again, sponsoring a private launch reception and screening at The Underground, their hotel theatre, as well as providing two night’s of accommodation for a lucky filmmaker (total value: $4000) in one of their award winning hotel rooms. The DRAKE hotel is a hotbed for the latest in Toronto’s creative scene, and we love being able to put them on this large bill of sponsors and prizes.

This is only the beginning of the prize list, as in all competitions there are many other things to be won including software and hardware that will make your other filmmaker friends regret not submitting to this year’s festival.

The list below is constantly growing and more prizes will be announced in the months leading up to the festival.



* Shoot and share panoramic video from the palm of your hand with Kogeto’s Dot™.  Dot™ is a stylish and durable attachment that snaps onto your iPhone 4 / 4S and lets you shoot 360° videos (or “dotspots”). — http://kogeto.com/


* Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite is the definitive toolkit that brings professional tools to filmmakers everywhere. Designed by seasoned colorist and film director Stu Maschwitz, this Suite produces professional Hollywood-style results on an indie budget. — http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/

* From Sony Creative Software. Fast, flexible, and feature-rich, Vegas Pro 11 software is ideal for digital video production, streaming content creation, broadcast production, and more. — http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/videoediting

* Also from Sony Creative: Imagination Studio 3. This complete suite of multimedia applications has everything you need to get started quickly, including innovative Show Me How tutorials from Sony. — http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/imaginationstudio

* Toon Boom Animate Pro is the most complete professional animation software for cutting-edge animators. It offers award-winning state-of-the-art content creation, animation and compositing toolset for any style of animation, all within a single desktop application. — http://beta.toonboom.com/professionals/animate-pro

* Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is essential to the beginning of any audiovisual project. It helps you take an idea and bring it to life and delivers powerful features that make it the tool of choice to create an entirely digital storyboard. — http://beta.toonboom.com/professionals/storyboard-pro


*Witz Education returns for a second year with two $2,000 credits that can be applied to Witz technology courses. Witz Education remains the unchallenged leader in state-of-the-art training and education as the first Apple Authorized Training Centre in Canada to be awarded Apple’s prestigious Gold Level designation.  — http://www.witzeducation.com/


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