Commissioned Artists

This Commissioning Fund is a program that we have offered in our festival since its inception. We see this as an opportunity for artists to develop their creative voices through experimentation, collaboration and innovation. Through this fund, selected artists have been provided a small grant of up to $2000 towards production funds as well as facilitation and equipment resources through our festival partner Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society in Vancouver, Charles Street Video in Toronto and C.S.I.F (Calgary Independent Filmmakers Society). We are also excited to partner with The Scotia Bank Dance Centre which helps our artists with rehearsal space for throughout their process. 

Canadian artists are invited to apply with a new or existing short film concept that will premiere at our festival this September 21st at the SFU Woodwards Cinema. This year, we also have two amazing professional artists acting as mentors and facilitators to these emerging artists throughout their process. These mentors are Sammy Chien and Nancy Lee Please see Team page for their bios! 

This year, we are delighted to have commissioned 5 new movement films from artists across Canada between the ages of 22-29. These artists are working towards some very exciting movement ideas and concepts that involve seeing movement through animation, fashion and fantastical characters and speak to themes of memory, race and gender identity. These exciting new works will premier at our festival in September and we cannot wait to share them with you! We hope you can make it to their premieres! 


2019 Youth Artists

photo by: shay saver

photo by: shay saver

Jenna Mazur (Vancouver)

Jenna Berlyn is an independent contemporary dance artist based in Vancouver, B.C. From 2015-2019, she trained with Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program under the artistic direction of Tiffany Tregarthen and David Raymond. Her final year was completed on scholarship from the BC Arts Council. She has performed works independently by Paras Terezakis/Kinesis Dance, Daisy Thompson, Jennifer Mcleish-Lewis, and Caldonia Walton. As well as interpreting the works of others, Jenna is excited to pursue her own choreographic interests. Her projects are informed by her knowledge and studies in visual art, creative writing and digital media. Jenna continues to explore dance on screen as an exciting vehicle for her physical practice, and enjoys experimenting with sound, video and photo editing software.

FILM CONCEPT: Working title “Trace, Tread”.
There is a quietness. With a soft and tender attention, a solo dancer stirs energy through a room with her movements. The trajectory of her movements activate, disrupt and scatter physical and animated geometric objects that hang in the surrounding negative space. These objects make the air thick with potential to reveal pathways and physicalize traces. Memories of movement hang in the air before settling, or being taken up in another gust of energy.


Jordan Campbell and Ty Sloane (Toronto)

Jord and Ty are notorious queer fashion-fueled party girls who love to dance all night. SEE QUINN RUN is their second dance-fashion film collaboration; last summer they created THIS CITY ISN’T DEAD, which was performed alongside a live dance performance at the New Blue Emerging Dance Festival.

Jord Camp is a queer performance artist who creates and performs solo genderfucked club kid performance art drag numbers. He is half of the POP ART performance duo xLq, dedicated to radical performance forms and complicit audience experiences. Jordan is also a drama teacher with Purple Carrots Drama Studio, which provides workshops for neurodiverse artists of all ages with varying abilities.

Tyler J Sloane is a multidisciplinary theatre/performance artist. Their personal mandate is to emphasize marginalized voices that intersect: race (specifically mixed race, east asian diaspora, and indigenous communities intersecting urban areas); fluid sexualities; trans, non-binary, and fluid gender expressions; non-monogamous relationships; and class.

A glamorous romp through alterna-queer Toronto nightlife, one sequin at a time. We follow one dancer, a genderfucked club kid, through dozens of outfits dripping in sequins. The animation of the sequins against iconic Toronto hotspots allows us to find a little dirty glamour in this ugly city.

Photo by Emilie Alexandre.jpg

Tamar Tabori (Toronto)

Tamar Tabori is a Canadian-Israeli contemporary dancer and a multi-disciplinary collaborator. Her dance studies began with classical ballet at the age of four. At the age of thirteen, she expanded her training to include contemporary dance. She studied at The National Ballet of Canada, Interplay School of Dance, then completed the Contemporary Dance Program at Concordia University in Montréal. As a member of Concordia’s Fine Arts program, interdisciplinary collaboration became a focal point of her practice. Layering, shaping, and weaving together different streams of art into one cohesive performance (whether live or digital) allows her to take things beyond her technical limitations. For her, this allows for a conversation between art, rather than about art. This is most prominent in her personal dance-video editing projects. With strong influences coming from her classically trained background and unusual imagination, she offers a unique approach to choreography and performance. She combines passion and technique in order to create works that merge the familiar with the bizarre.

FILM CONCEPT: Run-of-the-Whip-Poor-Will
A strange habit for one person is common and typical, even mundane, for another. Perhaps others don’t think twice about it. Exploring this state of ongoing, sometimes gradual, understanding (and misunderstanding) through movement in seemingly ordinary spaces creates a disruption of normalcy. Do we rehearse the normal of others? How much effort do we put into our own normal? In this case, is it normal at all? Questioning the typical is a way of inquiring about the strange. The more you sit and think about it, the more the normal becomes bizarre. If “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” then one man’s ordinary is another man’s extraordinary.


Emerging Category

All Bodies Dance Project

All Bodies Dance Project (ABDP) is an inclusive dance company located on unceded Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC). Founded in 2014, ABDP brings together artists with and without disabilities to explore movement as a means of creative expression. The group offers accessible dance classes for adults of all abilities in addition to creating opportunities for diverse artists to practice, research and create innovative, inclusive dance. Through mentorship and training, the company is helping to develop a new and under-represented group of dance-makers, teachers and artistic leaders with a unique set of values and approach to performance making.

Project Lead: Carolina Bergonzoni is privileged to be a dance artist and PhD student in Arts Education, based on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Since 2011, she has been working toward building communities of movers and thinkers, with people from 0 to 99+ years old. As a choreographer, she has created works for the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Dance in Vancouver, The Dance Centre, and more.

Ho.Me is a short dance film that explores themes of belonging, comfort and discomfort in relation to the notion of inhabiting the body. The piece is comprised of three portraits of individuals who live in very different bodies linked together through a loose narrative.

zahra jellyfish .jpg

Zahra Shahab

Entering from a visual arts background, Zahra Shahab began her practice in dance at the University of Calgary, receiving a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in 2014 along with a minor in Visual Studies. She relocated to Vancouver in 2015 to study with Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Training Program and at Emily Carr University. She has presented choreography at the Alberta Dance Festival, Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People, University of Calgary Dance, Bloom (Mascall Dance), New Works Performance, Dance in Vancouver, Shooting Gallery, and The Dance Centre’s 12 minutes max. She has presented short films at the Calgary Underground Film Festival and Company 605’s Festival of Recorded Movement. With a childhood in Islam, a youth in Christianity, an early adulthood cracked open by feminism/queer theories and cradled by Sufi curiosity, Zahra investigates spirituality, identity, and death through her artistic work. She is interested in the continual fluid process of generating identity in relation to the perceived world alongside the freedom to dismantle it the moment it begins to crystalize. She believes that live physical performance is a powerful site for accessing the transformative power of self-representation.

FILM CONCEPT: soft teeth (working title)

soft teeth is a choreographic film experiment based on the connection between queer identity, metaphysics, and fantastical creatures. Characters that exist in a topography of plastic and natural material merge with one another and with the environment as they are continually in a state of morphological transformation.