Cinematoba supports creation of short films

Arts, Culture & Heritage

Cinematoba is a new filmmaking initiative focused on sharing stories of local generosity from across Manitoba. The program provides funding and filmmaking support for the creation of five original stories, culminating in a festival-style showcase in September 2023.

The National Screen Institute will match novice or emerging participants with an experienced local filmmaker who will provide mentorship to guide them through the production process. Experienced storytelling participants will work more independently, interacting directly with the program manager, Cam Bennett, a Winnipeg writer and director.

Each participant will receive a $10,000 cash award from The Winnipeg Foundation to produce a short film that incorporates the theme of generosity. This is a unique media production and mentorship opportunity open to all Manitobans aged 18 and over, regardless of filmmaking experience. The opportunity strives to be as barrier-free as possible, and there is no cost to apply.

“I love that with Cinematoba, there aren’t any barriers or borders to entry,” says Bennett. “You can be a person with no experience whatsoever, but if you have a wonderful idea and it catches the attention of our jury, I think it’s remarkable that someone with little or no experience is given the same opportunity as someone who has made three films, or ten films.”

The goal of the program is for all Manitobans to discover what generosity looks like in our province.

“The theme of ‘generosity’ is intentionally vague. It doesn’t have to adhere to a certain charitable model or organization, or the things that we think of when we think of assisting others,” explains Bennett. “It’s the idea that generosity can take many forms, can be embodied by people, places, companies, and charitable organizations. It can be charitable with your time, of yourself, not necessarily something that makes you reach into your pockets. The idea of hearing stories of people giving of themselves is really special.”

Bennet hopes to see proposals from different parts of Manitoba, saying “it’s sometimes hard to get people outside of the perimeter to realize these opportunities exist for them… I hope we’re all surprised by the things that are made possible. I learn so much about local and provincial history from projects like these. I want to learn about someone or something from this province that I know nothing about. When that happens and you get that little lightning bolt when you read a proposal, that’s when it gets exciting.”

Cinematoba was originally planned as part of The Foundation’s 2021 centennial celebrations but due to COVID delayed its launch to April 2022. Proposals are being accepted until July 8, 2022 and will be evaluated by a juried panel.

To learn more, visit or follow @Cinematoba on social media.

This story is featured in the Spring 2022 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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