If You Ask Me, Youth Filmmaking Program

2021 Call for Submissions

Due: June 21, 2021

A photo collage consisting of headshots of eight participating filmmakers.

If You Ask Me 2020 participants from top left to right: Malaika Athar, Hanna Donato, Manvinder Gill, Jae Lew, Claudia Liz, Kitoko Kasiama, Samyuktha Movva, Shubhi Sahni

If You Ask Me (IYAM) is a free program that supports emerging filmmakers with mental health and/or addiction experiences to develop a short film in the company of like-minded peers in a supportive environment. Over the summer, a small group of filmmakers will be selected to engage in workshops led by industry professionals and receive mentorship from IYAM alumni. Workshop topics include: developing a script, production, directing, editing, sound, distribution, and film festivals. Filmmakers will have an opportunity to screen their work at the 29th Annual Rendezvous with Madness Festival currently set to run October 28- November 7, 2021.

Helena Morgane will facilitate this year’s program alongside mentors Malaika Athar, Hanna Donato, Samyuktha Movva, and Shubhi Sahni.

IYAM will run virtually for a second year! Filmmakers are expected to take a self-directed approach to creating their own films and will receive support and strategies throughout the program. All genre of film are welcome such as documentary, experimental, fiction, and animation; all devices for filmmaking are welcome whether it is phone, tablet, or any variety of camera!

The submission form for IYAM 2021 can be found here.

The due date for applications is June 21, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST.

Questions? Accessibility support?Contact:
Cynella Cyril
Interim Education Manager
416 583 4339 ext. 3

2021 Deadline:

Monday, June 21, at 11:59 PM EST

– an honorarium
– a screening opportunity at The Rendezvous with Madness Festival (RWM)
– a screening fee
– a festival pass to attend all RWM events
– access to bi-weekly skill-building workshops with industry professionals
– personalized mentorship
– connections with film and festival networks and potential collaborators
– future leadership opportunities with IYAM and Workman Arts

Filmmakers who:
– are between the ages of 16-25
– are available from late-July to late-October to attend workshops every other week
– have the ability to join online workshops
– have access to the gear needed to create their film
– have some basic filmmaking experience
– are keen on furthering their professional experience in filmmaking
– currently live in Canada

Click here to apply online.

Workman Arts also invites submissions in the following format:

  • Paper sent by mail
  • Oral format*
  • ASL

*This includes: an interview by phone or video conferencing (Zoom, Skype, or Meet), a voice recording (MP3 or WAV), or a video recording (MP4, AVI, or MOV)

Please get in touch with Jessica, the education manager before June 11th to make accessibility arrangements. Proposals will not be judged based on the format of the submission.

Helena Morgane is an Afro-European multidisciplinary artist, performer, filmmaker and speaker based in Toronto and committed to the craft and support of complex intersectional storytelling.

A prolific creative and polyglot, she works globally and has collaborated with organizations such as TED, TIFF, BIPOC TV & Film, NIA Centre for the Arts, as well as artists like Kendrick Lamar and Drake. 

Her work has screened at international festivals, and been funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Artscape and the Indigenous Screen Office. 

Helena is currently in development for various projects, including her comedy-crime series SQUAD. For more information: 


Malaika Athar is an interdisciplinary researcher, artist, and aspiring polymath currently settled in Toronto. As an undergraduate student at the Univerity of Toronto, she currently spends most of her time studying Political and Health Sciences. Her culturally diverse upbringing and devotion to literature, however, fuel her passion to create projects that amplify the nuances of the human identity, emotion, and interactivity by overcoming barriers to storytelling, world-building, and filmmaking.


Hanna Donato is a Filipino-Canadian researcher and multimedia artist from Montreal. With an interdisciplinary background in Psychology and World Cinemas, she endeavours to showcase the interstitial space between our personal, internal worlds and our shared, external world. As a filmmaker, she strives to challenge her audience’s understanding of human perception, creation, and experience of reality. Hanna’s portfolio can be found at hannadonato.com.


Samyuktha Movva is an Indo-Canadian writer and filmmaker in Toronto. As a lifelong aficionado of cinema and literature and as a graduate of the University of Toronto, with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience, she has always felt at home at the intersection of seemingly disparate fields. In her work, she seeks to explore the spaces where different worlds collide, our shifting relationship with time and memory, and the experiences of displaced persons – whether they be immigrants crossing borders into foreign cultures or young people grappling with their identity and the weight of expectation.  Instagram and Twitter: @samyukthamovva


Shubhi Sahni is a writer and filmmaker based in Toronto and Los Angeles. She is pursuing her MFA in Film & Television Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. You can learn about her work at shubhisahni.com.