Diversity Mentorship Program - Documentary

Applications are now open until June 19th at midnight.

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Screen Nova Scotia’s membership is made up of the crew, talent, production and creative teams that reside in and create Nova Scotia content. In 2022, to accelerate the development of our diverse talent in the province, Screen Nova Scotia offered twelve individuals paid internships, each lasting four weeks on professional film sets in the province. 

Screen Nova Scotia is calling for applications to fill intern positions through our Diversity Mentorship Program. Selected interns will be placed on a professional film/television set in a crew trainee position and paired with a designated mentor for the four-week period to gain hands-on experience in the crew department of their choice. 

This year, Screen Nova Scotia is offering a new opportunity where selected individuals will work on a documentary production. If you have applied, or plan to apply, to the narrative television and film stream of the Diversity Mentorship Program, you are still able to apply for the documentary portion of the program.

This is an opportunity to work with and learn from an experienced team of documentary filmmakers on a science and nature documentary. The selected intern will work with a mentor for four weeks/20 days. 

The production’s preference is to work with an emerging to early entrant-level applicant. The ideal candidate will be a keen observer who is a committed team player and is enthusiastic about the documentary genre. While documentary experience is not necessary, a desire to make it a part of your career path will be an asset. 

Due to the long production schedule for this documentary, a flexible schedule is required. Your schedule may not be four consecutive weeks, especially if you apply to mentor with the DOP or Director.

If the intern selects DOP or Director, travel may be required. The production intends to have the selected intern in either of these roles join the crew on location for filming in Nova Scotia in July in 2023, and either in Wisconsin in September 2023 or in Texas in February 2024. Please note that you will need a valid passport and the ability to travel to the US. Expenses would be covered if this occurs. 

Choices for the documentary production mentor positions are the following:

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Director of Photography
  • Editor

The application process will be managed by Screen Nova Scotia, as well as an external jury of experienced film and television professionals in both the local and national screen industry. If the selected intern has never worked on a set before, they can participate in a Set Etiquette course in advance of their on-set placement, sponsored by IATSE Local 849. The course is optional, but highly recommended. This will be arranged by Screen Nova Scotia and offered at no cost to the trainee.  

Selected program participants will be paid a trainee rate of $1,150/week for the duration of their mentorship. It is important to note that work days may last up to 8-10 hours, depending on the position. Also, in the case of this program travel may be involved as mentioned. 

Eligibility Criteria

Program Level: Emerging
Length of professional on-set mentorship: Four weeks (approx. 20 days – a flexible schedule is required. Your schedule may not be four consecutive weeks).
Age range: 18+


  • Applicants must identify as part of a racialized or marginalized community (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour, or persons with disabilities). 
  • Basic knowledge of the film industry is essential.
    • Past experience on a film set in a crew, trainee, or volunteer capacity will be considered an asset. For the documentary placement, experience on one-off documentaries or series will be considered an asset. Please identify any experience in your application.
    • Other equivalent film and television work experience is an asset, but not essential (e.g. sponsored training initiatives such as AFCOOP’s FILM 5 Program, Halifax Black Film Festival Youth and Diversity program, Breaking Through the Screen for African Canadians, any mentorship program or co-op placements/work terms, and post-secondary education/programs). Please identify this experience in your application.
  • Applicants do not need to be a member of Screen Nova Scotia to apply, but do need to be a resident of Nova Scotia (living and paying taxes in the province), or be part of a Nova Scotia reserve. 

Application Requirements
Program applicants must submit all of the following information electronically in a .PDF file via email to danya@screennovascotia.com with the title Diversity Mentorship Program Application (Documentary).

Keeping the above criteria in mind, please submit: 

  • Resume/bio of the applicant. Please self-identify to which marginalized and/or racialized communities you belong. Looking for resume tips? Check HERE.
  • A letter of interest/intent describing why you want to be a part of this program and outlining the steps you will take to advance your career in the film industry. In this letter, clearly identify the top three positions that you would be most interested in working in, with a brief description of why. OR, 
  • Submit this easy-to-fill Google Form, which will be submitted to the Screen Nova Scotia office with your resume/bio.
  • If possible, one reference from past employers/co-workers/mentors must also be submitted. 
  • The results of who has been accepted into this program will be announced in early July.

The deadline to apply is midnight on June 19, 2023. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered by our jury. Applicants will be involved in a meet and greet by an external jury as part of the application process.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Industry Services Coordinator, Danya Knowles: danya@screennovascotia.com / (902) 229-1499.

Additional Information:

If you have applied or plan to apply to the narrative television and film stream of the Diversity Mentorship Program, you are still able to apply for the documentary portion of the program.

Following acceptance in the program, interns will be given a ‘what to expect on a film set document’.

Following internships, participants can expect a survey, along with information about next steps (Union Permittees or Referral Lists, getting involved with Screen Nova Scotia, etc.).

In 2019, Screen Nova Scotia introduced an organizational mandate to develop and deliver projects that are tailored towards increasing job opportunities and discoverability of diverse individuals (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour, & persons with disabilities).

Thank you to our partners at Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, as well as the Association of Black Social Workers for supporting this program.