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Level Forward Impact Award

Pilots applying for the Independent Pilot, Digital Short Series, and Late Night competitions have the opportunity to opt in to be considered for the Level Forward Impact Award. 

In its second year, The Level Forward Impact award will be given to the episodic pilot and team who demonstrate, on top of their commitment to creative excellence, a thoughtful, thorough, and deliberate approach to using storytelling as a means of leveling the playing field for Women, Black, Indigenous, Latin, Asian, Disabled, LGBTQIA+, geographically, socioeconomically, or otherwise diverse voices who have been historically overlooked, ignored, or exploited. The selected winner will work with Level Forward to develop their series, pitch, and work together towards setting it up with a distributor. By rewarding intentional art and process, the Impact Award incentivizes dual value creation – financial and social - as contemporary measures of success. 

How it Works

The Level Forward Impact Award is awarded to one filmmaker during the 2022 SeriesFest event and is supported by the Royal Bank of Canada. The awardee will receive a $5,000 cash prize and will participate in the Level Forward Impact Award Conversation at the 2022 festival, which includes a screening and travel stipend for all finalists.

All submissions will be evaluated by a panel of Level Forward artists including playwrights, directors, producers, and performers from some of the company’s portfolio of work.

Submissions will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • What story is being told? Why is this story important now, in this moment? How is it being told? 
  • Who is telling this story? Why are you the best person/people to tell it? Are you telling a story about something that has personally impacted you or someone close to you? 
  • How were you able to tell this story? What kind of support system did you have or lack? What non-financial resources did you use? 
  • Who is the audience for this story and what is your connection to that audience? How do you believe you can reach that audience? How do you hope your audience will be impacted by this story being in the world? How might others be impacted by it? 
  • What actions would you like to see taken by audiences because of your story? What are the partnerships you have made, or would like to make, to advance those actions?
  • How did you identify and build your team? Who is on that team and how do they represent the subject matter, and/or the intended audience? Is there gender and racial balance that reflects equitable access to the opportunity of working on your project? 
  • How were the people on your team compensated? How were they compensated relative to one another?
  • How would you like to see this story distributed? How would you like to see it priced?
  • If you could control the profit allocation of your work, how would you allocate it?
  • From where did your financing come? 

Importantly, there are no right answers to these questions. Additionally, not all questions may apply to you. Don’t worry, these are guideposts and ambitions. We know it takes extra time and money to be as thoughtful, thorough and deliberate as we would all like to be. Our logic, however, is that by naming these criteria, and rewarding them with a commitment to develop your series in partnership with you, and in alignment with our collective aspirations, we can together shape a more equitable and impactful industry, and encourage others to do the same.

2022 Award Recipient:  Jordan , created by Ebony Blanding

When a tween mermaid enthusiast discovers an ailing water creature, she uses a magical wish to change the fate of their existence...and her own.

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Season 8 Winners  
Level Forward Impact Award

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