Four actors – Jared Abrahamson, Grace Glowicki, Mylène Mackay and Sophie Nélisse, have been selected to participate in the 2016 TIFF Rising Stars program at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.Now in its sixth year, the intensive professional development program immerses participants in a series of public events and industry meetings during the Festival.
“Canadian talent have proven themselves among the best in the world,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival. “We are truly proud to connect this year’s TIFF Rising Stars with the global film industry, offering them an international platform for showcasing their work and a launch pad to develop their careers.”
The four Rising Stars will take part in a series of specialized programming organized by TIFF’s Industry team that includes seminars with casting directors, media training, one-on-one meetings with filmmakers, as well as a series of unique networking opportunities. New this year, additional international Rising Stars will be announced in the coming weeks.
Jared Abrahamson was born and raised in Flin Flon, Manitoba and currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. After a stint working in the mines and competing as a pro mixed martial arts fighter, he attended the Vancouver Film School. Abrahamson had a lead role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film Finding a Family (2011) and parts in the ABC pilot The Manzanis, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012), and Awkward. Recently, Abrahamson filmed roles in Keep Watching (2016); Hello Destroyer (TIFF 2016); Gun (2016); Veracruz (2016); Never Steady, Never Still (2016); Hollow in the Land (2016); and a recurring character on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. He will soon be seen in the TV drama Travelers (2017).
Grace Glowicki is an actor, director, and writer based in Toronto, Ontario. She has appeared in films at many major US film festivals this year. At the Sundance Film Festival, her performance in Ben Petrie’s Her Friend Adam (2016) won her a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance. The film has since played SXSW Film Festival, NYC’s Rooftop Films, and the Sundance Short Film Tour. She also starred in Jason Jeffrey’s A Teachable Moment (2016), which played the Tribeca Film Festival. Upcoming acting projects include the narrative feature Cardinal (2017), directed by Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley; Jordan Canning’s Suck it Up (2017), which she co-executive produced; and Tito, her feature-length directorial debut.
Mylène Mackay is an actor and comedian. Born in Saint-Didace, Quebec and currently based in Montreal, she graduated from L’École nationale de théâtre du Canada in 2011. Mackay appeared on television and on stage before her first major film role in André Turpin’s Endorphine (2015). Upcoming roles include André Forcier’s Embrasse moi comme tu m’aimes (2016), and the title role in Anne Émond’s Nelly (TIFF 2016), based on the life and work of author Nelly Arcan. Mackay is also involved in several voice dubbing projects.
Sophie Nélisse was born in Windsor, Ontario and raised in Montreal, Quebec. She starred in Brian Percival’s The Book Thief (2013) and Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar (2011), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and earned her a Genie Award for her performance. Nélisse’s latest film credits include Andre Turpin’s Endorphine (2015); Stephen Herek’s The Great Gilly Hopkins (2015); Nathan Morlando’s Mean Dreams (TIFF 2016), which premiered at Cannes; Radu Mihaileanu’s The History of Love (2016); Dominic James’s Wait Till Helen Comes (2016), set to be released this October; and Academy Award nominee Yan England’s directorial debut, 1:54 (2016). In August 2016, Nélisse begins filming her latest role in Lea Pool’s Et Au Pire On Se Mariera.
Alumni of the TIFF Rising Stars program include Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars, Dracula Untold, Enemy, Belle), Tatiana Maslany (Two Lovers and a Bear, Emmy-nominee for Orphan Black), Stephan James (Race, Selma), Connor Jessup (American Crime, Closet Monster) and Shannon Kook (Dark Places).
The 2016 jury who helped select the participants includes filmmakers Clement Virgo, Albert Shin, and Jennifer Podemski, Rising Star alumnus Connor Jessup, and film critic Johanna Schneller