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MonkeyPaw Productions Launches No Drama Initiative Powered by TIFF & The Universal Filmmakers Project


January 30, 2024

Monkeypaw Productions, in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival® (TIFF) and the Universal Filmmakers Project, today announced that entry submissions have opened for NO DRAMA, a new initiative aimed at cultivating breakout filmmakers. Up to six writer-directors will be chosen to create short films with the goal of developing them into full-length projects with Monkeypaw and Universal Pictures

From the mind of Jordan Peele, NO DRAMA asks filmmakers, “What’s your biggest fear?  What monsters lurk in the deepest corners of your inner thoughts?” This reimagined installment of the Universal Filmmaker Project invites filmmakers to produce a project that explores horror across cultures, time, environments and society. 

“A good monster story comes from a perspective that’s very personal and very vulnerable. It’s a story that is so deeply personal that you think no one else can relate to it,” said Jordan Peele. “That’s exactly the purpose of NO DRAMA – to challenge filmmakers to turn their deepest fears into fun, thrilling stories that need to be told.”

“Jordan and his team at Monkeypaw are visionary filmmakers who are committed to using their platform to identify and uplift emerging talent across the industry.  We are proud to join TIFF in supporting Monkeypaw’s NO DRAMA initiative and can’t wait to see the results from its first group of exciting filmmakers,” said Universal Pictures President Peter Cramer.

NO DRAMA is a global initiative that will have digital and physical touchpoints with the Monkeypaw, Universal and TIFF Industry teams. Selected filmmakers will each receive a $50,000 grant to produce their short, exposure to the major studio production process, access to creative and production executives to develop their professional networks, and the opportunity to screen their NO DRAMA projects during TIFF in 2025.  

“We’re proud to launch this groundbreaking initiative, NO DRAMA, with our longstanding partner Universal," said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF. “Having one of the best storytellers like Jordan Peele and his talented team at Monkeypaw on board, is another step in transforming cinema. By supporting emerging filmmakers in the early phases of their careers, TIFF is dedicated to fostering innovation and pushing the boundaries of storytelling. We’re looking forward to unveiling these short films during our 50th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2025."

“With Jordan and Monkeypaw as our partners, NO DRAMA and the Universal Filmmakers Project are poised to deliver the access breakthrough filmmaking talent need to thrive in this industry,” said Janine Jones-Clark, Universal’s EVP of Inclusion, Talent & Content.  “We’re grateful to have the prestige and commitment from our friends and colleagues at TIFF, who are dedicated to our shared mission of cultivating innovative talent and narratives that drive career momentum.”

The submission window for NO DRAMA is now open and will close on Thursday, February 29th, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Interested filmmakers are encouraged to visit to apply and for additional information on the initiative.