Toronto Youth Shorts (TYS) 2016 returns to Toronto this weekend, August 5-6, for another round of short films from upcoming filmmakers. This year, TYS will feature 44 locally made short films by young emerging artists… astounding!
As I have done in previous years, I am highlight a few of the short films here for you. Some of the themes these films are trying to address are interesting, thought provoking, and important.
Through The Lens
This short shows the importance of brotherly influence by looking at an university bound photography hopeful young man with his younger brother. While the elder brother works taking photographs of people and places, the younger brother enjoys watching, learning, and their time together. Perhaps one day, he can also grow up to be a photographer, or perhaps find a passion of his own.
Directed by Haaris Qadri, this short looks polished. The story works well within its length. Well produced short film.
This is the story of a young man growing up with a single mother and a younger brother. Finances are bleak; the young man feels angry at their situation. He thinks of doing something that may help in the immediate moment with possible negative consequences. A change of mind makes him realize there are other, better options… what he finds at the end is a helping hand.
Directed by Alexander Henry, this is really well done short. The soundtrack song Just Because by Kwakena Kankari feat. Deborah Alison excellently complements the themes of the film. Good length, use of close ups, music, and talent.
Riley must deal with post-surgery recovery; a surgery that has affected her dream of being a professional dancer. One night she has a dream that leads to a new-found opportunity to express her love of dancing. When one door closes, another one opens.
Directed by Kristina Wong, Produced by Adrian Cheung. The film contains minimal dialogue but it gets its point across. There are some nice under water camera shots, which help tell Riley’s story.
What is a brand influencer? This short introduces us to Instragrammers @icingandglitter and @danaherlihey, who are serious about being influencers without having to lose all of their authenticity. This is a really interesting look at social media, the power to carry messages, even advertising to the masses, in a new way. Influencers are here to stay. The thing to note is “[social media] authenticity matter less than actual authenticity” these days…
Directed by Leah Lalich and Cait Martin Newnham, Produced by Kira Wakeam, Liam Butler, and Angus Mulroney. Not only interesting, but also well produced short film. Engaging, and thought provoking as well.
My Cradle and Tomb / Mi Cuna Y Mi Tumba
In the rural town of Villa Rica, Cauca, Colombia, there is no potable water. Jota, his family and friends have always lived without clean water. Their land has been “stolen twice” and the people are forced to beg the new land owners for access to clean water. Jota has had enough and tries to speak out; unfortunately, the bureaucracy that exists gets in the way of making any progress… will the people of Villa Rica ever have access to the life-giving source? The story continues.
Directed by Lina Evans. An excellent and informative documentary short; one of my favourite type of films. Good length, which covers the story succinctly. A film that shows promise, and has the potential as a feature documentary.
A poignant short that combines real-life sexual assault survivor stories mixed with the myth of Hades and Persephone.
Directed by Sydni Lazarus, Produced by Ida Jokinen
The Opening Presentation will be held today, August 5th at the Hollywood Theatre in the Hospital for Sick Children. For tickets to this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other festival screenings will take place on Saturday, August 6th at the University of Toronto’s Innis College. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony after the screenings on August 6th.
For full Toronto Youth Shorts program listings and filmmakers details, visit torontoyouthshorts.ca.