Many of the films focus on different cultures and lifestyles, such as Landfill Harmonic (Graham Townsley), a documentary about children who live on a landfill site in Paraguay and make a living by selling recycled items from the trash. The programming also features films which do not shy away from revealing the diverse struggles that youth face today, such as Hear Me, a series of shorts that deal with issues such as growing up transgendered and facing discrimination from classmates in a new country. I am glad to see that Torontonians are being exposed to such thought-provoking films at a young age.
Another component of the festival which I admire is the TIFF Kids Young People’s Jury. Every year, TIFF selects a jury of ages 8-13 to attend the films at TIFF Kids and select the winners of The Young People’s Jury Award for Best Feature Film and Best Short Film. As a programmer for Toronto Youth Shorts, I am thrilled to see this opportunity for young kids to develop their love of film, and critical thinking skills in such a sophisticated way. If these kids aspire to work in the film industry, TIFF is giving them a great head start!
I am looking forward to volunteering again at TIFF Kids this coming weekend to share in the excitement of these young and cultured film fans!