This year in particular, a common thread seems to be stories centred on an older generation. From Ryerson thesis films to Humber documentaries, a significant collection of films centred around older protagonists was produced. Even in this year's TYS180 microfilm showcase, which recently played at Doors Open Toronto, many pieces examine the familial relationships filmmakers have with their parents or grandparents.
Some of these are works of fiction, such as Lauren Thomas' Step One from Humber College about a single mother dealing with her son leaving home to go to university, and Valentina Laudari's Queen of the Bums from Ryerson University revolving around a homeless woman who proclaims herself with such a title. Not all films will depict our fellow seniors with compassionate humanity like Tom Gigliotti's Walter's Way, which won the Audience Choice award at Ryerson this year. Dexter Benson-Barnett's Road Home and Nick Alberelli's Birdsong shows us two father figures with major personality flaws that deeply affect their children. On the non-fiction side, there is Shivi Silva's Finding Family depicting familial prejudice upon a gay couple and Sylvia Nowak's 206 Carlton centred around internationally infamous Holocaust denier, Ernst Zundel.
Stories about the older generation are not anything new, and it certainly wouldn't be the first time a young filmmaker tackled stories based on an older generation. Tyler Schrieder's I Love Rhonda took home the 2013 Achievement in Film Direction: Fiction award based on his love stories set in a retirement home. While we like seeing youth-based stories, it is also just as interesting to see stories on a group of people with vastly different experiences from the youth perspective. Who knows, maybe one of the films this year might see similar success as I Love Rhonda.