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10th Annual Toronto Youth Shorts Festival In Review!

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The Toronto Youth Shorts Festival took place September 21st-22nd, and as 2018 made this the ten year anniversary of the festival, the content was well worth seeing. Different risks were taken, with great rewards. As the young filmmakers of Toronto gathered to view the content they had created, the audience waited patiently, excited to see the ideas of the next generation take the spotlight. The 10th annual Toronto Youth Shorts featured 47 films played over 4 programs, showing a variety of comedy, drama, and thoughtfully disturbing content as well. With a combination of live action and animation, the talents of Canada’s up and coming creators were showcased and left us both satisfied, and hungry to see what they will create next.
Some films, like Peaches, directed by Spencer Ryerson (a director known for his more edgy work), were decidedly much lighter in presentation, showing the sensitive side of men. Baking is what Spencer decided to use as his vehicle, using the delicate nature of such art to bring to light the same nature, residing in his male lead.
Snapchat KidnapOther films, such as Snapchat Kidnap, directed by Mike Mildon, an affiliate of Second City, came in the form of a hilarious skit. Involving the use of popular social media app Snapchat, a serious kidnapping turns to comedy when the assailant begins sending ransom videos, via Snapchat, to the authorities. Threats made using duck face, voice filters, and the fact the videos disappear after a few moments, makes the killer extremely difficult to trace. The creativity used in this short, is a staple of Second City comedic performers, and they held high the reputation.
Green ShoesAnd yet, there were some films that led with a far more gritty, and disturbing helm. One of those films was Green Shoes, directed by Justin Giegerich, written by Jessica Ryan, produced by Tim Rousseau, and edited by Ryan Shuler. Green Shoes is a film in which “a sexual relationship between a 14-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man are told through two different accounts based on feelings of obsession”. The short is a pilot project, meant to be used to acquire further funding for a feature film. After speaking with Jessica, she mentioned that many victims of war, particularly surviving soldiers with PTSD, will often have other ailments. One of those, can be an obsession with innocence, after losing it themselves.
Overall, the festival itself is a wonderful way to foster, and encourage young filmmakers to work together and share that work. The festival happens every year, and always has a wide variety of content. For now, we look forward to seeing what Canada’s emerging artists will make us think about, make us laugh about, and how they will continue to move our hearts.
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