About a year ago, a family friend passed along word of the TIFF Next Wave Committee, a committee for young film-lovers, organized by TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). In all honesty, I didn’t know much about the committee other than the fact that it was for participants between the ages of 14-18 and involved event planning. Despite my own vague knowledge about what it was all about, I set aside my questions and applied for a position. And am I ever glad that I did.
Within a few weeks, I was contacted by the lovely people at TIFF with the news that I’d landed a spot on the 2011/2012 TIFF Next Wave Committee! Thus forth, 12 high-school students from across the GTA, including myself, began our journey into the universe of TIFF.
The meetings were to be bi-weekly and we started promptly at the beginning of the school year. We would reconvene every other Tuesday to sit, eat, chat about and watch films, and plan events.
Our first event was a screening of Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous followed by a performance and Q&A with the band Obijou. Our next event was a debate over Michael Bay’s (director of the Transformers film franchise) title as an “auteur.” These kinds of events, we resolved, were the types of events that really encapsulated the quirky bunch of us that made up the committee.
In these meetings I learned more than I could have imagined. We were given all sorts of opportunities to attend events, watch films we’d see no where else, and meet people that only an organization like TIFF could introduce us to.
As a group of young film-lovers and filmmakers, this has to have been one of the most beneficial experiences any of us have had. I couldn’t begin to list what I’ve learned this past year, not only about film and filmmaking but everything that goes into planning a film festival – more than you think!
Now, with the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival only a few weeks away and everything coming together, there’s a ton to be excited about. It’s hard to say what I’m most excited for, as there is a lot to choose from this year.
There are plenty of films that I highly recommend you check out. My personal favorite this year is a little film called La Haine. This is a movie that tackles a lot of subjects, some light and some heavy. The film is set in the suburbs outside of Paris and confronts the fine balance between honor and belligerence. Highly recommended!
As well as the films there are several events taking place. I myself look forward to the TIFF Next Wave Set Design Challenge where teams work with industry professionals to build interactive, immersive DIY sets.
Long story short, avid film lovers and casual film watchers alike will find something they love here. If this sounds like you, you best make your way to tiff.net/nextwave and nab yourself some tickets before it’s too late!
For movie mavens like us, nothing could have been more satisfying than the selection process. Getting to sit back and watch movies back, to back, to back and discuss them at length with people that we have so much in common with has been a real privilege.
I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that our anticipation for something great to come out of this has been fulfilled with the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival finally arriving. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my experience here!
To sum up my experience with the TIFF Next Wave Committee, I’ll leave you with this: this is the best extracurricular EVER.