Are you a broke university student who’s feeling stressed because of school and need to have a little fun? Well I got just the thing for you.
If you think the non-profit organization, TIFF only runs the major Toronto International Film Festival every year, only to hibernate the rest of the year; you’ve joined my mother on the list of people who think TIFF doesn’t run after the festival. Every year, since 2010, TIFF has run an annual festival, called TIFF Next Wave.
The festival aims to support and help growth the next generation of film enthusiasts and filmmakers. In achieving this goal TIFF gets a little help from a special group of teens. The TIFF Next Wave Committee is made up of a group of 12 students ranging from 15 to 18 years old, all across the GTA. These film enthusiasts are plucked from a competitive pool from special arts institutions, public schools, and private schools. Each individual is unique with their opinions, voices, and tastes to make up a diverse group. Not all of them are aspiring filmmakers or actors, some are interested in learning the business of film and festivals, planning cultural event, and some just simply love film.
This festival is extremely important in cultivating the interest in film, especially arts. Most importantly it gives otherwise marginalized voices in the film industry a chance to share their stories and give them opportunities that many schools do not offer. A lot of schools and parents are not the most supportive of a career in the arts. Speaking as a child of immigrant parents this opportunity is a great chance for teens who don’t have the means and opportunities to follow and cultivate their dreams.
So, you’re probably wondering how being a broke university student factors into this festival. Well if you are under 25, you can get into for free for regular screenings! You can watch films made by teens and about teens. These coming of age stories are not your typical teen films. They are realistic, heartfelt, and redefine what it means to grow up in this day and age. Twelve screenings are available free for people under 25.
Now there are some events that are not free, but you do still get a discounted rate. Instead of paying $14, you pay $11.50 for screenings in the movie marathon category, the opening party, battle of the bands, and young creator labs.
The festival starts on February 15 and ends on February 17th. For more information and details on scheduling, screenings, and pricing, visit tiff.net/nextwave.