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TDSB stars at TIFF young filmmakers showcase

TDSB stars at TIFF young filmmakers showcase

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

A whopping 17 of the 27 films selected for this year's Jump Cuts Young Filmmaker's Showcase, which is part of the TIFF Kids International Film Festival, come from the creative minds of TDSB students. Bowmore Road PS and Chester Elementary School lead the way with nine and five selections respectively. Queen Victoria PS, Delta Alternative School, and East Alternative School of Toronto (EAST) also have entries.

“I am very proud of the commitment and hard work our teachers and students demonstrated in preparation for TIFF this year,” said Bowmore Road PS Principal Lori McKay. To prepare for their grade 7 and 8 film projects, students first pitched ideas to classmates. These ideas were discussed and transformed into “filmable” projects. “The films tied into not only Media Studies, but also the visual arts curriculum, where the focus was on creative use of the camera by telling a story in a visually interesting way,” added McKay. Bowmore has seven entries in the grades 7 and 8 category of the event.

Bowmore also has two entries in the grades 4 to 6 category. Students there studied the techniques of film and learned how to write detailed storyboards. McKay said that her grades 4 to 6 students worked in groups to brainstorm social justice issues for story ideas. 

Chester ES Principal Sean Hume said that his school recently supplied each of his classrooms with a set of ipads, and was looking for interesting, creative ways to utilize them. So the school initiated the First Chester Film Festival and had students in every class create short films for presentation at an assembly. “One of our teachers, Krzysztof Rakuc, who teaches grades 4/5, was so impressed with the efforts of his students that he entered films in the TIFF Jump Cuts competition.” 

Rakuc wasn’t the only one who was impressed. Five of those films were ultimately selected as finalists and will be screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on April 19 as the Kids International Film Festival wraps up.

Films in the grades 4 to 6 category screen at 1:00 pm while the grades 7 and 8 category runs at 1:15 pm. Winners will be announced at 3:15 pm during the TIFF Kids Awards Ceremony and will receive awards including The Frederick Simpson Award for Best Film (grades 4 to 6), The Veronica Herman Award for Best Film (grades 7 and 8), and TVOKids Choice Award for grades 4 to 6. A TIFF jury made up of industry professionals, including film writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse, animator and filmmaker Sol Friedman, and Marie McCann, Executive in Charge of Production for Giselle’s Big Backyard on TVO, will select the winners.

In a statement, TIFF said that the competition “encourages young filmmakers to use film as a medium for self-expression and provides them the opportunity to view their work on the big screen.”  Themes of the student works explore a variety of subjects that are important to young people today in genres ranging from documentaries to creative dramas and historical period pieces. 

Last year, the Bowmore Road PS Zombie film, Call of the Dead, won in the grades 7 and 8 category and was praised for its use of makeup and creative camera techniques. 

The 2015 TIFF Kids International Film Festival runs to April 19.

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