Brandon Bastaldo, Contributor
We’re just going to assume that you will want to check out the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s Next Wave Festival, because who wouldn’t want to attend this FIRST annual celebration of youth innovation and film culture taking place this May 10-12? Not only does the Next Wave festival feature some pretty cool films about issues that affect today’s youth like Mathew Lillard’s Fat Kid Rules the World, Delphine and Muriel Coulin’s 17 Girls, and Amir Bar-Lev’s Re: Generation Music Project. It also showcases original content picked, formatted, and pressed hot off the minds of burgeoning filmmakers and designers.
Part of the Next Wave Festival, the Future Frames programme displays a selection of outstanding new works created by filmmakers attending postsecondary film schools in Canada. Including everything from hand drawn animation to computer generated graphics, the Future Frames programme features shorts like Miles Jay’s social network dystopia Blink, Margaret Donahoe’s Fat a reflection on issues with body image, and Chris Chami’s Make Treks about a not-for-profit organization that utilizes social media to raise awareness for Toronto’s homeless.
One of the great things about the Next Wave Festival is that TIFF seems to have picked up on an aspect of today’s youth culture absolutely intrinsic to our entertainment: video games. So although Next Wave sports the appearance of being just a film festival, the Future Games programme is certain to entertain anyone born in the age of Nintendo (or in many cases, Nintendo 64). In the Future Games programme, post-secondary students from across Canada will showcase their original video games like ASDF which boasts your helping “a colourful posse of gangsters navigate their way through a pixilated labyrinth, one key stroke at a time” or Super Conveniently Head Controlled Face Fight 10987654321 where your head is literally used as a controller in this interactive portion of the festival.
Each event is followed by a panel discussion in which high schoolers can speak to filmmakers and game creators to gain insight on the film and gaming industries. With all this, and playful workshops open to the public, we strongly urge you to go check out a film, a video game, or a work shop at the TIFF Next Wave Festival. It’s your best chance to know “what’s poppin’” with the young’uns these days!