Get underground with the Toronto Urban Film Fest



Out of the rep cinemas and into your subterranean commute – that’s the motto of the Toronto Urban Film Festival. North America’s largest subway film festival is now accepting submissions of silent one-minute films to screen on subway monitors reaching one-million pairs of work bound eyeballs on the daily.

Dominating the underground, however, isn’t enough. TUFF 2014 plans to also invade select screens of 40 shopping malls across Canada as well as the Calgary international airport, and you can also spot a specially selected curated 8-second vid at a Yonge-Edward billboard.

As an avid fan of in-your-face art approaches, and the over the top and under rated TTC television experiment Murder in Passing, I’m looking forward to another year of TUFF TTC mischief.

Posted June 9, 2014 by TYSFF in Meeting

Time for TAAFI and Student Shorts!


Next Friday, June 13th, marks the beginning of the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), an event which is as sweet as its name! TAAFI celebrates the art of animation from all over the world. I am happy to say that I will be volunteering once again for TAAFI, especially since this year’s festival is holding many exciting events, including the Animation Arts Maarket, a screening of brand new Mickey Mouse Shorts, and an exclusive Q&A with the creators of Phineas and Furb!

The event I am most excited about is the Student Shorts showcase, which is being co-presented by Toronto Youth Shorts, and featuring animated shorts from across the globe, including Canada, Hungary and South Africa! This year’s line-up reflects the unique ability of animation to present the world from an endless array of perspectives, which cannot be portrayed as well through live action. For example, the film Amoeba (Bronwyn Horne) presents the isolation of a single-celled organism; Ramus (Danica Parry) follows a tree branch separated from its mother tree; and then there is Backwards Cat Goes to the Vet (Tanya Kozak) a strange phenomenon which can only be conveyed through animation!

So whether you are an avid animation fan, or are just looking for a new appreciation of this art form, check out Student Shorts on June 15th, 4:30 p.m. at George Brown College (Waterfront Campus). Visit the TAAFI website for the full line-up of Student Shorts. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the website for the full schedule of Screenings, Parties and Workshops!

-Julia Crocco

Italian Contemporary Film Festival


Buon giorno giovani registi !

From June 12- 20th, in its third annual year the Italian Contemporary Film Festival returns to the big screens. Showcasing contemporary cinema from all regions of Italy, this festival transports you in to the heart and soul of this beautiful country. Opening night kicks off with ‘La Milgiore Offerta’ (The Best Offer) directed by Giuesppe Tornatore, starring Geoffry Rush and Jim Sturgess leads you into the world of high-end art auctions and antiques.

Part of this years official screening selection, the Italian Shorts Program screens on June 15th at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Covering a diverse range of themes from comedy, drama to documentary the Shorts program will invite viewers into the lives and stories of Italy. You can read more about the short films at ICFF Italian Short Program.

Godersi il festival del cinema.

– Sara Alexandra

Volunteer Opportunities at TIFF Now Available!

TIFF Volunteers

Would you like to get involved with one of the largest film-related events in the world? Would you like to earn vouchers that can be redeemed for tickets to high-profile film screenings? Would you like to wear an awesome orange t-shirt? Well, now is your chance to help out during the biggest and busiest weeks in the Toronto arts and media scene.

The 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival will run this year from September 4th to the 14th, and as always, it promises to be quite a show. Hundreds of films from dozens of countries will screen at the festival (many for the first time ever), and countless industry professionals (actors, directors, producers, etc.) will be in attendance.

How can you get involved? Simple: go to the TIFF website here and apply to be a volunteer for the upcoming festival. There are many roles you can fulfill as a volunteer, including greeting customers and answering their questions, directing people to appropriate lines, ticket-taking and pass-scanning, and helping with setup. You may also have the opportunity to assist with administrative or technical matters. If you’re interested, though, you may want to act quickly – volunteer applications will likely close well before June is over.

I volunteered for TIFF during the 2012 Festival, and it was definitely a rewarding and informative experience. So if the idea of becoming part of a world-renowned, Toronto-based cultural event appeals to you, I heartily encourage you to give it a shot.

-Dan Bulmer

Awards Season is Over, Long Live Awards Season: Wrapping Up Cannes

It seems like only yesterday we were watching Ellen Degeneres host the 2014 Oscar Ceremony. And really, it was only about three months ago. However, with Cannes wrapping up this past weekend, it’s as if we’re thrown right back into award season with many films vying for attention from fans, critics, and distributors around the world. Although it’s far too early to make solid predictions ahead of the fall festival circuit – as a Torontonian, and someone with experience in the film industry, I couldn’t pretend to overlook the importance of the films premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this September – the major Cannes contenders will always lead to excited chatter about the next nine (!) months before the 2015 awards season comes to a close.

Particularly exciting for us, was this year’s impressive Canadian showing with films by David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, and new favourite Xavier Dolan with Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars winning best actress for Julianne Moore’s performance and Xavier Dolan’s film Mommy splitting the festival’s Jury Prize with New Wave legend Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language.

What Cannes premiers are you most excited about? Who still has faith in the Grace of Monaco recut?

Congrats to Everyone Involved in the Toronto Student Film Festival!

Toronto Youth Shorts was lucky enough to sponsor the Toronto Student Film Festival last Friday night and let me tell you, these students did not disappoint. Taking place at the Isabel Bader Theatre on U of T Campus, the films ran the gamut of Canadian and international talent — From macro-lens docs and experimental black and whites, to emotional looks into fictional and real lives alike. A personal fave was a claymation short by Australian filmmaker Carolyn Duchene titled Wanda. Wanda is a lipstick in want of a family. But where to find one?


Special mention goes out to the winners of the Best Toronto Award given out by Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival Director Henry Wong. Henry and the team couldn’t decide on just one, so three of the local films were given official invitations into TYSFF:

1) Jessie MacAlpine: A Story of Youth and Science by Nicole Cedic

“The film focuses on Canadian science prodigy, Jessie MacAlpine. She has recently discovered an inexpensive treatment for Malaria and has filed for patent, the kicker being that she has accomplished all of this by the young age of 18. The fact that she is brilliant is amazing in its own right, but being a humanitarian is what makes her story especially unique.”

2) Criterion by Dylan Vogel

A black and white experimental film that has already won National Gold Medal and Best in Grade 11 at the 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and Best Animation in the TIFF 2014 Jump Cuts.

3) My Last Day at Work by Sean Singh

A look into the life of an ex-rail driver’s heart-breaking experience with post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety.


– Maggie

Get out to the Scarborough Film Festival!

SCFF 2On June 3rd the second annual Scarborough Film Festival kicks off at the Fox Theatre, unleashing 6 days of alternative and educationally-minded filmmaking from films sourced locally and internationally. Scarborough native Steven Matthew Hoffner helps open festival with his short film Cliffside – an urban tale of ambition, dreams, and escape. From there you can tour the world via festival programming with films from Germany, Mexico, Poland, Philippines and more.

Other than the Fox Theatre the festival finds itself occupying UTSC, Woodside Cinema, and also Cedar Ridge Creative Centre for an outdoor screening (summer!) on Saturday June 7th.

You can find the rest of the festival programming here, and be sure to watch the trailer below.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 26, 2014 by TYSFF in Meeting