Why I Love Toronto
TIFF Kids International Film Festival
Imagination. My father said I had the wildest imagination as a kid. I would make Lego villages, with Lego people and make up soap opera like storylines for them. My mom made me an art station where I could draw, paint and glue macaroni together to make some questionable art pieces I would call Christmas gifts and my grandmother would let me tell her these ridiculous stories about monsters and superheroes that I supposedly saw on my way to school. Yes as a child my imagination let me believe that anything was possible and that I could do anything.
I am bringing this up because last week I attended some screenings at the TIFF Kids International Film Festival. After seeing six films I noticed two common themes emerge in all them. The first was that a child’s imagination can lead to endless possibilities and the second was that if you believe, you can achieve.
TIFF Kids, as the event is commonly referred to as, is a festival for children between the ages of 3 to 13 and has been around for the last sixteen years. This year’s festival featured 115 films from 40 countries and had a diverse range of genres from animation to Claymation to comedy and drama. The festival also featured Q&A sessions with some of the directors of the films, where children got to ask questions like “How did you make the aliens” or “Did you like making the film?” These films and Q&A sessions are a great learning experience for children and teaches them about different cultures, languages, the world of film and the most valuable lesson which is “if you set your mind to it you can achieve great things.”
As mentioned above I was lucky to see six films, five shorts and one full length feature. The first set of films I saw was a compilation of short films called Creativity Unleashed, which showed you what can happen when you unleash your imagination. The films included were Sky Colour, The Invention, My Strange Grandfather, The Intergalactic Space Adventures of Cleo and Anouk (which I was lucky enough to hear the director Celeste Koon speakabout) and Caine’s Arcade. All of these films taught me that having an imagination is crucial to your development as it allows you to be creative, passionate and solve problems. The feature film I saw was a British film entitled Believe, whichtruly made me believe in something. It made me believe in second chances, hope and reminded me to never doubt yourself.
Also, I have to note how adorable the Programme Guide was to read. We all know that films have content advisories, for example, “this film may have nudity and coarse language viewer discretion is advised”. Well the Programme Guide for TIFF Kids also has advisories, but they are not what an adult would think is advisory worthy. Below are some of my favourite advisories from the Programme,
- “Discussion of violent crime”
- “Romantic situations”
- “Student skips class”
- “Deceased mother seen in visions”
- “Romantic kiss on the cheek”
You have to admit this is really cute and to an early 20 year old like myself, they are utterly hilarious. However, being their first hand I understand why those advisories were included because when those kids saw that kiss on the cheek between the boy and the girl there was sheer panic.
Lastly, the digiPlayspace, an interactive area where kids could make their own shorts film, experience a green screen and play with other media technologies, returned to the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
“Films to Fill the Imagination.” That is the slogan for TIFF Kids and from the films that were showcased to their brilliant logo and the digiPlayspace, I truly believe that the festival was able to live up and stay true to its slogan. Experiencing international movies, being exposed to culture, getting to talk to directors and having some hands on fun is so entertaining and educational. Plus it reminds all of us how important having an imagination is.
That is Why I Love Toronto.
Related Why I Love Toronto Posts: