Back for its 12th edition, the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival invites young audiences and cinephiles for a weekend of bold new films and special events, with free movies for anyone under 25*. Hot off the heels of its Berlin premiere, where it won the Crystal Bear for best film in the Berlinale’s Generation 14plus sidebar, Mexican director Sofía Auza’s unconventional coming-of-age feature debut Adolfo will kick-off the Festival as the Opening Night Film. From April 14–16, 2023 audiences hungry for original stories can celebrate rising filmmakers and diverse programming, representing the hope, creativity, and power of the next generation. Additional programming and special guests will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Programmed for youth, by youth, the Next Wave Film Festival offers free Official Selection films for anyone under 25. Tickets are available starting today for TIFF Members and TIFF Under-25 Pass holders, and to the general public on March 17, 2023.
This year’s Official Selection shines a spotlight on nine debut and sophomore features ― from Spain, France, Mexico, Iran, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, USA, and Canada ― that bring an authentic and diverse representation of youth-centric perspectives, without feeding into the “angsty teen” stereotypes. Highlights include: Auza’s North American premiere of Adolfo, which follows two strangers who meet by chance at a bus stop and decide to find a new home for their cactus companion; Pilar Palomero’s Canadian premiere of San Sebastián–winning La Maternal, exploring vulnerability and hardships of teen motherhood and chosen families, featuring many first-time actors; Simon Rieth’s North American premiere of the genre-mixing debut feature Summer Scars, following two brothers bound by a dark secret; So Yun Um’s Canadian premiere of the hybrid documentary-memoir feature debut Liquor Store Dreams, asking personal and resonant questions on reconciliation and generational healing through stories of Korean liquor store owners and their families; Charlotte Regan’s Canadian Premiere of the Sundance-winning hit and feature debut Scrapper, a reconnection story between a precocious girl and her child-like father (Regan was listed as “28 Rising Female Filmmakers to Watch in 2023” by IndieWire); and Zeno Graton’s North American premiere of the debut feature The Lost Boys, exploring questions of masculinity, found family, and freedom when a new detainee enters a youth detention facility.
Some screenings will be followed by in-person Q&As with the directors including: Auza, Um, Holland, and Regan; and more special events to be announced in the following weeks. Select titles will also be available on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox starting April 12.
“Dedicated to increasing access to cinema for young audiences, the Next Wave Committees’ brilliant voices and vision permeate through this year’s festival lineup with powerful stories of love, community, and family, in all its forms,” said Ikoro Huggins-Warner, Senior Coordinator, Youth Impact. “Look no further than the Opening Night Film, Adolfo, a heartwarming journey of unlikely friendship formed over the course of one fateful, fleeting night. Punctuated by bold, refreshing direction, like so many of the incredible films in this year’s selection, Adolfo finds its honesty in overcoming struggles together, and discovering connection and resilience in unexpected places.”
TIFF Bell Lightbox will be transformed into a retro time machine, promising interactive activations at the Opening Night Party with basement slumber party vibes, dance floors, and a clothing swap. Young audiences can revel in the weekend festivities: Battle of the Scores, a live musical showdown where four bands settle the score; Young Creators Co-Lab, presented by the City of Toronto, a full day of connective and engaging industry talks and workshop for emerging filmmakers and creatives; Young Creators Showcase of short films by emerging filmmakers from across Canada; and Lost & Found: There are so many worlds, a free public art exhibition featuring multi-media works by artist kaya joan and curated by the TIFF Next Wave Committee. Complete festival details, schedules, and ticket information are all available at tiff.net/nextwave.
Ranging in age from 15 to 18, the TIFF Next Wave Committee is made up of 12 teen film enthusiasts, many of whom are young creators and filmmakers from across the Greater Toronto Area. With the guidance of TIFF staff, the Committee is charged with planning major teen-oriented events year-round at TIFF Bell Lightbox, including the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, a one-of-a-kind talent incubator.
“I am beyond excited to share this incredible lineup of films that young people wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to with our audience. We care deeply about amplifying diverse and innovative creators at TIFF Next Wave, and so celebrating these unique films that explore underrepresented themes and stories is going to be such a joy,” said Ellie Tripp, TIFF Next Wave Committee Member. “Beyond the film lineup, this year’s festival is centered around the theme of Lost & Found ― an exploration of world-building, futurity, and how the stories we carry with us as young people inform our relationship to place.”
TIFF Members and TIFF Under-25 Free Pass Holders receive access to year-round TIFF benefits including free access to more than 300 Cinematheque screenings. To learn more and join as a TIFF Member, visit tiff.net/under25.
*Free tickets are limited to 2 tickets per film screening for anyone under 25
2023 TIFF NEXT WAVE FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
TIFF Next Wave Presents: Rye Lane
March 29, 7pm
Celebrate the upcoming TIFF Next Wave Film Festival with this advance screening of Raine Allen-Miller’s funny and touching debut film, Rye Lane. Prior to the screening, audiences are invited to attend the opening reception of Lost & Found: There are so many worlds exhibition at 5pm.
Lost & Found: There are so many worlds by kaya joan
March 21 to April 30
Lost & Found: There are so many worlds features multi-media works by kaya joan created on found and recycled substrates from around the city, investigating the stories that exist in the in-between spaces held in place. The works in this exhibition reach into the infinities that stretch between past, present, and future to explore multiplicities of being in relation. Audiences are also invited to join a collective collage-making workshop facilitated by kaya joan on April 1. For more information on kaya joan and the event visit: tiff.net/events/art-exhibition-lost-and-found.
TIFF Next Wave Film Festival Official Selection
Films marked with an asterisk (*) will be available to rent on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox starting April 12.
Adolfo dir. Sofía Auza *
Mexico/USA | 2022 | Spanish | North American Premiere
Egghead & Twinkie dir. Sarah Kambe Holland
USA | 2022 | English | Canadian Premiere
La Maternal dir. Pilar Palomero
Spain | 2022 | Spanish | Canadian Premiere
Liquor Store Dreams dir. So Yun Um
USA | 2022 | English, Korean | Canadian Premiere
Scrapper dir. Charlotte Regan
United Kingdom | 2022 | English | Canadian Premiere
Summer Scars dir. Simon Rieth
France | 2022 | French | North American Premiere
Summer With Hope dir. Sadaf Foroughi *
Canada/Iran | 2022 | Persian
The Lost Boys dir. Zeno Graton
Belgium | 2023 | French | North American Premiere
The Ordinaries dir. Sophie Linnenbaum *
Germany | 2022 | German | Toronto Premiere
Battle of the Scores & Opening Night Party
April 14, 8:30pm
Discover the next wave of movie and music talent as four up-and-coming bands score a short film for one big prize. Visit @TIFF_NET on Instagram in April to see the films, hear the scores, and cast your vote. The final showdown will take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox on April 14, during the TIFF Next Wave Opening Night Party, featuring retro sights and sounds, with a variety of interactive Lost & Found activations.
Young Creators Co-Lab
April 15, 9am – 3pm
The Young Creators Co-Lab, presented by the City of Toronto, is a gathering space for young and emerging artists in Toronto to connect with industry professionals and learn about all things film. The Co-Lab offers a full day of connective and engaging programming for filmmakers and creatives. Session topics include Screenwriting for Film & Television with Vera Santamaria (How to Be Indie, Bojack Horseman, PEN15), a deep dive into the writing process and the keys to being a great storyteller; an IndustryTok panel with content creators discussing their process from ideation to production, and TikTok’s growing influence as a platform for innovative storytelling; and a series of breakout sessions with industry professionals discussing their experience navigating the film landscape, and advice for young students and graduates about various Pathways into the Industry.
Young Creators Showcase
April 16, 7:30pm
Celebrating the work of young and emerging filmmakers, this shorts programme touches on themes of belonging, family, and finding connection in the people and communities closest to us. From animation to documentary, these 13 films by the next wave of Canadian filmmaking talent feature a dynamic mix of voices, visions, and methods of storytelling. They showcase daring new ways youth are engaging in film to create honest, intersectional stories about their experiences.
Castaway dir. Shamiso Chigwende
Canada | 2021 | English | Canadian Premiere
Execution Triptych dir. Giran Findlay
Canada | 2022 | English
Hoa dir. Tram Anh Nguyen
Vietnam/Canada | 2022 | Vietnamese
In the Whiteness dir. Niya Ahmed Abdullahi
Canada | 2022 | English, Harari | Canadian Premiere
Inside Groove dir. Elizabeth Wei Yun Albrecht
Canada | 2022 | English | Canadian Premiere
Late Bloomer dir. Emma Cheuk
Canada | 2022 | English | Toronto Premiere
majboor-e-mamool (What Will You Do When I’m Gone?) dir. Haaris Qadri
Canada | 2022 | Urdu, English
Ms. Butterworth’s Cherry Pie dir. Cameron Lightly
Canada | 2021 | English | North American Premiere
On the Cosmic Shore dir. Luvleen Hunjan
Canada, India | 2022 | Punjabi | International Premiere
Ozigwan (Tail of Serpent) dir. Cole Forrest
Canada | 2021 | English, Anishinaabemowin | World Premiere
Bawang Merah Bawang Putih (Shallots and Garlic) dir. Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto
Canada/Indonesia | 2021 | Bahasa Indonesia, English
The Mess We’re In dir. Jamie Lam
Canada | 2022 | English, Cantonese | Toronto Premiere
The Year Long Boulder dir. Brielle LeBlanc
Canada | 2022 | English | Toronto Premiere
Additional information is available at tiff.net/nextwave.
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