Teens make 3-minute masterpieces in TIFF 24-Hour film challenge

Brian Cauley, Senior Staff Writer
2013 winner Nate Wilson gives some sage advice to competitors. Photo: Andrea Wrobel

The films are already done. The judges are in deliberation. And in a few days the next batch of emerging film makers will see their 3-minute masterpieces on the big screen. And this is only one part of TIFF’s Next Wave Film Festival.

Beyond the 24-hour film challenge that started last weekend, Next Wave includes a marathon film-screening, workshops, and musical performances. In spirit of this year’s theme “Cult Classics: Teen Rebels” TIFF will show movies like Juno, Donnie Darko, and the very Toronto-heavy Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

The weekend of festivities beings Friday February 14th with a battle of the bands, continues on Saturday with workshops, talks, and the Cult Classics:Teen Rebels Movie Marathon. In addition to seeing other films on Sunday, the grand-spectacle will be a screening of select films from the 24-Hour Film Challenge. 

(Tickets are free for high school students thanks to the TIFF Annual Fund.)

At the 24-Hour Film Challenge kick-off breakfast last Saturday, participants were also made aware of the “rules” of the contest that were also inspired by the “Cult Classics” theme. Some of the rules included:

  1. Films can not be longer than 3 minutes.
  2. Each film must include a scene with a red beret (an ode to Rushmore).
  3. Each film must include a 360-degree shot.
  4. Extra points for including props from the cult-classics, like a hamburger phone (Juno).

From the moment the rules were announced the room became electric. Teens all around buzzed with ideas and they quickly rushed to grab their red berets, care packages, and any remaining food from the breakfast they could carry. Of course, there is a lot at stake. In addition to the possibility of having their film screened on Sunday February 16th, one team will also win the grand prize of $500 courtesy of RBC.

Last year’s winner, Nate Wilson, was present to give some advice to this year’s contestants. Once the young filmmakers had left we caught up with Nate to ask him about his winning film and what this 24-hour film challenge means to young filmmakers like him.

Here is Nate’s winning film, Spaceman:

You can check out the full schedule of events and screenings for TIFF Next Wave, running Feb 14-16, here. And you can see some more photos from the launch here:

Photos by Andrea Wrobel and Brian Cauley.

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