TIFF Next Wave Film Festival returns for its 13th edition to champion new and emerging storytellers

media release

March 13, 2024

TIFF Next Wave Film Festival returns for its 13th edition to champion new and emerging storytellers

Special guests include Priyanka, Youjia Qu, Ethan Eng, V.T. Nayani + more

Portrait of Priyanka

Multi-talented pop sensation, musical artist, and winner of Canada’s Drag Race Priyanka

TORONTO – TIFF is excited to announce the highly anticipated return of the Next Wave Film Festival, supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Toronto back for its 13th edition, which invites young audiences and cinephiles for a weekend of exciting new films and special events. This year, TIFF Next Wave will open the weekend with Battle of the Scores, during which four up-and-coming bands score the silent short film Moontime, directed by Julia Harris and Adlyn Gilbert, and compete for a grand prize. From April 11–14, audiences can expect an electrifying showcase of emerging talent and innovative storytelling. Programmed for youth, by youth, the Next Wave Film Festival offers free Official Selection films for anyone under 25. Tickets are available starting March 13 for TIFF Members and TIFF Under-25 Pass holders, and to the general public on March 15.

"At the heart of TIFF's Next Wave Film Festival lies our profound commitment to nurturing emerging talents and igniting a love for cinema among the next generation," said Anita Lee, Chief Programming Officer, TIFF. "As an organization dedicated to fostering creativity and inclusivity, TIFF's impact reverberates far beyond the silver screen, shaping the cultural landscape and inspiring communities worldwide. Join us in celebrating the transformative power of film at the 2024 edition of New Wave."

This year’s Official Selection promotes nine debut and sophomore features ― from Canada, China, Sweden, Madagascar, India, Brazil, USA, and the United Kingdom ― that explore gripping and authentic stories of teenagehood and coming of age in communities across the globe. Highlights include: Luna Carmoon’s 2023 directorial debut Hoard, which follows a close bond between mother and daughter while exploring the intricate layers of human attachment and the emotional weight of possessions; Swedish director Mika Gustafson’s Paradise Is Burning, an intimate portrait of three sisters and the growing pains that come with transitioning from girlhood to womanhood; She Sat There Like All Ordinary Ones, directed by Youjia Qu, follows Zhuang, a laid back high school senior whose life becomes intertwined with his classmate Meng after taking the blame for her theft of a starting pistol; Shuchi Talati’s Girls Will Be Girls, a thrilling depiction of 16-year-old Mira’s journey to maturity navigating love, desire, and rebellion at a strict boarding school nestled in the Himialayas; and director Luck Razanajaona’s first feature Disco Afrika: A Malagasy Story, the story of a 20-year-old sapphire miner that returns home after an unforeseen tragedy and must grapple with questions of grief, loyalty, and revolution.

“TIFF Next Wave is all about sharing youth stories from all over the world! I hope everyone who catches a film feels that much more connected to young people everywhere,” said Serena Hao, TIFF Next Wave Committee Member.

Alongside film screenings, audiences will have the opportunity to attend special events at TIFF Lightbox, notably Loved It: Priyanka on Hustlers, during which the winner of the first-ever season of Canada’s Drag Race, joins us to dissect the 2019 film starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu; and a special screening of The Concierge, directed by Yoshimi Itazu, who’s known for his work on popular anime films Paprika (2006) and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises (2013).

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 Lightbox, including the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, a one-of-a-kind talent incubator.

TIFF Members and TIFF Under-25 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/join.

* Free tickets for TIFF Next Wave Film Festival are limited to 1 ticket per film screening for anyone under 25.


TIFF Next Wave Film Festival Official Selection — April 11 to 14

She Sat There Like All Ordinary Ones (Kai Shi De Qiang) dir. Youjia Qu - Intro and Q&A with the filmmaker
China | 2024 | Mandarin

Disco Afrika: A Malagasy Story dir. Luck Razanajaona - Virtual Q&A with the filmmaker
Madagascar/France/Germany/Mauritius/Qatar | 2024 | Malagasy

Power Alley dir. Lillah Halla - Virtual Q&A with the filmmaker
Brazil/Uruguay/France | 2023 | Portuguese

Hoard dir. Luna Carmoon
UK | 2023 | English

Les Rayons Gamma (Gamma Rays) dir. Henry Bernadet
Canada | 2023 | French

Paradise Is Burning (Paradiset Brinner) dir. Mika Gustafson
Denmark/Finland/Italy/Sweden | 2023 | Swedish

Girls Will Be Girls dir. Shuchi Talati
India | 2024 | Hindi, English

A Song Sung Blue (Xiao Bai Chuan) dir. Zihan Geng
China | 2023 | Mandarin, Korean

Big Boys dir. Corey Sherman - Open-captioned screening
USA | 2023 | English

Loved It: Priyanka on Hustlers — April 11, 6:30pm
Multi-talented pop sensation, musical artist, and winner of Canada’s Drag Race Priyanka joins us to present Hustlers, one of the most dazzling and fun pop movies of all time. Priyanka will be joined by drag performer and host Allysin Chaynes to discuss the film’s cultural relevance and why it holds a place as one of her favourites.

Opening Night: Battle of the Scores — April 12, 7pm
Battle of the Scores challenges four up-and-coming bands to score a silent short film — and the audience picks the winner. See the bands perform their music LIVE in-cinema and kick off the festival weekend in style. Co-programmed by Insomniac Film Festival, this year’s competition features the bands Mifune Moods, The Sedges, Life Sized, and RoadKill, all scoring Moontime, directed by Julia Harris and Adlyn Gilbert. Visit @TIFF_NET on Instagram starting April 1 to see the films, hear the scores, and to cast a vote.

Young Creators Co-Lab — April 13, 9am
The Young Creators Co-Lab is a gathering space for young and emerging artists in Toronto to connect with industry professionals and hear about all things film. Develop your craft, meet like-minded peers, and learn how to build a career in the media arts. The Co-Lab offers a full day of connective and engaging programming for filmmakers and creatives, 9am–3pm on April 13 at TIFF Lightbox. Session topics include Thriving as an Artist presented by ArtWorksTO, featuring panelists Dwayne Holness (CEO, Corex Creative), Sid Naidu (Photographer, ScarboroughMade), Cristal Buemi (Animator/Educator, Frame by Frame), and V.T. Nayani (Writer-Director, This Place), moderated by career coach and film producer Betty Xie; Low-Budget Filmmaking: Do It Yourself – writer-directors Ethan Eng (Therapy Dogs), Minerva Navasca (Guardians, Desync) and Prajj Rajawat (AbsAbsAbs) break down their low-budget practice and take us behind the scenes of their productions; and Breakout Sessions with industry professionals discussing their experience navigating the film landscape within their current roles, from production and costume design, to editing and VFX.

The Young Creators Co-Lab is presented by the City of Toronto. The Supporting Educational Partner is Toronto Film School.

TIFF Next Wave x Family Films Presents: The Concierge — April 14, 1pm
We all know the customer is always right, but what about when your customers are anthropomorphic animals shopping for new clothes? For Akino, an anxious and eager-to-please trainee at the Hokkyoku department store, it makes no difference! With stunning art and animation, The Concierge offers a vibrant and light-hearted story for audiences of all ages.

Closing Night: Young Creators Showcase — April 14, 7:30pm
Discover the next wave of Canadian filmmakers in this series of shorts created for youth, by youth. Celebrating the work of young and emerging filmmakers, this programme focuses on themes of community, belonging, and altered realities. From animation to documentary, these films 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.

Young Creators Showcase Awards: Presented by Cineplex
New this year, the Young Creators Showcase films are eligible for awards for Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Writing, and Best Editing, presented by Cineplex in support of the next generation of Canadian filmmakers. The winners will be selected by jury members, Matt Devuono (Executive Director, Event Cinema - Cineplex), Shasha Nakhai (TIFF 2021 Official Selection Scarborough, Compy Films), and Winnie Wang (Next Wave alumni and winner of Telefilm Canada’s 2023 Emerging Critic Award). Awards will be presented in-cinema as part of the Young Creators Showcase event.

Additional information is available at tiff.net/nextwave.

Press Contact

Jake Nothdurft

Manager, Communications


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To become a TIFF Member visit tiff.net/join.

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TIFF 2024 takes place September 5–15, 2024.

About TIFF
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival®in September; TIFF Lightbox, which features five cinemas, learning and entertainment facilities; and the innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $200 million CAD. TIFF Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel, and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation, and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Major Sponsors RBC and Visa, and Major Supporters: the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and City of Toronto.

The TIFF Next Wave Film Festival is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Toronto.

The TIFF Next Wave Film Festival Young Creators Co-Lab is presented by the City of Toronto. The Supporting Educational Partner is Toronto Film School.

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