Also returning this year is TIFF’s popular In Conversation With… series, featuring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan for an intimate onstage discussion on Friday, April 22, 7pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox and livestreamed on TIFF’s TikTok channel. Ramakrishnan will talk about taking the plunge from writing and acting in high-school plays to working in Hollywood; her deep pride in her Tamil-Canadian roots; and her passion for animation, filmmaking, and acting. A force of nature on and off the screen, the Mississauga-born actor burst onto the global stage with her starring role as Devi Vishwakumar in the Mindy Kaling–produced hit show Never Have I Ever, recently renewed for a fourth and final season. In 2021, Ramakrishnan was named one of the TIME100 Next, an annual list of changemakers and future leaders. And earlier this year, she voiced the character Priya in Turning Red, Disney and Pixar’s Toronto-set feature and coming-of-age story written and directed by Domee Shi.
“Curated by 12 incredibly passionate young film enthusiasts, this year’s TIFF Next Wave lineup celebrates the complexity of young people’s experience around the world, finding resonance in powerful stories of friendship, community and growing up,” said Ikoro Huggins-Warner, Senior Coordinator, Youth Impact. “Making cinema and conversation around film accessible to young audiences, the Next Wave Committee’s voices and vision are essential to what we do at TIFF, and what the future of filmmaking looks like: politically-engaged, diverse, bold, inclusive and fun.”
This year’s Official Selection presents 10 features that highlight youth voices from around the world, representing diverse storytelling, lived experiences, and perspectives from Canada, Ukraine, Haiti, Argentina, and many more. Some screenings will have virtual Q&As, and select films will be available to rent on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox starting on April 12. Highlights include: the Opening Night film Slash/Back from Iqaluit-raised director Nyla Innuksuk, about a girl gang in Pangnirtung, Nunavut left to fight off a supernatural apocalypse; from France, Anaïs Volpé’s mesmerizing debut feature The Braves, which follows two twentysomething aspiring actors whose unbreakable bond and spirited nature takes them all over the streets of Paris; Freda, Haitain writer-director Gessica Généus’s breakout debut feature, in which the titular character must choose to either stay in Haiti amidst civil unrest or flee to the Dominican Republic in search of a more stable life; Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai’s Stop-Zemlia, whose cast of non-professional actors explore friendship, belonging, and romance with transcendent authenticity; and the Argentina-set 4 Feet High — the first-ever television series to play at the festival — about a 17-year-old wheelchair user finding her voice and exploring her sexuality.
This festival is steered by the TIFF Next Wave Committee, a group of 12 socially engaged teen film enthusiasts, many of whom are young creators and filmmakers from across the Greater Toronto Area. Dedicated to bringing quality film programming and film-related events to young film lovers across the city, the Committee curates the festival, championing stories that go beyond the boundaries of coming-of-age films to explore authentic, diverse experiences of youth on screen. This year, they chose the theme “Nostalgia Ultra” for the highly anticipated return of the festival’s Movie Marathon.
"To me, this year's theme of Nostalgia Ultra is about friendship, love, pain, growth — all the experiences that have shaped who we are, that allow us to both yearn for the past and eagerly chase the future,” said Next Wave Committee member Honora Murphy. “As teens and young adults in the process of growing up, it’s the sadness that things will never be the same, but also the excitement for all that is to come."
The Movie Marathon: Nostalgia Ultra lineup comprises the Studio Ghibli animated feature My Neighbor Totoro (1988), which tells the story of two young girls in rural Japan whose chance encounter with a mythical creature sets in motion a journey unlike any other; Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s 2015 adaptation of Jesse Andrews’ novel Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015), a touching portrait of friendship, love, and absence; Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), starring Natasha Lyonne, Marisa Tomei, and Alan Arkin, which follows a teenage girl through the summer of 1976 as her family moves from one rundown apartment to the next; and Alfonso Cuarón’s Y tu mamá también (2001), starring Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, and Maribel Verdú, in which two teenage boys take a life-changing road trip with a woman in her late twenties.
Starting today, TIFF Under-25 Free Pass holders can enjoy an early ticket pre-sale for this year’s festival, and continue their involvement with TIFF year-round with a host of benefits, including free tickets to hundreds of screenings of TIFF Cinematheque classics such as the Boosie Fade Club’s upcoming screening of Drumline and Midnight Madness Presents: Evil Dead II preceded by The Flat. TIFF recently introduced the TIFF Under-25 Free Pass, which offers amazing benefits for pass holders to catch acclaimed films, encouraging them to take advantage of exclusive year-round benefits and be part of a community of up-and-coming film lovers. For more information on screenings and activities or to purchase tickets, click here, call 416-599-TIFF (8433) or 1-888-599-8433, or visit the box office at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
EVENTS AT THE 2022 TIFF NEXT WAVE FILM FESTIVAL:
TIFF Next Wave Film Festival Official Selection
A selection of films screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox, free for anyone under 25. Films marked with an asterisk ( * ) will be available to rent on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox starting April 12.
- 4 Feet High dirs. Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan | Argentina/France | 2021 | Spanish
- The Braves (Entre les vagues)* dir. Anaïs Volpé | France | 2021 | French
- Casablanca Beats (Haut et fort)* dir. Nabil Ayouch | Morrocco | France | 20212 | Arabic
- The Fam (La Mif)* dir. Fred Baillif | France | 2021 | French
- Freda dir. Gessica Généus | Haiti | 2021 | Haitian Creole, French
- Girl Picture (Tytöt tytöt tytöt)* dir. Alli Haapasalo | Finland | 2022 | Finnish, French
- I Don’t Wanna Dance* dir. Flynn von Kleist | Netherlands | 2021 | Dutch
- It’s a Summer Film! (Summer Film Ni Notte) dir. Soushi Matsumoto | Japan | 2021 |Japanese
- Slash/Back* dir. Nyla Innuksuk | Canada | 2022 | English
- Stop-Zemlia* dir. Kateryna Gornostai | Ukraine | 2021 | Ukrainian
Young Creators Co-Lab
Connect with other emerging artists and get inspiration and tips from industry experts in a series of in-person workshops and talks. The Young Creators Co-Lab offers a full day of connective and engaging programming for filmmakers and creatives:
April 23, 9am–3pm
- Behind the Scenes: A deep dive into filmmaking with Emily Cohn (CRSHD), who will discuss her creative process from short to web series to feature
- Creativity Takes Time: Explore the world of art direction and production design with Nicole Simmons (Scarborough, This Place)
- Building Perspective: A conversation with filmmaker Nyla Innuksuk on her feature debut, Slash/Back
- Launch Pad: Industry Networking Session: An opportunity for young creators to learn about the amazing resources that are available to them in this city, from equipment rentals to professional development opportunities to film festivals, that provide a launching pad for creators in Toronto.
- #TIFFNextWave Creator Talk: @ScatteredSeries: A spotlight on super-short-form storytelling with the producers of Scattered, a 38-part queer drama series on TikTok that follows three best friends starting the day after their friend’s funeral.
Battle of the Scores
A showcase of film and music talent, as four bands create original scores for two silent short films. Presented on TIFF’s Instagram, with audience voting and a final showdown, live and in-person on Opening Night! Visit @TIFF_NET on Instagram April 12–19 to see the films, hear the scores, and cast a vote. Winners will be announced and perform during the Opening Night of the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival on April 22.
Movie Marathon: Nostalgia Ultra
This year’s Movie Marathon lineup is made up of four classics. Fans can watch My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Me and Earl and The Dying Girl (2015), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), and Y tu mamá también (2001) back-to-back-to-back-to-back.
Young Creators Showcase
April 24, 12:30pm
Created by young emerging filmmakers, this shorts programme explores themes of memory, family, place-making, and connection. 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. The lineup features 11 films by the next wave of Canadian filmmaking talent, screening in-cinema free for youth under 25 and on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Additional information is available tiff.net/nextwave.
To access digital TIFF Bell Lightbox, please visit digital.tiff.net.