The 2014 Toronto Youth Shorts Festival team consists of:
HENRY C.M. WONG - Festival Director
Henry founded the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival in 2009 and has since gone on to work with many other great festivals in the city, including the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, the Canadian Film Festival, and the Planet in Focus International Film Festival. He has also provided event coordination and support to organizations and events such as the Banff World Media Festival, the Canadian Film Centre, and the Scarborough Walk of Fame. Completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Drama and English from the University of Toronto Scarborough in 2008, he was awarded a Chinese Canadian Youth Achievement Award for his contributions to the Toronto arts community. A self-described geek and an avid Buffy/Angel/Firefly fan, he is eerily in close touch with Hong Kong pop culture despite having never step foot there once.
JULIA CROCCO - Programming Associate
Julia Crocco is in her final year at the University of Toronto, majoring in Cinema Studies. She has a passion for film, and aspires to be a film programmer. This is her second year as a member of the programming team for Toronto Youth Shorts, and has greatly enjoyed discovering the work of emerging filmmakers. She has also enjoyed volunteering with other festivals such as the ReelWorld Film Festival, The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, and TIFF. Julia also has an interest in theater. As a member of the University of Toronto Drama Coalition, she helps select nominees for the Drama Coalition awards, which celebrates Student Theater at U of T. Julia is excited to be working with the wonderful team at Toronto Youth Shorts once again. Her favorite movie is Samsara, and she wishes her life was a Baz Luhrmann musical!
JOHN GALLAGHER - Assistant Programmer
With an enthusiasm for the arts since childhood, John spent his youth drawing, painting, and pestering parents for the latest Adobe software. He has volunteered alongside artists, aiding in works commissioned by Nuit Blanche and Simcoe County, assembling everything from book sculptures to fire sculptures. A graduate of the U of T’s Cinema Studies program, He now sees himself on the other side – joining up with the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Fest to help filmmaker’s and their work find stage and spotlight in the local community. As both cinephile and patriot, John is very excited to be part of a project that finds importance in both. He looks forward to 2013 working with the festival, surveying the community for its cinematic potential and hopefully finding further inspiration to make works of his own in the years ahead. John also has a fondness for cooking, mosh pits, and caffeine abuse.
SARAH GLADKI - Offscreen Programmer
Sarah Gladki is a recent graduate from Ryerson University’s Documentary Media MFA program. At Ryerson, she developed her love for organizing film and art festivals when she helped put on her program’s festival, DOCNOW. For Sarah’s MFA thesis show, she produced a mixed media installation that featured everyday fences in Toronto. Sarah also holds a BA from McGill University, where she majored in Art History and World Religions. She practices a variety of arts including filmmaking, video art, photography, drawing and writing. Sarah is an avid DIYer, a proponent of everything analogue and has a great passion for film. She is excited to be a part of the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival team!
MAGGIE CLAPPERTON - Marketing Coordinator
Maggie graduated from the University of Toronto with a Specialist in English literature and later studied Publishing at Humber College. She is passionate about film, books, music and theatre and spends her time surrounded by artist friends who constantly amaze and inspire her. Her world-view changes almost daily, but most recently her favourite films include Laurence Anyways, Frances Ha, and Her. She is excited to expand her Marketing experience to include the Toronto Youth Shorts
Film Festival and can't wait to share what the GTA's talented young filmmakers have to offer!
SARA ALEXANDRA PLAVSIC - Programming and Marketing Assistant
Sara is a recent graduate of the BDes Industrial Design program at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. Born and raised in Toronto, Sara's involvement with diverse art and cultural organizations is a reflection of her passion and dedication for Toronto's local film, art and design scenes. With previous event programming experience for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche and involvement with the Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs, her Industrial Design background provides a unique asset to her visual communication & marketing skills alongside her knowledge of arts and film culture. Sara looks forward to viewing this years talent showcased at the 2014 Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival.
MICHELLE BRYKMAN - Communications Coordinator
Michelle joined the Toronto Youth Shorts in 2013 as the outreach coordinator and is excited to combine her passions for film festivals and communications. She is a post-graduate student in Centennial College’s corporate communications and public relations program and holds a BA in film studies and communication studies from Wilfrid Laurier University. She has been involved in various film festivals including TIFF, GRFF, and most recently Hot Docs. Michelle is an avid Starbucks consumer who loves The Beatles, Harry Potter and 1960s culture.
LAUREN COUGHLAN - Youth Outreach Liaison
Lauren recently completed her Masters in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto, and has worked in various aspects of the Canadian film industry from distribution to festivals with companies such as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Mongrel Media and Women in View. Lauren also maintains a blog at www.cinemarants.wordpress.com, and she is currently attempting to screen 365 films in 2014, and as a dedicated fan of short films, she is especially excited to work with Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival to achieve this goal!
DAN BULMER - Operations Coordinator
Fresh from Humber College's Event Management program, where he helped organize a number of nifty projects, Dan is back for his second year with Toronto Youth Shorts. He has put his talents to work for such events as the Toronto International Film Festival and Fan Expo Canada, and he is looking forward to spending more karaoke-filled time with the dynamite Youth Shorts crew. Future ambitions for Dan include becoming further involved in this city's arts and culture scene, ruling a small island nation, and maintaining his fifteen-year streak of not drinking coffee.
EMILY JACKSON - Special Events Coordinator
Emily was born and raised on Toronto's east-side, but has been bouncing back and forth between Montreal and Dawson City, Yukon for the past few years. Finally ready to make Toronto her home again, she's just transferred from McGill to University of Toronto to complete a BA in Cultural Theory and Semiotics. Her background consists of festival planning, television and film production, and NGO event planning. In the past couple years her most notable positions have been at Dragon's Den and the Dawson City Music Festival. In love with the Toronto music scene, you'll pretty much find her at an half-asked excuse for a venue with a decent sound system. A definite weirdo, through and through, she'll bring a creative twist to the 2014 Festival year. Some favourite Toronto events and venues: Feast in the East, Double Double Land, Trampoline Hall, and Turning Point.