Industry Comments

A festival with an intriguing mandate and a sense of genuine discovery.
- Norman Wilner, NOW Magazine

Toronto Youth Shorts Film Fest is a positive and encouraging environment for emerging talent to showcase their works. Not only do the filmmakers learn about festival competition, but the chance to sit and talk with the jury allows for a dialogue which aims to inspire growth. With documentaries, dramas, comedies and animated shorts, the diversity in the festival is unique and speaks to the thriving Toronto film community as a whole.
-Kiva Reardon, inMovies / Torontoist

This gathering of young local talent easily stands out among the mass of film fests that pop up around the city each summer.
-The Varsity

The films themselves were as diverse as the individuals who dreamt them up. And in the end the audience was given a a visceral experience that explored both the everyday life and the abstract of what it means to be a part of the cityscape that is Toronto.
- Genevieve Walker, SceneCreek

Toronto Youth Shorts is possibly the best film festival in the GTA for up-and-coming filmmakers. The screenings feature short films from students and young filmmakers from a variety of schools and backgrounds and each day of the festival includes networking opportunities and highly effective and informative Q&A's. One of the only local festivals to include a thorough adjudication session where each film is discussed by the jurors, Toronto Youth Shorts is truly about the filmmakers and their advancement.
- James Vorstenbosch, FilmArmy

The Toronto Youth Shorts Festival organizers need to be commended for their vision and their hard work creating this great annual venue for young filmmakers in the GTA to show off their art. There are few places where young filmmakers can get their films showcased in this way. The films in the first two years have been thrilling, innovative, and cutting edge. As the festival grows, it has the potential to become a giant in the local filmmaking scene, rivaling even TIFF in its relevance to young filmmakers. So many young filmmakers will never be able to say they got their first big break from TIFF; many, many filmmakers will be able to say they got their first big break from Toronto Youth Shorts!
- Matt Guerin, Toronto filmmaker (Golden Pin, Best Canadian Short winner at Inside Out), Toronto Youth Shorts Jury 2009

The festival is not only a great showcase for young emerging artists’ work, but it also provides a venue for these artists to hone their skills and get feedback on their work from industry professionals.
- Jovana Jankovic, Toronto Film Scene

A great resource for film fans and young storytellers in the surrounding area.

  Comments from Past Filmmakers

The Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival was an amazing chance to showcase my work, as well as see the work of other young filmmakers in Toronto. But, more than that, it was an opportunity to network with other filmmakers and create connections outside of film school that will help me in the future.
- Ben Brommell, Winner of Cultural Relevancy Award 2012 (Tainted) and Excellence in Film Direction Award 2011 (Oil and Water)

I’m glad something like this exists. It’s not very often that you would find something that will take student projects and encourage the growth of young filmmakers.

- Bert McKinley, Winner of Excellence in Film Direction Award 2010 (The Human Project: Scars)

As an aspiring filmmaker with no professional training, it’s very daunting to put your work out there for a large audience. I am very thankful for a film festival like Toronto Youth Shorts where I was constantly encouraged to make and showcase films despite my non-film background. It’s a great festival for anyone who wants a supportive and constructive platform to showcase his or her proudest pieces of work.
Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival was an excellent way to network and meet others young filmmakers in the community and it was so helpful to get first-hand advice from industry professional on how we can improve as filmmakers. Keep up the good work, TYSFF team!

- Roop Gill, 2012 T24 Project participant

The Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival is truly the best place for both established and new filmmakers living in the Greater Toronto Area to showcase their work. TYS has strong values in promoting new work, local work and reflecting Toronto's rich diversity. If anyone is looking to join a network that will excel and showcase talent in their work on an established and professional level, there is no better place than the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival.
- Ally Rheaume, Winner of Cultural Relevancy Award 2011 (My Brother's Keeper)

I've been lucky enough to have had two different experiences within the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival: one as a participant and one as a judge on the jury panel. Both experiences have shown me how this festival is an amazing outlet for youth filmmakers to support each other, network, and develop their craft--not to mention that it's a guaranteed good time!
- Karen Forhan, Winner of Excellence in Film Direction Award 2009 (Along the Lines of Connectivity), Toronto Youth Shorts Jury 2010, Toronto Youth Shorts Programmer 2011

The filmmakers, judges and staff of the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival displayed an undeniable passion that made participating in the festival an invaluable experience. Henry and his staff have created a professional and exceedingly friendly forum for emerging filmmakers to share their work and network with their peers. After completing the film production program at York University, I was fascinated to see the work that had come out of neighboring film schools; the festival grants local filmmakers a great opportunity to continue their growth through showcasing their own talents while simultaneously learning from others.
- Matthew Yipchuck, Winner of Achievement in Screenwriting 2011 (Bad Luke)

I entered my short documentary film, A Slice Of Life, into the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival immediately after I finished my last year of Film Production at York University and I am extremely happy that I did. Everyone involved in the festival were extremely polite, helpful and professional. This festival has allowed me to network with so many talented people, it has introduced me to the festival circuit and my film has been praised by many critics who would not have ever seen it if I had not entered it in this festival. Thank you for everything Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival!
- Emily Powell, 2012 participating filmmaker (A Slice of Life)

I had the amazing opportunity of being apart of the Toronto Youth Shorts. Being in high school, this was the first experience I had of having one of my own videos being viewed at a festival. It was a motivational experience and encouraged me as a newly passionate film maker to peruse a career in filmmaking. I think that this film festival differs from others and should be recognized as a way for young aspiring film makers such as myself to get their films publicly viewed. I enjoyed the entire experience and think the whole event was put together very well.

- Nicole Monticchio, 2012 participating filmmaker (Masks of Insecurities)

The festival was a great opportunity to showcase my short films and gain recognition in the Toronto film community. The support and feedback I received from the festival team was invaluable and an incredible environment to meet other inspiring filmmakers.
- Ashley Bowes, Winner of Excellence in Art Direction Award 2010 (Toyzilla)

Toronto Youth Shorts is a great launching point for any aspiring filmmaker. It gave me my first festival experience and the staff accommodated me with warmth and kindness. I will continue to come back until they get annoyed with me.
- Philbert Lui, Winner of 2011 T24 Visual Thesis Award (S2)

In my opinion the T24 Project film challenge is close to being an essential task for any up and coming film maker. The learning curve is steep and even if the result of your film is less than amazing what you learn about the process and demands of film making is priceless.
- Chris Laxton

The T24 Project was one of the best experiences in filmmaking that I have had to date. I gained an excellent understanding of how I work under pressure, as well as learning a lot about the different skills that my crew had to offer. It was a tiring and difficult endeavour that every filmmaker should try, at least once (if not every year that Henry decides to keep it running!)
- Jamie McMillan