Young and In Love….With Film? Check Out TIFF’s Young Creators Co-Lab.

Young filmmakers and movie enthusiasts will gather in Toronto this weekend for TIFF Next Wave 2017. The three-day event will feature 19 screenings, a 24-hour film challenge, and a Battle of the Scores.

Attendees will also be able to participate in the Young Creators Co-Lab, where they will have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other young filmmakers and industry professionals. The Co-Lab schedule includes two panels; Women of the Web: Taking Space in the Digital Sphere, and Making the Change: A Conversation About Systemic Racism, The Media and Evolving the Story.

“I think sort of as like inspiration and also affirmation to what young creators are already doing, the panels are in place to support them on their journey,” said Brigid Tierney, senior coordinator at TIFF. “But I think young people are really leading the way so we’re just responding to things that they are asking for and things they’re participating in.” In keeping with the themes of diversity and inclusion in the media, the co-lab ends with a Close-Up with James Laxton, the cinematographer on Oscar-nominated film Moonlight.

The festival itself is planned by a committee of twelve students, ranging in age from 15 to 18 years old. For all the young filmmakers looking for inspiration, collaboration and knowledge, the Co-Lab is worth taking a look at. With the world constantly changing, young filmmakers have the opportunity to drive the conversations on diversity, and representation in both on and off screen. When asked what she hopes participants take away from the event, Tierney said “We notice a lot of our high-schoolers, sometimes they don’t go to art high schools and they feel like they’re the only ones who are like really into film. So I hope that they meet other people who are into film, maybe people to work with and collaborate with.”

The TIFF Next Wave Young Creator Co-Lab is on Feb. 17th at 9:30am-5pm in the TIFF Bell Lightbox. You can find more info on the co-lab and all the other parts of the festival at their website; http://www.tiff.net/next-wave/.

An Interview With Una Lorenzen, Director of ‘Yarn’

Hi friends. The Guelph Film Festival is this weekend, and it is showcasing some really incredible films this year. In addition to it’s great selection of interesting films, the festival also has some really fantastic venues (such as the Golden Bus!). The festival runs from November 3rd-6th, and even though I am unable to attend, I highly recommend you check it out.

One of the films being shown this year is Yarn, a documentary follows those who are using yarn and crochet to create art in an interesting new way. The director of the film, Una Lorenzen, tells the story of artists using are taking a stance using the creative method of yarn. In anticipation for the Guelph Film Festival this weekend, I spoke to Una Lorenzen about her film and what she hopes people take away from it.

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An Interview With Erin Bagwell, Director of Dream, Girl

Hello, lovelies.

You may remember that a few months ago, I attended a screening of Dream, Girl with The Rhyze Project and other incredible local women. We all loaded up on to a school bus and road-tripped to a different town to see the film, and it was SO worth it. Dream, Girl is a documentary showcasing the stories of inspiring and ambitious female entrepreneurs.

If you can find a Dream, Girl screening in your area, I highly recommend you go see it. This film is beautifully made, and showcases female entrepreneurs in such a well-rounded and REAL way. Erin Bagwell and producer, Komal Minhas, were also featured in Oprah’s SuperSoul 100. Oprah knows what’s up. I knew as soon as the film ended that I wanted to interview Erin Bagwell, as part of the Local Ladies. In this interview, we talk about her ENTIRELY female crew, the importance of self-care, and the power of vulnerability.

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Erin Bagwell (right) and Joanne Wilson (left).

Continue reading “An Interview With Erin Bagwell, Director of Dream, Girl”

Don’t Be Afraid To Dream, Girl

“It’s alright to feel scared, but it doesn’t mean you don’t do it.” – Clara Villarosa 

Hello lovelies.

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of taking the Rhyze bus to a screening of Dream, Girl, a documentary telling the stories of five female entrepreneurs. It was an evening filled with lots of laughs and even more inspiration, and I want to share some of it with you today. Because, as we all know, inspirational community events turn me into a pile of mush.

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First of all, let me say a huge thanks to The Rhyze Project for putting this together, and to Faith for being my movie buddy for the night. The bus ride there was awesome because Faith and I just talked about life, boy drama, and blog drama (both equally important). Upon arrival in Palmerston, we picked up our popcorn and candy. But do you want to hear the best part? There was wine. But not just ANY wine! My favorite kind, so clearly it was meant to be. With a glass of wine in hand, and the two new friends we had just made, we headed into the theatre to see Dream, Girl.

Enough about me though, let’s talk about the movie. Dream, Girl (directed by Erin Bagwell) is a documentary about female entrepreneurs and shares the stories of several incredible women. The first thing I loved about the film was how all the interview subjects varied in age, ranging from women in their 20’s to women in their 80’s. In fact, the quote at the beginning of this post is from Clara Villarosa, one of the entrepreneurs interviewed in the film. Clara is a co-founder of Villarosa Media, a publishing company specializing in publishing the work of African-American authors. Clara’s story was one of my favorites, because she was filled with so much spunk and wisdom. Every single woman involved in the film had their own unique story and they shared it with such passion. Dream, Girl makes you feel like you are just talking about your big dreams over coffee with a friend, a friend who is encouraging you to dream big. Oh, and did I mention it was an entirely female crew? Please, go see this movie.

Dream, Girl leaves you with a sense of empowerment that you may not have walked in to the theatre with. And leaves you asking yourself “Why not me? Why not now?” because knowing there is an entire support system of women behind you makes taking the leap a little less scary. Even in the tiny theater of Palmerston, the camaraderie between all of us as we watched this documentary was certainly there, and I was definitely rooting for every woman there (on screen and off screen). When women support other women, incredible things can happen. We are half the population, after all.

Have you seen Dream, Girl? Do you plan to? Let me know in a comment below or you can tweet at me!

I hope you all have an amazing week, and I will talk to you soon.

Katie