TIFF Next Wave Film Festival is on This Weekend
The TIFF Next Wave Film Festival runs February 14-16. It’s TIFF’s film festival programmed for those under 25 by those under 25 – with free movies for anyone under 25.
Shameless blogger Hailey Orrange reviews their top picks:
No Crying at the Dinner Table (directed by Carol Nguyen)
Showing vulnerability and emotion can be one of the most difficult things to do in a society that teaches us that to be strong, we need to be emotionless. The truth is, we all have emotions, we all need to cry, and for a lot of us, letting those we love into our space to heal with us is a very effective way to work through our pain and grief. No Crying at the Dinner Table is an emotional and powerful film that showcases the struggles that can come from hiding emotions, suppressing grief, and leaving important words unsaid between family members.
The love and emotion that are shown as the film’s director and producer, Carol Nguyen, interviews her family members is a strong reminder that not talking about our pain with each other doesn’t mean it is non-existent. One of the interviewees remembers growing up in Vietnam, and the ways in which physical affection between parents and children were discouraged. Her words gave important insight into the ways in which deeply ingrained cultural practices and values can shape our ways of expressing love and emotion.
No Crying at the Dinner Table was an emotional watch, and left me thinking about it for hours after. It made me re-evaluate how I process and express my grief and sadness, and the ways in which those ways have been heavily influenced by my upbringing. If you need a heartwarming but incredibly important film to watch, this one is an excellent choice, and will leave you feeling warm and in awe.
Still from No Crying At The Dinner Table. From tiff.net
Boy Before (directed by Onyeka Oduh)
If there’s one feeling that many queer youth have felt, it’s the urge to run away – whether literally or metaphorically. Navigating adolescence while being queer can come with an overwhelming number of emotions, and can leave us feeling lost or unsure about where we should go. Onyeka Oduh’s film, Boy Before, captures this feeling beautifully. It’s rare to find queer media that queer people can actually relate to, where the characters are not heavily stereotyped, or where the entirety of their character does not revolve around being ashamed of their identity or struggling with “coming out.” Boy Before highlights the struggles of adolescence, family dynamics, relationships, and the difficulties that can come with trying to face your demons rather than running from them. This film is emotional, relatable, and authentic, which are qualities that can be hard to find in many queer films. I would highly recommend it to anyone, young or old, who are trying to find their path, figure themselves out, and hold on tight to their queerness in a world that is discourages them from doing so.
For more information about screen times, other films, and more, check out https://www.tiff.net/nextwave
About the Author: Hailey Orrange is an 18 year old queer writer and social justice advocate living in Vancouver, BC. They have been writing for as long as they can remember, and hopes to pursue a writing career in the future. Their goal is to use writing and creating art as tools for activism, and to spark conversation surrounding difficult topics. Poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction are Hailey’s favourite forms of writing.