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Meet the 2019–2020 TIFF Next Wave Committee

Film picks and snack tips, courtesy of your programmers

Founded in 2010, the TIFF Next Wave Committee is a group of 12 students ranging in age from 15 to 18 and selected from a competitive pool of hopeful young film enthusiasts. Hailing from specialized arts institutions, public schools, and private schools across the GTA, the Committee members’ tastes, opinions, and critical voices are as diverse as they are strong. Some are aspiring filmmakers, writers, and actors; some are interested in learning the business of film and festivals; some like planning cultural events; and some just love movies. All have demonstrated a spirit that has impressed TIFF leaders.

We chatted with the Committee about their festival picks, their favourite snacks, and the always-crucial question: "who would play you in a movie?"

Name: Alexander Gallimore

Describe yourself in three words: Charismatic, unpredictable, fun

Who would play you in a movie? Wybie Lovat from Coraline

Movie snack of choice: Nachos & cheese

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

Screening a super dynamic set of films and seeing audience reactions!!!

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

Awkwardness, discomfort, confusion, pain, and change that turn into something beautiful!

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

Angelfish is a beautiful depiction of how two people from two different worlds can be so special together... if they allow it. With Princess Nokia leading the cast, this film will make you feel all mooshy and lovey inside in the best ways possible.

Name: Dan Dinary

Describe yourself in three words: Loving, cursed, happy

Who would play you in a movie? Shia LaBeouf

Movie snack of choice: Popcorn & Milk Duds

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

I'm looking forward to the infectious energy and spirit of youth flowing through the festival! It's gonna be vibes.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

Getting through pain, sadness, heartbreak, and all the other negative emotions we go through, while growing up and coming out of it all as a stronger person.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

Sequin in a Blue Room! A wild queer experience that is consistently gripping and fun to watch.

Name: Julia Yoo

Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, angsty artist

Who would play you in a movie? Kid Cudi

Movie snack of choice: Bits and Bites

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

I’m most excited to be able to see people not only feel represented on screen, but to learn about the beauty and stories of so many different communities through our colourful and diverse lineup!

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

Growing up is scary and ugly, but it’s also beautiful, comical, life-changing, and unlike anything we’ll ever experience again.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

Papicha is a thrilling and beautiful story of resilience and female empowerment. It will have you both crying and on the edge of your seat, but it also delivers a rediscovered love for all the strong, creative, and beautiful women around us.

Name: Iman Vellani

Describe yourself in three words: Curious, adventurous, meticulous

Who would play you in a movie? Iron Man... duh

Movie snack of choice: Twizzlers

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

Definitely looking forward to keeping the new bonds with these brilliant Committee members. I love that I finally have found people my age to gush over movies with, and who are as passionate about film as I am.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

Sums up the commonality of being a kid, not knowing your place in the world and dealing with the imperfections and insecurities that ultimately make us human.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

And Then We Danced is a refreshing take on the queer coming-of-age story. The way that unspoken words are communicated through dance is tender and beautiful.

Name: Emily Neira

Describe yourself in three words: Espresso & rice cake

Who would play you in a movie? Jennifer Lopez

Movie snack of choice: Mini rice cakes

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

Battle of the Scores because it brings so many art forms together and everyone always has a good time.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

The universal event every person goes through.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

I would recommend peeps to come see Step Up because it's a movie that has so much energy, and it will get everyone out of their seats and start dancing!

Name: Sia Mehta

Describe yourself in three words: Bubbly, empathetic, hoodies

Who would play you in a movie? Timothée Chalamet

Movie snack of choice: Pretzels

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

I’m looking forward to sharing all the wonderful films we’ve chosen with other people our age, and seeing how they react to them. As a committee, we’ve spent so much time analyzing and discussing the films, and I just hope that everyone who comes to the festival will be able to enjoy and relate to them as much as we have. I can't wait to bring my friends!

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

During this stage in our lives, we’re all experiencing growing pains. Young people go through hardships with school, friends, and families, but we still don’t realize how many people around have the same troubles and we feel like no one can relate to us. The theme “Growing Pains” will show young people films that deal with troubles they can relate to and understand. This has the power to bring people together and help them feel less alone, which I think is amazing.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

Absurd, dreamy, bright, and one-of-a-kind, Take Me Somewhere Nice depicts a series of misadventures and explores the protagonist's cool detachment to life on the cusp of adulthood. It will take you on a peaceful journey, and you won’t be able to stop thinking about a purple velvet dress.

Name: Keisha Emery

Describe yourself in three words: Down-to-earth, dedicated, sarcastic

Who would play you in a movie? Zoë Kravitz

Movie snack of choice: Flamin' Hot Cheetos

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone who comes out to the festival! A lot of care has been put into curating the events, and I’m excited to meet the community that connects with, and is excited by, all the selections.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

The physical, emotional, dramatic, exciting, crushing, pains of growing up. Pains which are often over-the-top, but ever so relatable and touching when properly demonstrated on screen.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

CRSHD. It's hilarious, honest, and Emily Cohn’s freshly unique vision shines through the screen, which is really exciting.

Name: Gabriela Ribeiro

Describe yourself in three words: Part-time fairy

Who would play you in a movie? Tyler, the Creator

Movie snack of choice: Popcorn & soda

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

Meeting people! Talking to them about what they are passionate about, what they ate for breakfast, what their favourite song to dance to is; zodiac sign, what films at the festival were their favourites, who they would love to be “in conversation with.” I want to make people feel part of it.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

It means how close and far from home I feel right now. My mind is constantly in everything I want to do now and in the future, but at the same time, my reality makes it all seem so far. Sooner than I imagine, this will change completely and I don’t know how to feel about it. I don’t think any of us do.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

Your Turn brings me back home. It’s what I want to be able to make people feel one day. Watching a story I’ve been in contact with for so long is a reminder of who I am.

Name: Eva Greyeyes

Describe yourself in three words: Chaotic good energy

Who would play you in a movie? Hailee Steinfeld

Movie snack of choice: Salted popcorn

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

I'm looking forward to connecting with a community of young film lovers at our festival, and discussing the films that we've tagged with them!

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

For me, "Growing Pains" means that growing up is filled with moments of awkwardness, hardship, and fear; however, it's also filled with success and hopefulness. Seeing those moments represented on screen can be empowering, and a reminder that you are not alone in any of those experiences.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

I would recommend Kuessipan, an emotional and powerful story about two best friends in an Innu community. It deals with the bonds that hold us together and the dreams that threaten to pull us apart — a film that every young person needs to see.

Name: Delphine Winton

Describe yourself in three words: Aspiring Peter Parker

Who would play you in a movie? Chris Evans (in a sweater)

Movie snack of choice: Maltesers

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

The Marathon!! I can't wait to see the old-school movies we've chosen back in theatres.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

All teenagers go through tough times emotionally, and Growing Pains encapsulates that.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

I'd recommend My Own Private Idaho! It's beautifully shot and written, and has amazing characters at the centre. Plus, '90s Keanu!

Name: Marlee Machado

Describe yourself in three words: I have mullet

Who would play you in a movie? Robert Pattinson

Movie snack of choice: French fries

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

I'm looking forward to opening night! Kicking off the festival with Battle of the Scores and the party really sets the mood for the rest of Next Wave.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

I'm in a very transitional point in my life so I'd say, I'm growing and it's painful. So, I feel that.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

House of Hummingbird is a must-see. This nostalgia-packed, coming-of-age story will leave you teary-eyed.

Name: Harry Nguyen

Describe yourself in three words: Kind, calm, genuine

Who would play you in a movie? Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Movie snack of choice: Mike and Ike

What are you looking forward to the most at TIFF Next Wave and why?

Getting people together to talk about and enjoy good cinema as a community.

This year's Movie Marathon theme is "Growing Pains." What does it mean to you?

Everybody can relate to the struggles of growing up and the universal feelings during that pivotal phase of our lives. It is the heartache, nostalgia, and everything from the good ol' days of childhood that we long to relive just once more.

Which TIFF Next Wave movie would you recommend and why?

Selah and the Spades is about secret communities in high school that run crime-like operations, and the drama that ensues is both hilarious and entertaining in the absurdity of the plot. I really think people who enjoy silly drama will live for this film as they watch the wonderful performances in this fictional society.


The TIFF Next Wave Committee is supported by The Slaight Family Foundation Learning Fund.