It’s only a couple more weeks away and I am running into moms with the look of fear in their eyes. Okay, maybe a little exaggerated but you know what I mean. We’ve shifted into panic mode as reality has hit. Some of us (me included) haven’t sorted out all the summer activities for the kids especially for that tween age group.
As the kids get older, I find the summer camp options are limited. At 13, you want something cool and interesting. My son has no interest in a full month of overnight camp and that’s fine. One week of golf and sailing camp is enough for him and ,of course, you want to squeeze in some chill time and family time.
We are big supporters of arts & culture and there are many interesting camps available right in the city. We’ve done the camps at the Royal Ontario Museum, The Art Gallery, NFB and Design Exchange. I’m sure you can find neat ones in your city as well. But if you’re in Toronto, another great one to consider is the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Camp. If your kids love films this camp is for them! During the summer months the world-famous Festival organizers open up their doors to kids to get hands-on experience on various elements of movie making.
I had the opportunity to speak with Shane Smith, Director of Public Programmes at TIFF about what they have to offer this summer.
How did the educational team at TIFF come up with these themes for camp?
The Learning team at TIFF has years of experience in designing and programming workshops, events, camps and activities for children, youth and families. We’re always looking at ways we can inspire creativity in youth and it’s important that all camps have as much practical and hands-on activity as possible. All of our camps reflect TIFFs mandate of “transforming the way people see the world through film”.
Specifically, our Animation + Awesome camp has been one of our most popular camps, and is one we’ve offered since we started the programme. This camp was created in collaboration with the various professional animators that we work with, and includes field trips to some of Toronto’s amazing animation studios.
The concepts behind some all of our camps, including Puppets + Film and Music Video Mayhem were created collaboratively between the TIFF Learning Team and industry professionals. All the camps offer a way for youth to go “behind the scenes” of the film business and really learn how films, animations and music videos are made.
What are some of the highlights of a few of the camps (focusing on the ones as mentioned)
Each of our camps is very different, but they all offer a range of unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
The Animation + Awesome camp environment provides an opportunity for kids to work on both independent and larger group projects, many of which are guided by industry professionals. Some of the workshops include: stop motion animation, classical animation and field trips to a working animation studio, so they can see professional animators in action.
Puppets + Film offers a highly creative environment that allows each camper to participate in the production of a short film featuring puppets that they themselves have designed and created. Campers are learning about the art of puppetry, but also about film production.
Music Video Mayhem is one of my favourite camps – campers get to storyboard, shoot and edit a music video for an actual Toronto indie band (bands previously involved in Music Video Mayhem camp include Hooded Fang, Doldrums and OG Melody) They’re working with an experienced music video director, meeting working musicians and creating an original music video that the band will use.
All the camps end with a “premiere” screening in a cinema at the Lightbox, where the campers (along with their friends and family) get to see the films they’ve made on the big screen.
Who leads the camps?
Camps are lead by highly skilled and creative camp staff and film industry professionals (animators, filmmakers etc). We want to ensure that the campers are not only having a great time, but are learning from working industry professionals.
Sports camps are great but I think TIFF offers great options–what kind of feedback have you received from parents/kids from past TIFF camps?
Campers and parents particularly enjoy the creative and friendly atmosphere that TIFF Camps and staff provide. Both kids and parents have commented on the unique nature of our camps, and many of the participants return to take part in our other programming (March Break Camps, holiday workshops, TIFF Kids International Film Festival). This is a direct result of previous positive experiences that our programming has provided, and we’re thrilled to see familiar faces joining us each year, along with a new group of budding filmmakers.
TIFF Summer Day Camps are available for kids ages 8 to 16. All camps take place in the world-famous TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX downtown Toronto. If would like more information or to register, please visit the TIFF Camp official website at www.tiff.net
They have some pretty cool options for kids and I know mine will LOVE camp there — the only question is will they be able to decide which one they want to do?
Here’s a link to a Music Video “making-of” doc here (which was shot by the one of their other camps!) – [youtube id=”pkNzQAQhUrY”]
TIFF began in 1976 as the “Festival of Festivals,” collecting the best films from other film festivals around the world and showing them to eager audiences in Toronto. That first year, 35,000 enthusiasts watched 127 films from 30 countries.
By 2012, those numbers have grown to feature 372 films from 72 countries, enjoyed by over 400,000 people. The Festival of Festivals (renamed the Toronto International Film Festival® in 1995) has introduced many of the world’s great film artists to Toronto audiences. That first year, a spotlight on German cinema included films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders.
In the years that followed, many other artists have looked back on the Festival as the place where their films first reached a receptive audience and the foundations of their careers were built. These artists include: Paul Haggis, Jason Reitman, Michael Moore, David Cronenberg, and John Woo.
The secret of the Festival’s success is its unique combination of two parallel festivals: one for a large audience passionate about film and one for the world’s press and industry. The Festival also manages to be the launch pad for both big Hollywood films and art house cinema from around the world.
TIFF has grown, steadily adding initiatives. TIFF Cinematheque (formerly Cinematheque Ontario) and the Film Reference Library opened in 1990. TIFF Kids International Film Festival (formerly Sprockets) launched in 1998. Film Circuit began exhibiting independent and Canadian films in under-serviced cities across Canada in 1994. TIFF has remained committed to educating and broadening audiences, adding to the cultural richness of Canada’s community.