August | Chosen Family
This collection explores human connection and the way people come together in good times and bad. These relationships are the essential support networks that can lift us up and keep us moving when times get tough and help us celebrate our wins. Blood may be thicker than water, but these bonds are for life!
Some of the projects included in this collection deal with topics that may be distressing to certain audiences. Viewer discretion is advised – please check ratings and warnings on individual selections before engaging.
Creators: Jennifer Pertsch & Tom McGillis
Set in a giant shopping mall, this animated show follows the after-school lives of six 16-year-olds. It’s minimum wages and maximum laughs, as we follow our ensemble cast of friends trying to make it through their first part-time jobs and life as a teen.
Les mots qui dansent
(The Dance of Words)
Creators: Yves Étienne Massicotte
Les mots qui dansent features young artists who have embraced their deaf identity in adulthood, after spending a difficult childhood in the grey zone between hearing culture and deaf culture. These emerging artists shine a spotlight on their community, by using the arts to promote and advance a deaf culture that makes them proud – all while exercising a keen sensitivity.
In English or French, with Closed Captions
MUSIC VIDEO FOR:
Live Your Life
Director: Mez Mariye
Championing themes of community, black girl joy, and black beauty, this music video captures Kibra and her friends taking a break from their day-to-day existence to simply live their lives, appreciate their freedoms, and enjoy each other – with their ancestors watching joyfully. It also showcases Kibra in all her divine femininity, performance prowess, and artistic and stylistic glory.
MUSIC VIDEO FOR:
Look At Us Now
Musician: Tanika Charles
Director: V. T. Nayani
Look At Us Now shimmers gorgeously: swooning backing vocals and a guitar with the slightest hint of psychedelia battle with Tanika Charles’ impassioned and ebullient voice. This music video envisions a life without compromise, celebrating those who pave the way through friendship, love, and support.
Director: Gail Maurice
When her adopted sister dies, Frédèrique is at first unwilling and unprepared to become the caregiver for a young niece she’s just met. Sporadically working at an adult entertainment shop and threatened with eviction, she can barely keep her own life on track – but with the help of her two gender-bending best friends, Fréd is eventually able to create a loving home for Rosie. Touching on the Sixties Scoop and disconnection from Indigenous identity, Rosie is an ode to finding your chosen family when your blood relations have been removed from the picture.
In English, French, and Cree, with English subtitles
Someone Like Me
Creator: Adam Yaniv
Someone Like Me follows the parallel journeys of Drake, a gay asylum seeker from Uganda, and a group of strangers from Vancouver’s queer community who are tasked with supporting his resettlement in Canada. Together, they embark on a year-long quest for personal freedom, revealing how in a world where one must constantly fight for the right to exist, survival itself becomes a victory.
Director: Adam Yaniv
Summer Memories follows the animated adventures of best friends Jason and Ronnie, as Jason looks back on the most pivotal summer of his life – which was just a few weeks ago! This is Jason’s summer of change… And he fears change. Lucky for him, he has his adventurous BFF Ronnie right by his side!
Director: Sam Vint
Over the course of a weekend tournament, youth sledge hockey teams from Canada and the U.S.A. battle for supremacy. Designed for players who have a physical challenge, the fundamentals of the sport — passing, shooting, trash talking your opponents – remain the same. This doc captures the end-to-end action, as the Manitoba Sledgehammers come together as a team on and off the ice.
Showrunner / Executive Producer: Aden Abebe
Set in Toronto, virgins! follows the lives of four 20-something women who are too modest for the big city and too provocative for their East-African homes. Doe-eyed in-betweeners, they are not just virgins in the biblical sense, but in life experience as well. The four friends must help each other navigate adult experiences they were never prepared for: starting their careers, dodging workplace politics, dating, relationships, and of course, sex.
We Went Out
Director: Ian Kamau
We Went Out is a poetic short film that celebrates the informal venues frequented by members of the downtown Toronto hip hop community in the ’90s and ’00s: sidewalks, stairwells, benches. Commissioned by Luminato as part of Guided by Starlight: Exploring Toronto’s Musical Galaxy, a five-part docu-music series curated by Rosina Kazi, it pays homage to the friends who became adults in those in-between spaces, and who made memories in places that are not often valued, but are an important part of Toronto’s cultural landscape.