Our teen years are short-lived yet stay with us a lifetime. They are dramatic, exhilarating, confusing, and—while at times exhausting—formative. Whether you look back at them fondly or with dismay, they are memorable and shape who we become. Here are 5 valuable additions to the teen-film cannon screening at VIFF that follow a young lead through this tumultuous time in life:
1. Lady Bird directed by Greta Gerwig
Director Greta Gerwig’s manic-depressive comedy portrays all the angst, elation and awkwardness that come with growing up broke and misunderstood in a stuffy small city. Screening Monday, October 9 @ 4:00pm at The Centre.
2. Worst Case, We Get Married directed by Léa Pool
Pool’s affecting film tells the disturbing, poignant story of 14-year-old Aïcha who spends most of her days wasting her time roaming around her working-class neighbourhood in Montréal. Screening Saturday, October 7 @ 6:15pm at International Village and Tuesday, October 10 @ 9:00pm at The Cinematheque.
3. The Foolish Bird directed by Huang Ji and Ryuji Otsuka
Huang tells the story, based on her own life, of Lynn, a 16-year-old high-school student left behind by her absent working parents in rural Hunan province. Screening Saturday, October 7 @ 6:15pm at International Village and Tuesday, October 10 @ 9:00pm at The Cinematheque.
4. Unarmed Verses directed by Charles Officer
Officer follows Francine, a young Antiguan immigrant, as she enrolls in a local arts workshop with a focus on poetry and music after her family is asked to vacate their already cramped home to make space for a costly high rise they’re economically barred from. Screening Friday, October 6 @ 6:00pm at Rio Theatre.
5. Teen Years: Heaven and Hell Shorts Program
Eight short films that look at teen experiences and challenges in school and at home from their perspective as they try to fit in, follow their dreams and just deal with their teen years. Screening Saturday, October 7 @ 6:45pm at Vancity Theatre.