In the fall of 2005, three grade twelve students from Toronto, Ontario approached their teacher, Jamie MacRae, with the brilliant idea of creating a new student film festival specifically designed to showcase youth talent. The festival would provide an opportunity for students from any part of the world to screen their media works and short films. The TSFF Founding Committee was made up of these three Crescent School students – Zack Russell, Gordon Steiner, and David Whyte, Jamie MacRae (Head of Media Arts, Crescent School, Colin Lowndes Head of Crescent’s Upper (High) School, and entertainment executive Pat Macdonald.
Pat joined the founding team as the Executive Producer and used her experience and organizational skills to help make the inaugural festival a reality.
Colin Lowndes, offered the festival a home— Crescent’s new Centre for Creative Arts, featuring a state-of-the-art 350 seat theatre.
The founding committee worked for months to put together the framework for the first festival. They crafted submission guidelines, festival rules and procedures, created a web site, enlisted a stellar panel of judges, obtain numerous sponsorships, developed the programme for the festival, secured prizes, and designed awards for the top winners.
Numerous other students to made the event a night to remember. Of particular note are students Evan Reiter, the festival’s lighting technician (with guidance from teacher Allan Moore), Scott McGregor, sound technician, and Jonathan Lai, who helped design the festival’s original web site.
The inaugural festival was held in April of 2006.
Since then the TSFF has become a premier event for youth to showcase their talent in a wide variety of genres. The standard of the films has been outstanding, attracting submissions from young film makers from all parts of the globe. Prizes have focused on work experiences in the industry, scholarships to film making programmes, cash, and film equipment. The festival is a wonderful event that pays tribute to youth talent and artistic expression through the medium of short film.