This feature documentary explores the world of adolescence in rural teenagers' interactions with various authority figures. Outside the classroom, though, the teens enjoy more control of their world; in this playground, they can test the limits of their temporary freedom. A work of patient observation relying mostly on uninterrupted long takes,Guidelines emphasizes the contrast between adult and adolescent, between the regulated classroom and the great outdoors, gradually revealing the interior drama of adolescence with its shifts from fragility to reckless abandon.
In this feature documentary, director Hélène Choquette sheds light on the phenomenon of early-onset puberty in girls. Today, it isn't unusual to see the earliest signs of puberty in girls younger than the age of 9, though this was not the case a few decades ago. A number of causes are suspected: could obesity and exposure to environmental contaminants, for instance, be to blame? The physical, psychological and psychosocial repercussions on young girls results in a disconnect between their physical and emotional maturity. Far from being a marginal issue, early-onset puberty is fast becoming a worldwide public health concern. Little Big Girls alerts us to the need to adapt, as a society, so as to minimize the impact of this phenomenon on our children.
This feature documentary by renowned director and cinematographer Vic Sarin is a personal yet global investigation into the history and current state of colourism: the discrimination within one ethnicity based on differences in skin tone. Sarin travels the globe to discuss this complex cross-cultural social issue with individuals whose lives it affects, including a Filipina entrepreneur whose business has flourished within the billion-dollar skin-whitening industry. Hue leads viewers on a thoughtful and surprising journey to the heart of a painful and pervasive social issue that not only polices appearance, but also class, gender, and geography.
In this short film, three youths draw on their own experiences to provide an essential guide to staying afloat while navigating the choppy waters of adolescence. It's a time when youth undergo big changes and assume new responsibilities, juggling school, family and friends. Throw in work, dating, exams, racist remarks and extracurricular activities, and it's no wonder teens get knocked off balance. Spoken word performer Kyra Shaughnessy and a diverse chorus of young voices provide running commentary, making XS Stress an insightful report from the teens of today.
This feature-length documentary from Inuvialuit filmmaker Dennis Allen is an emotional and revealing exploration of addiction among Indigenous people in Canada.After years of struggle and shame, 5 Indigenous Canadians bravely come forward with their stories of substance abuse, presenting the sensitive topic of alcoholism in an honest and forthright manner. Alex, Paula, Desirae, Stephen, and Dennis himself maintain a deep and devoted commitment to their traditional culture to achieve long-term sobriety. Through their voices, this insightful doc offers an inspirational beacon of hope for others.
Over 200,000 people in Canada are deaf. For deaf francophones, Quebec Sign Language is essential to both their identity and their connection to the deaf community. In the past decades, parents and doctors have pushed for hearing aids, cochlear implants and a mainstream education for deaf kids. Yet this thrust into the hearing world has come at a price for some deaf students, who may have trouble following classroom activities and end up being marginalized.
The Dance of Words 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 show how they are using the arts to build a deaf culture that makes them proud. They shine a spotlight on their community while promoting and advancing deaf culture with a keen sensitivity.
This short documentary introduces us to Randy Baleski, a Winnipeg high school teacher and former boxer who has a unique approach to helping students at risk of not graduating: get them in the ring. We watch him work with two Indigenous teens from troubled backgrounds as they slowly come to understand that boxing is more than just a sport… it's a way of life.
The people of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a Cree community in northern Ontario, were thrust into the national spotlight in 2012 when the impoverished living conditions on their reserve became an issue of national debate. With The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin quietly attends as community members tell their own story, shedding light on a history of dispossession and official indifference. “Obomsawin’s main objective is to make us see the people of Attawapiskat differently,” said Robert Everett-Green in The Globe & Mail. “The emphasis, ultimately, is not so much on looking as on listening—the first stage in changing the conversation, or in making one possible.” Winner of the 2013 Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, the film is part of a cycle of films that Obomsawin has made on children’s welfare and rights.
Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin, A Legacy DVD box set
This dramatic short is intended to be a conversation starter on the topic of sex, responsibility and contraception. When young, popular Kristen suspects that she's pregnant, she and her boyfriend Jason are forced to answer some difficult questions: Will they keep the baby? What are their thoughts on abortion? Adoption? How will their actions affect their futures? Baby Blues reflects the teenage point of view without moralizing or sugar-coating the issue and dramatizes the consequences of ignoring birth control in a way that breaks through the "it can't happen to me" barrier. Appropriate for classroom use.
This feature documentary tells the story of 2 teens who head out west in search of self. Like a quarter of Vancouver’s itinerant youth population, Mélo and Ti-criss made the trip from Quebec, hopeful for a better life. Still minors, the pair seeks escape and adventure, perhaps the meaning of life. From east to west, from the streets to a hotel, with a welcome interlude in the country, they seek their place in society.
This smart documentary explores the intimidating terrain of girlhood by following three 12-year-olds over the period of one year. As these girls move from childhood to maturity, it's clear that peer pressure is an important influence, but as the films shows, the greatest influence in a young girl's life is family.
Filmmaker Victoria King's creative approach, including the use of "diary-cam" footage, not only follows the girls but allows them to question the world in their own voices. Ultimately, the film reveals the complexities of being 12, both satisfying our curiosity and inviting us to ask, What happens next?
This animated short tells the story of Trudy, a little girl who is equal parts truthful and rude. A bright-minded and quick-witted child, Trudy has an unfiltered and deeply curious way of looking at the world. Here, events force her to question what it means to speak the truth, and comes to understand how our differences make us unique.
Ages 16 to 18
Diversity - Identity
Family Studies/Home Economics - Adolescent Development
Family Studies/Home Economics - Parenting
Health/Personal Development - Bullying & Discrimination
Ideal for classes on bullying and adolescence. What is familiar about the high school depicted in this film? Discuss the role of high school in the lives of students. Identify common conflicts amongst youth and develop strategies to resolve them. What rules do the students in your school have to follow? What do students learn outside of the classroom? Describe the lives of teenagers when left to their own devices. Take a picture that tightly frames a scene.