Ryerson alumni discuss their TIFF short film experience

A group of beginner filmmakers and directors said that the connections made while they were students at Ryerson University opened doors for them in a new career.

On Nov. 6 a group of Ryerson’s grads featured at this year’s TIFF gathered at the Rogers Communication Centre to view and discuss their films with students. All of the filmmakers had recently graduated from the Radio and Television Arts (RTA) program.

“The people you work with here are probably the ones you’re gonna work with later,” said Stephen Dunn director of We Wanted More, one of the films featured at TIFF.

Walter Woodman, co-director of Noah, another film featured at TIFF, echoed Dunn’s sentiments on the networking opportunities available at school saying, “Most of the crew that worked on the film (Noah) came from Rye.”

The other films shown were Fantavious Fritz’s Paradise Falls,  Jasmin Mozaffari’s Firecrackers and Luke Higginson’s Relax, I’m From the Future.  The subject matter of the five films contrasted greatly but were all praised by the audience of around 40 people. The filmmakers agreed that their time at Ryerson allowed them to experiment and make the mistakes they needed to.

When speaking about their time at Ryerson the directors credited the program with giving them the practical skills to make great films. But Woodman spoke to his inexperience when it came to copyrighted material while shooting Noah, which is shot from the perspective of a computer screen featuring household brand names like Facebook and YouTube.

“Surprisingly, none of the teachers brought it up,” he said. Noah tells the story of a troubled young man’s relationship on the internet through the use of certain social media. “We just did it, asked for permission afterward,” Woodman added.

Mozaffari and Higginson are still actively shopping their films to different festivals around the world. While Fritz, Dunn, Woodman and Noah’s other co-director Patrick Cederberg have all begun to work on scripts for feature films.

Stephen DunnWe Wanted More

We Wanted More is the story of a performance artist whose’s voice becomes a character of its own.


Fantavious FritzParadise Falls

Paradise Falls follows the story of two young boys who decide to spend the night in an abandoned and reportedly haunted mansion. Though what the boys find in the mansion is far from haunting.


Walter Woodman & Patrick Cederberg –  Noah

Noah is shot exclusively from the perspective of a computer screen. The unique screenplay of the film, which needed a legend to decipher, was one of the favourites at the TIFF festival.


Jasmin Mozaffari – Firecrackers

Firecrackers is about two young women in northern Ontario who decide to leave their boring small town for the big city.


Luke Higginson – Relax, I’m From the Future

Unfortunately there is no trailer for Relax, I’m From the Future since the short is only five minutes long. The story, as the title suggests, follows a man from the future trying to right a wrong in the past.


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