Thursday, April 17, 2008

International Premiere in Toronto

Top left to bottom: cool Sprockets projector-head robot banner •
kids lining up to enter JUMP! screening • organized seating charts
remind me of Tori's jump rope graph • volunteer keeps track of how
many kids enter the theater by using the same clicker that jump rope
judges use for speed events! (our count was 238 for our 2nd screening) •
Marquee showing the other films playing at our theater...a
peculiar pairing with our family-friendly & healthy JUMP! (look close).

JUMP! just had its international premiere at the Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children. I'm not joking when I say that it took a village to get me there -- my dad hopping a 10 foot fence to retrieve my passport, cooperation between 4 airlines, and the perseverance of TIFF's travel guru Tony. And it was all sooo worth it.

I'm very impressed with what they've got going on -- their program focuses on issues relevant to today's youth, including loss of a parent; bullying; poverty; homophobia; immigration issues; teen sexuality; plus fun films like mine and much, much more. They've got almost 100 comedies, dramas, documentaries and animation geared toward grades 1 - 12, from 26 countries in 15 different languages. Plus, they attract filmmakers from around the world, giving the kids a truly unique cross-cultural experience and providing us filmmakers with nice new connections as well. I'm honored that JUMP! was selected to be one of the 7 films representing the USA.

Each of our three screenings -- one for the general public and two school kids -- sold out fast! The audiences were among the best we've had anywhere...very engaged and enthusiastic. Q&As were great -- with most of the questions going to jumpers from nearby Ontario teams. I wish we had more time to talk with the students.

After each of our screenings, kids were using imaginary jump ropes in the parking lot and lobby; one group created a virtual double dutch routine before colliding with a wall.

Thanks to Jumpsations, Lincoln Leapers, and Brampton Arco Skippers for coming out to support the film and giving the audiences a live show. The audiences loved the jumpers and it was a special treat to share JUMP! with these teams because their coaches and parents were especially helpful when we filmed the World Rope Skipping Championship in Toronto.

If anyone wants more info on local teams, please check out the Ontario Rope Skipping Organization by clicking here.

Other major highlights include having a special lunch with TIFF families, hanging with Sprockets Co-Director of Learning Mr. Allen Braude, talking with maybe-relative Emily Scheer, meeting other Sprockets filmmakers, learning about the international circuit of childrens' festivals, and visiting Niagra Falls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for making a documentary about our sport and doing such a wonderful job with it. It has always been somewhat of a struggle in the past to get rope skipping recognized in Canada (and the rest of the World!), and now with your film it feels like we are at least one step closer!

The screening today was an awesome experience for my team. We all thoroughly enjoyed the movie and it was great to be able to be there to see the reactions from the schools.

Thanks again and Good Luck with all of your future films!

Kristine Melloh
Lincoln Leapers
Ontario, Canada