Youth Media Conference & Showcase

Thursday, April 18 | Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.)

A day-long conference of screenings, interactive presentations, and hands-on activities for high school students, the Youth Media Conference inspires and equips students to explore, appreciate, analyze, create and share screen media.  The conference will promote youth participation and representation in the media as a way to build community strength, encourage dialogue, and push for social and political change.

Download the Youth Media Conference & Showcase flyer here.

Artists & Activists + Moving Images

An interactive presentation & installation, Überdrop & Hope the Whale (60 mins)

During this interactive presentation, students will learn about the creation of two interactive projects combining traditional ideas of protest with leading-edge technology:

“What happens when you combine one photographer, one organizer, 1,500 square feet of cardboard, two cans of paint, four paint rollers, an army of volunteers, and one BIG idea? You get… the Überdrop. This human art installation evokes discussion about the land and water sustainability.” Artist Zack Embree will explain why and how he used digital moving images and stop-motion animation for this campaign, and then will help students create their own  “mini-drop”.

Hope the Whale is a 25-foot, interactive art installation created to give voice to the issues of water sustainability. Constructed out of old boat sails and bone-shaped wood ribbing, the installation is a working media studio inside “the belly of the whale.”  It is erected in public spaces, where passersby are encouraged to write messages of hope on large water drops surrounding the whale. The installation will be displayed at the Roundhouse Community Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews), from April 14-21 - R2R encourages all attending the conference to visit Hope the Whale prior to the conference or during the lunch break (The Roundhouse is four block walk from the Vancity Theatre).

9:30 - 10:30 am

The Community Partner for this program is:



Start With Us

Director: Abid Virani, Canada, 2011 (44 min)
In English and Sesotho with English subtitles

Themes: security, perseverance, AIDS, coming of age, independence, caring for others, friendship, differences & similarities

Presented with hands on activities and interactive presentation - The Power of Cinema (60 min)

In Lesotho everybody is either infected with or affected by AIDS. This thoughtful documentary reveals a generation of young Africans determined to dream and to be free of the stigmas and disease. Lesotho is not a country begging to be saved, but a country determined to change its own situation. First time Director Abid Virani follows the friendships developed by young Canadians and Basotho youth.

Virani will discuss the Power of Cinema, and lead a breakout session of hands-on activities using flip cameras and smart phones; if you’ve got one, bring it! You don’t need any experience in media or activism, just come and see how you can get involved!

About Abid Virani
Among Canada’s youngest and most accomplished inspirational speakers, Virani, 22, is a University of Guelph International Development student and cofounder/CEO of the charitable organization ‘I Have Hope in the Fight Against AIDS.’ Virani’s many accolades include, but are not limited to:  the Rotary Youth Citizenship Award, Guelph Mercury’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, National TD Canada Trust Award of Merit for Outstanding Community Leadership, and the Canadian Top 20 Under 20 Award. Most recently, he was the youngest speaker at TEDx Guelph.

10:45 am - 12:30 pm


Diversity of Magic - Short Film Program

Themes: friendship, fantasy and reality, adventure, love, homosexuality, circle of life, humanity & comedy

This collection of diverse international, animated, documentary, and live-action shorts opens the cinematic doors to the real life joys and dilemmas facing today's youth. Playful, poetic and powerful, these stories will pull you all the way in to their wondrous worlds. 

Select directors will be in attendance for a Q&A post-screening. This screening is open to the public.

1:15 - 2:45 pm


The Whole Shebang - Get completely immersed in the R2R festival on Thursday, April 18, by adding the Youth Filmmakers Showcase and the Closing Night Film & Awards presentation to your day. You definitely won't want to miss the Closing Night Film, Thursday Till Sunday, a feature from Chilean director Dominga Sotomayor. During the Awards presentation, find out which films stood out at the Youth Filmmakers Showcase, and applaud the hard work of all the contributing filmmakers. Get an All-Day Pass to the whole shebang! 


5th Annual Youth Filmmakers Showcase

The Youth Filmmakers Showcase presents new, entertaining and well-crafted works by youth across British Columbia. A Jury of some of Vancouver’s most renowned film professionals will present awards and comments following this inspiring and energizing program of shorts made by youth. Be sure to come and cast your vote for the audience award, which will be determined by secret ballot. The audience is invited to attend a small reception (with snacks) in the atrium after this screening.

This screening is open to the public.

4:00 - 6:00 pm


Thursday Till Sunday - Closing Night Film

(De jueves a domingo)
Director: Dominga Sotomyor, Chile / Netherlands, 2012 (94 min)
In Spanish with English subtitles

Themes: independence, freedom, security, family relationships, coming of age

This brilliant first feature from Dominga Sotomayor represents a cinematic rarity: a road movie told from the vantage point of the backseat. On a four-day family car trip, young Lucía (the phenomenal Santi Ahumada) finds the monotony of the passing landscape counter-pointed by the rapidly changing relationship between her parents. While her younger brother remains blissfully unaware of the awkward silences, she’s keenly attuned to the tension in the air. Consequently, this supposed vacation offers few moments of youthful abandon. Even when allowed to ride atop the car, she can’t keep from glancing through the windshield and seeing her parents’ marriage unravelling a little more.

Beautifully shot by Bárbara Álvarez, Thursday Till Sunday is a deeply moving and delicately crafted movie that distinguishes the young Sotomayor as a major talent. This film "says and conveys more substance with a seemingly casual glance than most action-packed vehicles… This is a film of little gestures and brief looks, caught almost as if by chance by Bárbara Álvarez’s perspicacious camera, and it’s the accumulation of small incidents that give Thursday its power."—Jay Weissberg, Variety

This screening is open to the public.

Followed by: Q&A with Director and cast via Skype

6:30 - 8:45 pm


Registration is easy

Pre-registration is required. Please contact our Festival Coordinator at to register. You may also leave a phone message at 604-224-6162. We'll need to know how many students will attend, and if they're purchasing the All-Day Pass or the Conference Pass. We'll issue an invoice by email. Your school front desk can issue a cheque to complete payment in advance of the festival (mailing details provided on the invoice). We expect that field trip permission for all students will be arranged  prior to attendance.

Student Prices

$15 - All-Day Pass (by pre-registration only, all access pass for Thursday, April 18)
$10 - Conference Pass + Youth Filmmakers Showcase (by pre-registration only, excludes Closing Night Film)
$6   - Closing Night Film & Awards Celebration

Regular prices apply to all public access screenings.


The Community Partner for this program is: