Generation Next is Calgary International Film Festival's youth-focused film series. Heading into its third year, Generation Next empowers youth ambassadors to hand-pick films relevant to their generation and is the first of its kind in Canada. The Series gives a new voice to the youth perspective by collaborating with high school students to select and watch films, curating an important part of CIFF's lineup.  

The series will feature up to six youth-focused films selected by high school previewers, and teachers will have the opportunity to bring classes to daytime screenings during the film festival. With guidance from CIFF's programmers, Calgary youth get to decide which of this year’s films - selected from around the world - are the most relevant and important to their generation. 

The curated films will also have high school curriculum ties, and teachers can sign-up for a field trip to watch a film during the school day on select dates during the 2020 festival.

The 21st Calgary International Film Festival takes place Sept. 23 - Oct. 4, 2020. Registration for Generation Next opens Spring/Summer 2020. Sign up here to get email updates.


Read on to explore the 2019 generation next lineup


2040 web


(2019). Directed by Damon Gameau. Australia. 92 minutes. G.

2040 looks to the future, with interviews from around the world focusing on climate, economics, technology, civil society, agriculture and sustainability.

Award-winning director Damon Gameau (THAT SUGAR FILM) embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary with dramatised sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board of how these solutions could regenerate the world for future generations.

2040 is one of the most innovative, impactful and heartwarming approaches to the very topical, ongoing global discussion of climate change, and our future.


A Colony

(2018). Directed by Geneviève Dulude-De Celle. Canada. 101 minutes. French with English subtitles. 14A. Coarse Language. 

Between high school pressure and family disorganization, Mylia is trying to find her bearings. Two friends will lead towards outlining a new life.

Mylia (Emilie Bierre), a timid 12-year-old child, is about to leave her native countryside to begin high school. Lost in this new hostile environment, she copes as well as she can, sometimes awkwardly, dealing with the absurdities, discomforts and small victories of adolescence. Along the way she encounters Jimmy (Jacob Whiteduck-Lavoie), a young indigenous outsider from the neighbouring reserve, who will help her stand her ground and embrace who she really is.

Geneviève Dulude-De Celles’s multi-award winning feature directorial debut is an extremely well executed heartfelt, and authentic crowd-pleasing coming of age story. Suitable for young audiences.

 Butterfly web 1


(2018). Directed by Alessandro Cassigoli & Casey Kauffman. Italy. Italian with English subtitles. 80 minutes. PG. 

Surviving a broken home on the roughest streets of Naples, an 18-year-old girl spectacularly rises to become Italy’s first female Olympic boxer. 

18-year old Irma "The Butterfly" Testa is Italy’s first female boxer to make it to the Olympics. It’s a remarkable outcome for a girl raised in one of the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods of Naples. The more Irma succeeds though, the more fragile she becomes. After a crushing defeat at the Games in Rio, she questions whether boxing is her future. She wants to chart her own path, but must first take a hard look at her personal life which she has avoided for so long.

BUTTERFLY is a inspiring and engrossing, observational style documentary, following you through the day-to-day life of a young athlete and the challenges balancing family life, passion, one's future and sport.


Land of Glass

(2018). Directed by Jeppe Vig Find & Marie Dalsgaard Rønn. Denmark. Danish with English subtitles. 88 minutes. PG. 

Where there are wolves, there are elves. 

While home alone one weekend, 13-year-old Jas finds a girl and an old lady hiding in his barn. Their hair is wild, their clothes are strange and they say they come from the forest. They quickly become friendship and Jas soon discovers that they are not human at all, but rather elves on the run from sinister forces. Someone is trying to get their hands on the their magical healing pearls, without which, the elves cannot survive. Poachers and strange secret agents are now seen in the area as Jas suddenly finds himself mixed up in a race through the forest to save his new friends.

In this feature directorial debut by co-directors Jeppe Vig Find and Marie Dalsgaard Rønn, LAND OF GLASS is aesthetically beautiful, family-friendly fantasy film, which serves as an exciting adventure from reality.


Standing On the Line

(2019). Directed by Paul Emile D’Entremont. Canada. English/French with English subtitles. 81 minutes.

In both amateur and professional sports, being gay remains taboo. Few dare to come out of the closet for fear of being stigmatized, and for many, the pressure to perform is compounded by a further strain: whether or not to affirm their sexual identity.

Breaking the code of silence that prevails on the field, on the ice and in the locker room, this film takes a fresh and often moving look at some of our gay athletes, who share their experiences with the camera. They’ve set out to overcome prejudice in the hopes of changing things for the athletes of tomorrow.


The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open

(2019). Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers & Kathleen Hepburn. Canada. 105 minutes. 16mm. 14A. Coarse Language. 

Two Indigenous women from vastly different backgrounds find their worlds colliding on an East Vancouver, B.C. sidewalk when brutality and fear drives one of them out from her home and into the cold rain. As this intimate yet challenging encounter develops, what began as violent and terrifying, tentatively expands as the women’s shared imagery and cultural experience weave a fragile bond between them. Both women now must face their own unique struggle as they navigate the complexities of motherhood, class, race, and the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

Shot on beautiful 16mm film, co-director Kathleen Hepburn (NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL CIFF Selection 2017) and co-director/actor Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers tell this story, based on true events, in real time. They have delicately crafted a raw, quiet and honest film about human connection, abuse and the precarious situation of Indigenous women.