Teen Years: Heaven and Hell
ALT | Youth | Shorts Programs
Teenage years can be exhilarating and conflicting times. The joys of increased independence and new relationships can be countered by fears of sexual discovery, bullying, self-doubts and the desperate need for acceptance. This program of short films looks at teen experiences and challenges in school and at home from their perspective: trying to fit in, following their dreams and desires or just trying to cope with daily torment. These films will be classified so that those under 18 may attend.
A Haitian-American high-school student is bullied by a star basketball player into doing his homework, yet his hard work yields surprises for both of them. Full of hip-hop stylings and sensibilities, the film really captures a slice of modern high-school life for American inner-city-school teens and addresses a long-standing issue of cheating, especially with athletes.
A mysterious supernatural force helps a teen girl find the strength to fight back against a group of vicious bullies and a dark creature that haunts her at night. This dark tale shows us how the trauma of physical and sexual abuse become layers of persecution reshaping reality—and that monsters come in many guises.
A teenage girl’s quiet rural life is interrupted by an unusual little competition at the local farming town fair. A gentle but unusual story somewhere between documentary and fiction, and steeped in natural light, where significance is found in the rural sense of place—the film was shot in Northern Ireland—and the feeling of charming innocence.
When a new transfer joins the tryouts for a top-flight high-school basketball team, it changes the competition in more ways than one. Starring former L.A. Laker (and Canadian) Rick Fox as the coach, Game captures the atmosphere of a HS gym perfectly, and is ultimately a story about testing limits and expectations with ambition and ability.
The relationship between two teen punks is put to the test as they are confronted by violence, their attraction to girls, and their inability to express their emotions. A raw, wild ride with those on the fringe where antisocial thinking and behaviors can be idealized—before ultimately becoming destructive.
Olivia, 17, appears to be living a "normal life," but destructive thoughts from her struggles with anxiety and OCD threaten to overwhelm her. This is a very well acted, scary and suspenseful psychological thriller that addresses real issues about teen mental health and parental relations.
As electricity is introduced to a remote Transhimalayan village, a teen boy whose family has the first TV struggles to reconcile his excitement and newfound status. The exotic location serves to emphasize this life-transforming event: it’s both a blessing and a curse, and these disparities, both supernatural and real, play havoc with our young adolescent.
Director: Karen Maine / USA, 2017, 12 min.
Fifteen-year-old Alice has always been a good Catholic, but when an innocent AOL chat turns unexpectedly racy she finds her sex-and-marriage class the next day only complicates her raging desires. Set in the early Internet age, the film stars Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) as the blossoming teenager caught in the conflict between her religion’s views and her hormone-driven curiosity.
This film has been classified so youth under 18 can attend.