Memories of TIFF Kids, 2016


Three things happen when you go to an amazing conference:

  1. You have a lot of moments where you meet new people and think “Yes! That’s what I do too!”
  2. You have a lot of moments where you meet new people and think “Wow! So cool! I wish I were doing that!”
  3. You have moments when you think “Why isn’t anyone doing that? I should get on it.”

Going to TIFF Kids pretty much guarantees a healthy dose all three of these. It’s one of those events that brings together all kinds of creative, innovative and motivated thinkers. You leave thinking that kids today are incredibly lucky to have media content producers hard at work making the most amazing things for them to watch, listen to, and otherwise engage with. You also get the sense that, like you, other attendees leave with a shiny new to do list of amazing things to come.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s industry conference:

  1. Play is serious business! As usual, the Digi Playspace exhibit was amazing, presenting wall-to-wall ways to help young thinkers build skills and knowledge through games and interactive digital media. We were also floored by a talk given by Constance Steinkuehler, who’s spent much of her career illustrating that online gaming is so much more than a diversion.
  2. Kids’ media creators are on a mission to make programming much more inclusive. Whether it’s in casting, writing, character design, or marketing, there’s an all-around agreement that every child should be able to see themselves represented in what they watch.
  3. Worlds are colliding in the most marvelous ways, with respect to various media platforms. There’s a great deal of recognition that youngsters are interested in coming to new stories through a variety of pathways, and being diverse in our delivery methods not only embraces them as unique minds, but also gives us new and exciting ways to develop content.

Not too shabby for three days, right? Can’t wait until next year!