When Siobhan Kiely looks back on her Film Production studies, she’s grateful to Toronto Film School not only for instilling in her the necessary skills for success, but also for helping her find her place in the film industry.
With a strong background in photography and visual arts, it was at Toronto Film School that the 25-year-old Oshawa native discovered her passion for art translated well within the world of production design.
To her fellow graduates and classmates, the Film Production Class of 2020 valedictorian wishes to pass on this message:
“Congratulations graduates of 2020! You have all worked very hard and I am honoured to have shared this journey with you,” she said. “I hope for the privilege to work with you all again in the future and wish you all immense success in all that you do.”
Kiely recently sat down to reflect on her time at Toronto Film School, her passion for filmmaking, and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:
What brought you to Toronto Film School? Where were you in life when you decided to continue your studies with us?
A simple click brought me to Toronto Film School. I was surfing the Internet one day and came across an ad for the school and decided to investigate further. This was shortly after completing my studies in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph. I was looking for a program and/or experience that would bring me one step closer to a career in the film industry. I wanted to find ways in which I could further my creativity and apply what I had learned in my previous schooling. The Toronto Film School seemed like the natural and appropriate avenue to do so, insofar as it offered new challenges and an opportunity to better myself and find a place where I belonged. After a quick campus tour, I promptly completed my application for Toronto Film School, excited to start this new chapter in my life!
What made you decide to pursue your passion for Film Production?
While at Guelph, I had the privilege of exploring a variety of artistic mediums and discovered my creative niche in photography. My artistic studies eventually led me to film and sparked my interest in filmmaking. As this interest grew, I wanted to dive deeper into film production and learn what was involved in telling a good story on screen. Simply put; curiosity and the desire to create, led me to pursue my new passion.
What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at TFS?
I have learned many wonderful things while studying at Toronto Film School and have been fortunate to have forged many relationships. However, an important takeaway from my studies, is that at times it is important to embrace change. My time at Toronto Film School has shown that if you allow yourself to be flexible and open minded, you are able to problem solve in a more efficient manner. This has been so helpful in my line of work.
What are your plans after graduation, both immediate and long term?
After graduating, I am happy to continue my work at “Finding Your Bliss” and help the radio show and podcast bring bliss to its listeners. I also plan to pursue my own interests in film, particularly within the production and art departments. I am eager to explore new opportunities to better myself as a filmmaker and I look forward to contributing to projects that bring joy to others.
If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
This advice would be to recognize what you are good at, but also recognize the talents of others. Teamwork and collaboration is part of what makes filmmaking so exciting and it is important to know when to take the work on yourself and when to delegate amongst your team members. This not only works to ensure the best outcome for your project, but also prevents the work from becoming too overwhelming.