“It’s a dream…To have the opportunity to literally make my living telling stories is a dream job,” said Sedore, who is also a producer on the upcoming Telefilm Talent to Watch-funded feature film Tribe.
“Seeing now, eight years out of graduating film school, that all of the work I put in is starting to really get some recognition and that people are starting to pay attention…is incredibly validating, and inspiring, and scary, and confusing.”
Sedore described the TIFF-bound Flood as an “extraordinary” short he had the privilege of working on alongside writer/director Joseph Amenta, whom he met during his stint as a Producer in Residence at the Canadian Film Centre.
“I was immediately enamoured with it when I read it,” he said of Flood, which tells the story of a queer teenage boy and his younger sister as they embark on an ultimately interrupted adventure for her tenth birthday.
“I fell in love with the story, and I loved (Amenta’s) style of filmmaking when he showed me all his gritty, raw, authentic perspectives on these different worlds that I never really got to enter into.”
For his part, Amenta said the worlds depicted in all his films – including both Flood and Tribe – are ones that are anchored to authenticity.
“What I try to do when I’m writing is connect the story to my own life and experience – either first-hand, or something I’ve witnessed, or spoken about with another person,” he said of the writing process that ultimately earned him a 2019 Breakthrough Artist Award at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference and an invitation to participate in this year’s TIFF Talent Lab.
“What I’m interested in doing is showing characters with a strong sense of agency, where they’re making mistakes, where they’re imperfect, and where they’re not always victims, even though in the scope of the world, they are.”
With Flood now headed for its world premiere at TIFF and the yet-to-be-filmed Tribe recently announced as the recipient of a $125,000 Telefilm Talent to Watch grant, Amenta said he’s hopeful his perspective is now one step closer to being validated on the big screen.
“Being selected for Telefilm’s Talent to Watch is a step in the right direction…I want to allow this opportunity to be a platform for the story I’m trying to tell,” he said of Flood, whose story centres around three adolescent queer boys whose enrapture with their local nightlife scene comes to sudden end with a loss of life.
“In my own learning process as a director and as a storyteller, I think (Talent to Watch) is a beautiful program because it allows for…collaboration of young creators, young filmmakers to create something quite special that punches above its weight and says something really authentic.”
As for Sedore – who credits much of his success to the “incredible network of talented individuals” he established during his time Toronto Film School – Flood and Tribe’s recent triumphs have proven “incredibly validating.”
“As a person who grew up in a low-income neighbourhood with no connection to the industry whatsoever, without Toronto Film School, I would have never been able to move on and do all this stuff,” he said, describing Toronto Film School’s late, great Rick Bennett as an “idol” and “mentor.”
“…It’s opportunities that are now being afforded to me – like Telefilm being a partner on our film Tribe, and TIFF selecting our film Flood – that tell me that everything I went through was worth it. I’m just grateful to be here, happy about all the opportunities that I get, and just want to keep rolling.”