Not Only For Only the Young

By Filip Terlecki

For the past three years YouNxt has Co-Presented films at the Hot Docs Canadian international documentary film festival.

This year we had the honour of co-presenting one of the most anticipated films of the fest Only the Young, an American doc directed by Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims.

Only the Young follows two teenage best friends, Kevin and Garrison, who are evangelical skateboarders in the midst of exploring the world of girls and enjoying their loving bromance.

The film received a terrific reception from Toronto audiences and some glowing reviews from critics. I for one though that it was a really charming and funny character study and one of the best films of the festival.

We spoke to filmmaker Jason Tippet about his Hot Docs experience.

What was your Hot Docs experience like?

Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs Director of Programming) and the Hot Docs staff took such good care of us. All our seats were filled. There was always something going on at night. There was usually something cold in our hands. And all the films we saw were so well done. Especially Call Me Kuchu and a short called Family Nightmare.

Jason Tippet and Elizetbeth Mims (left) speak at a Hot Docs industry panel.

After the screening, as audiences were exiting the cinema they were shaking your hands. Were you surprised by the audience’s reaction to the film? And did you feel like rock stars?

After our screenings, I always like to shake hands with people in the audience. They took their time to come see  something we’ve made. I think it’s important to hear their thoughts.

I don’t know what rock stars feel like. But, I’m sure it feels the same to get recognition for something you worked hard on. We spent two years making this film exactly how we wanted to. And to have people excited about your style and type of story you’re interested in telling is incredibly rewarding.

What surprised you most about Hot Docs?

Our educational screening surprised us the most. There were around 400 kids there. They all had such interesting questions and could relate to the characters in our film. We weren’t sure how teenagers would react to the film. One of the best Q&A’s we’ve had. Oh, and as we were leaving the theater, Liz and I overheard a group of girls arguing
about who was cuter; Garrison or Kevin (the kids in our film)?

What did you like best about Toronto?

The subway. I’d love to eventually live in a city where you don’t need a car.

What’s in store for you and Elizabeth now?

Elizabeth and I are working on separate scripts at the moment. Although, yesterday I met someone who I could easily see making a film on. We finished Only the Young so recently. I’d like to take my time with whatever the next project is.

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