Want to know how to make a stand-out video, short film or just improve your home movies? With the Toronto Urban Film Festival screening in subway stations around Toronto, Metro got tips from past festival winners to learn how to turn that ‘same old, same old’ into something special.


Linda Matarasso, Rockstar. Winner: Best in Category, 2007

Your film or video must be visually arresting; don’t forget that your film/video will be seen in a busy environment with lots of movement, colours and textures around it so consider simplicity and contrast in your film/video’s composition – past techniques that caught my attention include choosing strong shot compositions that aren’t overcrowded with visual elements.


Dara Gellman, TUFF 2009 Guest Juror

Without sound and without more than a minute and an audience on the move, every image counts. It is a super fun challenge to catch an audience’s attention. I went for simplicity and colour.


Elizabeth Belliveau, Anchor Your Heart. Winner: Best in Category, 2008

One minute can feel like a very long time, especially without sound to help move things along. So keep it visually stimulating and coherent.

Vuk Dragojevic, The Spit. Winner: 3rd Place, 2009

The screens on the TTC platforms are small with people watching from varying distances—thus small details might be difficult to catch. Humour also never hurts...


Tara Cooper & Terry O’Neill, Tara and Terry’s Summer Vacation. Winner: Honourable Mention, 2009

If there is writing make sure it is large enough to read on a small screen and there is enough time to read it clearly.



On through Sunday, the Toronto Urban Film Festival plays dozens of movies on the ONESTOP?TTC?subway platform screens for an estimated audience of 1.3 million daily commuters. For more information on the festival, visit torontourbanfilmfestival.com.