Seven kids. Eight unique stories. Room to Grow is an intimate and hopeful documentary that zooms in on the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth in the 21st century. Kids and teens talk about their struggles to understand their own identities, acceptance (or lack thereof) in their communities, and what their identity means for their families. From Keltin’s sweet and free-spirited musings to Rylee’s solemn and self-assured reflections, the film highlights the rich inner lives of these queer teens and how their personalities shape their approach to their unique circumstances.
Director/Producers Matt Alber and Jon Garcia met in Portland, Oregon where Alber had been working with the Bridging Voices Queer Youth Choir. They crashed a rehearsal together and Room to Grow began to sprout organically out of the teens’ vibrancy and bravery, expanding into other families and states and, eventually, into London, Ontario itself. Ayden, one of Room to Grow’s protagonists, met Matt Alber at the Aeolian Theatre and it was soon clear that her story as a queer Native American had a place in the documentary. Ayden will be at the festival screening to participate in a live Q&A!
Andrew Moir’s Take Me to Prom is another LGBTQ+ interview-based documentary being screened at the Forest City Film Festival; where it focuses on queer history, Room to Grow turns the spotlight on queer futurity. Yet despite their differences in focus, both films highlight a duality within the LGBTQ+ community: within a wide range of diverse experiences, there is a common undercurrent of resilience and the journey to self-acceptance.
Room to Grow will screen at the Forest City Film Festival on Sunday, October, 27 at 10:00 am.