Troublemakers Film Project

View completed projects online on Reel Youth’s YouTube page and in the Out In Schools film library.

Troublemakers Film Project

In 2016, Out On Screen launched a “Living History” documentary portrait series focused on preserving and sharing Canada’s LGBT2Q+ history. A spiritual successor to the Queer History Project, The Troublemakers Film Project was initially funded by Canada 150, a funding initiative by the Department of Canadian Heritage to mark and celebrate 150 years since Confederation.

From the outset, Troublemakers has been a partnership between Out On Screen and Reel Youth, an organization which provides film education for young people. Since 2020, this initiative has been led by Reel Youth, with Out On Screen acting in a supporting role.

Troublemakers focuses on the history and future of LGBT2Q+ communities, particularly where these identities are intersected by race, indigeneity, ability, gender, and age. This project elevates the voice of underrepresented communities and shares them through online and in-person screenings.

As a media arts organization, we’re perhaps most excited when we can bring youth together to make films. We’re motivated by the infectious spark of optimism and possibility of a collective creative project—and the shared purpose it brings to a process of forging connections and inspiring dialogue where previously (especially between generations) there is none or not enough.

Youth participants have shared they feel an increased sense of direction and motivation after witnessing LGBT2Q+ people in film and getting to make their own, and elders have spoken about the rejuvenating effects of working with young people to share their stories and experiences. The youth filmmakers retain the rights to their films once they are completed, and receive support from Reel Youth to apply for film festivals should they wish to submit their films for exhibition. Completed projects are guaranteed screening at the VQFF each year, and are hosted online on Reel Youth’s YouTube page and in the Out In Schools film library.