Rebeccah Love '08, Young Alumni Award Recipient 2019
"We need to be looking out for each other, to build community where we can. Empathy has never been more important but no matter one’s circumstances, it is essential to stay engaged. "
She is hailed as one of Canada’s most important young voices and her work has screened at major film festivals across the country. “I would not be where I am today were it not for my teachers’ patience, enthusiasm, kindness and love of teaching,” says Rebeccah Love, recalling how TFS profoundly shaped her future career as a filmmaker. Rebeccah went on to complete her BFA at Ryerson University and her MFA in creative writing at the University of Guelph, but, in her own words, “my love of art, of stories, of theatre, of film, of writing — it all started at TFS.”
It was in Mr. Tucker’s Level III English class that Rebeccah directed her first film, an adaptation of an Alice Munro story from Lives of Girls and Women. “Mr. Tucker emphasized the importance of women storytellers, and his words have stuck with me through my life.” That project also inspired Rebeccah to purchase her first camcorder. “This is very much the same style of film I continue to make today. I consider myself a DIY filmmaker, which means taking matters into your own hands, often with limited resources.”
From her impressive oeuvre of digital short films, Rebeccah selects A Woman’s Block as her favourite. It is a film about a woman recovering from a mental health crisis. For its premiere, Rebeccah invited distinguished guests from CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and from the film community to deliver talks on mental health after the screening. This thoughtfulness offers great insight into Rebeccah Love, the person and the filmmaker. “I like to make films about what it means to be human, what it means to persevere,” says Rebeccah. “Above all things, I’m interested in optimism.”
Set locally in Toronto neighbourhoods or in small Ontario communities, Rebeccah’s films exquisitely navigate universal themes, such as love, loneliness and the importance of community. “We need to be looking out for each other, to build community where we can. Empathy has never been more important,” she says. “Life is challenging,” she adds, “but no matter one’s circumstances, it is essential to stay engaged.” For TFS students in particular, Rebeccah advises – “never stop learning.”