Led by Innis College cinema studies student Brett Hendrie, a team of 25 student volunteers is setting out this year to produce Frosh Forward, a feature-length film chronicling the real life highs and lows of nine first-year students at the University of Toronto.
"This film is saying, This is what it's really like for these nine people.It's not glossed over," says Hendrie
, who describes the film's concept as a mix of the popular Survivor, Real World and Big Brother television series with a U of T twist thrown in.
More than 450 first-year students applied to participate after reading about the project in their orientation kits this summer.The response was "way more" than expected, says Hendrie
, whose job it was to whittle down the applications to a group of nine students who represent a blend of genders, faith and ethnic backgrounds and big city versus small town roots.
"My hope is that by focusing on students individually, everybody is going to find something that they can relate to," says Hendrie
describes film as a universal language that "communicates emotions, thoughts and ideas better than any other medium can."
Frosh Forward is meeting with strong support on campus.
project will make that stuff visible to students ahead of time and give them a sense of what success strategies other students use."Hendrie
goal is not to produce a promotional video, however."I'm a firm believer in university education as a time to develop modes of critical thought.Even if things fall apart for a student, they are better off for it at the end of first year."Then, with a nod to Nietschze, he
adds: "Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."Hendrie
film volunteers will follow his
student subjects through final exams in May and expect to collect more than 200 hours of film; they already have 30 hours.