Meet the Programmers!

This year, KCFF is welcoming two new programmers to the team!  Meet Sophia Commanducci (left) and Ivette Rodriguez (right) tackling the Youth Shorts and Local Shorts Programs, respectively.   Both are film students, avid festival-goers and ready to view the pile of 2019 submissions that is growing daily.


Sophia Commanducci, Youth Shorts Programmer

  1. Tell me about yourself and your experiences with KCFF. 

I’m a second-year film and media student at Queen’s. This is my first year working with KCFF, but I volunteered with the festival last year and had a fantastic time. There’s a really amazing group of people working here and I’m super excited to be a part of it.

  1. What do you enjoy most about working at KCFF? What is your favourite part of the festival? 

One of my favourite things about KCFF is that even though it’s a nationwide festival that draws in some pretty impressive filmmakers, there’s still a strong commitment to the local community, which is evident in our Local and Youth Shorts Programs. I was super impressed by the creativity and passion that went into last year’s submissions, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what people come up with this year.

  1. What are some movies that inspired you growing up?

One film that really impacted me when I was a kid was ‘Little Miss Sunshine’. It was one of the first “grown-up movies” I ever watched, and it was the first time I’d ever seen heavy issues like depression and the death of a family member dealt with in such a frank way. It’s still a film that I think about all the time and hold very close to my heart.

  1. In your opinion, how does film influence youth today?

I can personally testify that film has a huge impact on how young people see themselves. Growing up, I struggled a lot with insecurity and self-doubt. Although I can’t attribute this entirely to how I saw myself represented in the media, it certainly played a part. I think that modern technology makes it easier for young people to make films and tell their own stories, which is fantastic because it means that our new generation of filmmakers will have the tools to break down the system that has historically limited this art form to a select group of people.

  1. How is the Youth Shorts program different from other programs at KCFF? 

Obviously, the main difference is that it’s only open to filmmakers who are 17-and-under. On another level, I think it stands out because it showcases what pure creativity can achieve on a meager budget. It’s also a fantastic platform for young people looking to break into the film industry.


Ivette Rodriguez, Local Shorts Programmer

  1. Tell me about yourself and your experiences with KCFF. 

I am a Computing and Film and Media student at Queen’s University and this is my second year working with KCFF. In my first year I was a hospitality intern and helped plan social events for the nights of the festival and acquired sponsors. This year I am back as the Local Shorts Programmer and I could not be more excited. I get to review all the local shorts and interact with the filmmakers.

  1. What do you enjoy most about working at KCFF? What is your favourite part of the Festival? 

It is hard to choose just one thing about at KCFF. I love being able to work with people who are as passionate about film as me. I also enjoy watching our submissions and getting to know the filmmakers. The week of the Festival is the most exciting time of the year!

  1. What is your favourite short film and why? 

The Lunch Date by Adam Davidson is one of my favourite films of any category. I love it because it was the first film that got me really excited about what you can do in a 12 minute, black and white short.  I would encourage everyone to watch it!

  1. Do you believe short films have the same impact as lengthy ones?

I believe that short films are many times more powerful than lengthier ones because they have to transmit their message in a shorter time which often leads to a more impactful story.

  1. What can the Local Shorts program at KCFF offer filmmakers and audiences? 

For filmmakers, the local shorts program presents an opportunity to showcase shorter work, that might not have the opportunity to participate in festivals with more strict length requirements while still presenting alongside Canada’s greatest filmmakers in a local setting. For audiences, it presents the opportunity to try a new genre of film such as experimental or documentary due to the length of the material.


Sophia and Ivette will be reviewing Youth and Local Shorts this fall.  Kingston-based filmmakers can submit their films online for free.  Hurry, the deadline to submit is December, 15.