Failure to launch our most-educated generation struggles for meaning in Maureen Judge’s intimate doc
My Millennial Life
May 26 | 6:15pm
Special One Night Public Event
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Tickets available: bloorcinema.com
They set out on the same path their parents did and assumed the same rules still apply – go to school, get a job, find fulfillment, fall in love.
But somewhere along the way, the rug was pulled out from under their expectations. ‘Twentysomethings’, ‘Millennials’, ‘Gen Y’, whatever you call the demographic, they’re living a reality that sees 40% of people in their age group either unemployed or underemployed.
In her latest project, My Millennial Life, acclaimed documentarian Maureen Judge goes looking for the stories behind the statistics. Combining vérité-style filming, interviews, and video diary formats, she puts a human face on the quandary of finding a place in 21st century North American society.
Some of the stories might seem to affirm media stereotypes about millennials. Others belie and defy them. They include: Meron, 20, who works as a chambermaid in a trendy hotel while trying to make it in music video journalism; Tim, 24, who moved to Toronto from Moncton looking for a break for his rock band and paying his bills transcribing court testimonies; Emily, 24, whose father pays her rent and whose desire to find work is conflicted and sometimes disheartened; freelance writer Hope, 25, who is back at home in Philadelphia sleeping in her childhood bed after a series of non-paying internships at major publications in New York City; and James, 25, a driven achiever who quit school to develop his own tech start-up and wins NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, but still remains cash-poor.
“The featured subjects are often more educated than their parents, yet they’re finding it harder than ever to get where they want to go,” says director/producer Judge. “Young people today tend to have been raised in very structured and comfortable environments. And then, they are let loose into a big, wide, demanding world that often throws a wall in front of them.”
But My Millennial Life is not a story of hopelessness. “My aim is also to show how people adapt. Take James. I think he’s a perfect example of how millennials are re-gearing themselves to be self-starters in a ‘gig economy.’”
“Finally, I made the movie for millennials themselves, letting them tell their own stories and see themselves reflected and without any comments except their own.”
The interactive digital documentary mymillenniallife.ca, follows three of the subjects in the film and two new millennials and enables users to experience the stories in three distinct ways:
1) single webisodes for each person.
2) episodic webisodes that zoom in on one subject’s unique story, personality and struggles.
3) theme-based stories of expectations, work, love, independence and reality that feature all the subjects.
My Millennial Life is produced by Maureen Judge and Charlotte Engel and directed by Maureen Judge. Produced by Makin’ Movies Inc. and Rock Yenta Productions Inc. in association with TVO with the participation of the Rogers Documentary Fund, Bell Fund, ichannel and the assistance of the Canadian Media Fund, The Government of Ontario – Film & Video Tax Credit, the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit. Distributor is TVF International.
About Maureen Judge
Maureen Judge is an award-winning filmmaker whose previous work includes: Living Dolls, winner of a Gold Medal for Directing, New York Festivals, and Best POV Documentary, Yorkton Festival; Genie Award-winning Unveiled: The Mother Daughter Relationship; and Gemini nominated films, Mom’s Home and FLicKeR, also winner of the Hot Docs Special Jury Award. Please visit Makin’ Movies.