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Screening as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 1, Sleeping Giant follows Adam as he spends a summer on Lake Superior. He starts hanging around a couple of local boys, and the trio begin taking part in various dares. When a pretty girl catches the eye of Adam and one of the boys, it leads into the most dangerous dare of the summer. Toronto Film Scene had a chance to speak with director Andrew Cividino about his beautiful film, and the challenges of working with kids.

Describe your film in 10 words or less.

Lord of the Flies meets Stand by Me.

What inspired you to make this film?

I grew up spending my summers on the north shore of Lake Superior and every year families from all around the country would show up and sort of let their kids off of the leash for a while. We were like a pack of wild dogs. We came from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences and we were really left to our own devices at that critical age where you’re just starting to explore your relationship with the world. It’s such an intense time and there’s this sense of invincibility, of pushing and pushing to define boundaries. I wanted to make a film that showed a group of kids pushing those boundaries until they pushed back.

What was the best thing about production? Most frustrating?

Both the best and most frustrating thing about making this film was working with my incredible cast. We were shooting out on remote islands in the middle of Lake Superior and I knew that the forces of nature would be our biggest challenge, but I thought that would come in the form of wind and wave, not the insanity adolescent boys. I love them dearly but am going to push back having kids another twenty to thirty years I think.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about your film?

We just wrapped on the feature length version of Sleeping Giant two weeks ago and are entering post production. Nick Serino and Reece Moffett are actors in the short and the feature, and I think that people should keep an eye out for these two young performers. They’re exceptionally gifted and I think they’re going to go places.

Your film is screening as part of TIFF — what are you most excited about seeing or doing at this year’s festival?

The thing I’m most excited about at TIFF is hunkering down to see as many films as I can. I’m particularly excited to see Force Majeure by Ruben Östlund.

Sleeping Giant screens as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 1 at TIFF 2014. Check their website for more information.