Documentary showcases talented Chicago teen poets in Louder Than a Bomb

TIFF’s Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children and Youth is screening Lounder Than A Bomb, a documentary directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel about four talented teams of Chicago teens who compete in the annual slam poetry jam that gives the film its title.

The filmmakers discovered the competition accidentally when they drove past the Metro’s marquee, advertising the high school poetry slam.

“Chicago is a very segregated city and everyone is stuck in their own neighbourhoods so it was surprising to see that kind of diversity and that many kids out on a Saturday night,” says filmmaker Greg Jacobs.

Louder Than A Bomb is the largest annual slam poetry competition that attracts more than 600 students from over 60 Chicago high schools. Moving and inspiring, the film follows how Chicago teens from very different and separated neighbourhoods connect with each other through spoken word that dissolves barriers.

“The goal was to make an entertaining film. Creatively, it’s been gratifying,” says Jacobs. “Being able to share the kids’ stories with the world has been the most powerful. It’s like hearing a song and then telling other people ‘You have to listen to this song!’ because it’s that good.”

The film has won 15 awards in various film festivals across the United States, most of which, audience choice awards. It has also been selected to air on the Oprah Winfrey Network as part of the OWN Documentary Club, the network’s monthly showcase of recommended documentaries.

The film will be screening this Saturday, April 16th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre for Toronto audiences. Tickets and more information on other Sproket films are available online at

Vancouver audiences can catch the film on May 6th as the opening night film for the DOXA Documentary Film Festival

More in Film

Marguerite Pigott will be a featured panelist at the American Film Market 2018

Marguerite Pigott at the American Film Market: Gender Diversity Panel 2018

Marguerite Pigott, Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Media Producers Association, will be a featured guest at the American Film Market 2018

VIFF chinoiserie: Taiwan island fever, mainland navel-gazing

Taiwan's Hsiao Ya-chuan upholds Hou Hsiao-hsien lineage; PRC documentarian world-premieres her narrative film debut; director-producer duo Nai An and Yang Mingming co-star in feminist tragicomedy

A dog lover’s cinematic delight, Spielberg’s dip back into the 1980s and another expose of a financial racket

Also the emotional life story of a BC slam poet, and three new films from France (one about the country our peacekeepers are going to)
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.