In sweet film "Toni with an i," a teen nerd is a secret YouTube star

"toni_with_an_i" is a lovely little film is about finding community online, even when online haters try to troll and shame.

Thirteen-year-old Toni is an oddball having a tough time at her school. In the classrooms and hallways, she's quiet, shy and introverted, and a prime target for the other students. But Toni has an outlet: she has her own channel on YouTube, where she dresses up and lip-syncs to her favorite songs. Her performances and videos reflect an unbridled sense of joy and vivacity, and she interacts with her viewers with infectious friendliness. When she has to pull together a presentation for class, she sees an opportunity for her worlds to come together. That presentation, though, is tweeted by one of her more malicious classmates, who comments on its "cringiness." Toni is at first humiliated in the very space where she finds self-expression and freedom. But then the Internet comes to the rescue, embracing Toni's positive spirit and sharing it farther than she ever could have imagined.

Fun fact: Toni is plated by Maddie Holliday, who is tapped to be in the Home Alone reboot with Ellie Kempner (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

Image: Vimeo / David Pimm [the cinematographer]