2008 Films

1977 UK Peque Varela Peque Varela Gavin Humphries Video arcades, glass ceilings, and the game of life all come together in this mash-up animation from across the sea. Director Varela refuses to color inside the lines and takes a hard look at constructions of femininity in the 20th century. Marge Piercey may not have passed Go (or collected $200) but this short soars.
25 Missed Calls USA Mollye Asher Mollye Asher Mollye Asher An urban take on the myth of Sisyphus set on the cold unrelenting streets of Brooklyn. Dom, an alcoholic reaching the peak of crisis has been drinking all night. It’s early morning and the bartends has had enough. Thrown from the bar, Dom finds himself bruised, bloody and alone when he realizes her has missed 25 calls from his girlfriend. This is the story of one man’s struggle between a dark and dirty reality and a sensual mysterious dream as he desperately tries to get back home.
32A Ireland Marian Quinn Marian Quinn Tommy Weir Set in late 70’s Dublin, this is a coming of age story about a young girl named Maeve on the verge of change. The swerve from girlhood to womanhood is a slow, awkward movement, made especially challenging in the transitionary cultural moment of 1979.
Abstract Trilogy Canada Ileana Daniela Darie Ileana Daniela Darie Ileana Daniela Darie This is conceived in three parts: “Freedom” isa flying dance and metamorphosis; “Relationship” is about individuals interacting and creating connections; “Emotion” relates the inner turmoil of feeling. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions not to be missed.
Amma Canada/India Aparna Kapur Aparna Kapur Aparna Kapur A poetic narration of a young girl’s life and her deeply rooted relationship with her grandmother. Rendered in rich monochromatic shades, this animated film is far from singular in the moods and stories it evokes. One is magically transported into the warmth of the filmmaker’s craft, which is one of simplicity and honesty. The film explores the deep symbiotic relationship shared between the child and her grandmother and how their love for each other surpasses this physical world.
Art Canada Andrea Dorfman Andrea Dorfman Andrea Dorfman If anyone knows about the subject title of this adorable little film, it’s Andrea Dorfman, she whose coloring box works magic on the screen.
A-Z UK Sally Arthur Sally Arthur Katie Daniels Mrs. P (Phyllis Pearsall) sure loved to walk. As founder of the A-z Map of London, it’s a good thing she did. Come on a typographic tour of the roads less travelled in this nostalgic romp through the streets of London.
Bark Canada Ruth Lawrence Ruth Lawrence Ruth Lawrence A short intriguing whodunit about a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma shot somewhere in Bannerman Park, or so we think.
Bathroom Canada Jordan Canning Jody Richardson Jordan Canning As Hitchcock well knew, truth often finds a way into that one private room of the house, despite our efforts to ignore it. In this Jordan Canning entry, a couple of women struggle to communicate around all that white porcelain. No one’s squeezing the Charmin here.
Bedroom Canada Jordan Canning Jody Richardson Jordan Canning One bed, a married couple lying side by side, one amazing shot: the couple talk--and then talk some more. Words happen. This film perfectly captures the stifling awkwardness of conversation long after the peak of freshness. This short study, so brilliantly performed by Megan Jones and Bob Joy, completes the trilogy of room films in Jordan Canning’s inventory--a truly inspired architectural experiment.
Begging for Change Canada/Australia David Jones Fin Edquist Jessica Beine Another animated gem from the geniuses at the NFB, this lovingly drawn film made for the cell phone stencils us into the pun of its title. Buddy, can you spare a revolution?
The Bridge Canada FRAMED Film Camp Samantha Hussey MENTOR: Brad Gover Written by FRAMED 2008 participant Samantha Hussey, this film follows a young woman who is struggling to deal with the loss of her mother and all of the significant events occurring in her life that take place on and around one particular bridge. This short film was shot and produced by high school students from all over St. John’s and the surrounding area over one week with the help of mentor Brad Gover.
Children of Armageddon Canada Fabienne Lips-Dumas Fabienne Lips-Dumas Sylvie Peltier The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bear more than scar tissue from nuclear bombs; they carry the memory of annihilation and the possibility of ultimate destruction. It’s as hard as it is necessary for Maki, a grandchild of the bombings, to keep telling the story lest the world forgets. The world is a scary, disturbed place, but this powerful documentary is a strong, well-made confrontation with the promise of making it better. Indeed, this is the story about aiming for peace.
City Song: A Song of A Busker Canada Victoria Wells, Nicci Hearn, Justin Madol Victoria Wells, Nicci Hearn, Justin Madol You’ve seen and heard him and you might have even passed him by without giving him a loony or two, but after watching this story of a busker you’ll likely never ignore Steve Doron again. St. John’s sure has its characters and this sweet tribute to a guy who sings for his supper is a humbling ode to the power of independence.
Cursing Hanley Canada Kelly Harms David Bradley Halls Kerry Young Hell hath no fury like an engaged woman scorned. hanley discovers that the hard way. A hilarious riff on what it’s like to go from bad to worse, without passing Go. This film flirts with the fickle finger of fate.
The Day of Uteri Canada Mary Anne Wensley Mary Anne Wensley Mary Anne Wensley Apparently the ancient Greeks thought the uterus was an animal within an animal. Well, that’s all Greek to us but what we can say with certainty is that Mary-Anne Wensley is taking us boldly where no filmmaker has gone before, with visions of uteri prancing on horseback. Save a horse, ride a uterus and see for yourself.
Domestico Argentina Gabriela Golder Gabriela Golder Gabriela Golder Women breaking dishes, excited. Women trying to generate the greater noise possible. An exquisite polyphony. to request the word, to make noise, to say “it is enough. Fatigue, submission and liberation. The act of breaking dishes proposes the destruction of preconceptions on the relation that can be settled down between the woman and the domestic.
Don't Let It All Unravel UK Sarah Cox Sarah cox Sarah Jex This lovingly animated yarn couldn’t be more timely. Trust us, if Al Gore took up your Granny’s knitting needles, even he couldn’t cross-stitch anything like this. Ok, the wooly state of our changing environment in two minutes. The needle and the damage done for your viewing pleasure, but don’t pull the end of the thread. Darn it.
Down and Derby Canada Sarah Boothroyd Sarah Boothroyd Sarah Boothroyd Bordering on being experimental, this perky little film shows off the roller derby queen of Ottawa, all dressed in fishnets, helmet, and ready to roll. You want to fight about it?
Down the Road Denmark Rune Christensen Rune Christensen, Anders Bertheisen Kristine Dollerup It doesn’t get much scarier. A tour de force of animation horror, this short thriller will make you think twice about hitchhiking and priests. Ok, maybe you already have doubts about both of those things, but trust us, this is a ride you’ll never forget.
Down to the Dirt Canada Justin Simms Sherry White, Justin Simms Jennice Ripley, Nicholas Tabarrok, Anna Petras, Justin Simms Yon Keith Kavanagh is the anti-hero with a cause in this local film. Both a product of and a rebel against the Newfoundland community in which he was raised, Keith is an absorbing work in progress. Smart, restless, and shockingly uncompromising, he is burning through life with intense bravado. As played by his creator, writer-actor Joel Hynes, Keith fully embodies the poetic spirit of the outlaw. His rowdy journey is the centre of this cinematic adaptation of Hynes’ award-winning novel. This film is a debut triumph for director Simms and a tour de force for Hynes who galvanizes the screen with his unforgettable character.
Epilouge Canada Emily Bridger Emily Bridger Emily Bridger This film speaks to that all-too-familiar reality of waking up the morning after and the night before--and not necessarily with the one that brung you to the dance. Director Bridger’s obvious talent perfectly complements the terrific performances of two actors who spend the better part of this film on their backs, not dressed up and nowhere to go.
Family Motel Canada Helene Klodawsky Helene Klodawsky Ina Fichman This film blends reality and fiction in startlingly original ways. Over the course of the 90 some minutes we’re hypnotically engaged in the uneasy adventures of Ayan, a Somalian woman, as she tries to provide food and shelter for her children. Canadian dream in mind, she struggles to find the money to pay the rent and bring her husband and two sons to the country she wants to call home. Forced to stay in a shabby motel, she and her two daughters are confronted with the tried banality of getting by. A stunning achievement, this film is worth checking into.
First Memories USA Soo Hee Han See Hee Han Soo Hee Han A baby in a baby carriage drops a bottle on the street, milk spills out and a woman falls into it. She is thrown into confusion, and she starts to swim like flying in space. A whale with wings comes up to her, and the woman is fascinated with its eyes, which seem to have the whole universe in them, leading her to ponder whether she, herself, is the baby who spilled the milk. It’s nothing to cry over though.
Flame of the West USA/Australia Hannah Crowley Hannah Crowley Hannah Crowley, Markus Innocenti This short poignant drama is expertly directed by Hannah Crowley who also plays Daniella, a talented writer who shares the universal dilemma of feeling trapped in the burbs, even if the burbs are West of Sydney, one of the world’s most appealing cities. But life is dull and uninspired when you are too smart for school and all the mean girls of your class. When Daniella sees her own light, however, the world suddenly opens up to roads to be taken.
Forced Perspective: Odessa USA Deanna Morse Deanna Morse Deanna Morse If you like the art of film you’ll appreciate this smartly personal testament to the power of the image. Inspired by the great Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, this film just shows you how much depends upon the space between the frames.
Gene Boy Came Here Canada Alanis Obomsawin Alanis Obomsawin Alanis Obomsawin Eugene was no ordinary Indian living on the Reserve near Montreal. At 15 he fled home to work on high steel in New York. Soon he found himself adrift and homeless, and so he enlisted in the US Marines, an ambiguously motivated gesture that took him straight to the fighting lines of Vietnam. This powerful NFB doc by the greatest Aboriginal filmmaker traces the life of a man who was lost--and then found home.
The Greater the Weight Canada Marlene Miller, Philip Szporer Marlene Miller, Philip Szporer This gorgeously executed dance piece from the engines of Bravo!FACT features dancer and choreographer Dana Michel as she takes to the stage in a knock-out performance that blends boxing and modern dance. If Karen Kain shacked up with Rocky Balboa, this film would be their home movie.
The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo USA Lisa F. Jackson Lisa F. Jackson Lisa F. Jackson This hugely important and riveting documentary is a loud cry in a wilderness of indifference. Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Jackson had the guts and the smarts to travel deep into the Congo to reveal the ugly facts of a decade’s old war--that thousands of women have been and continue to be raped and tortured, scarring them and their families for life; that their assailants repeat these acts with impunity and even a sense of cocky bravado. It’s all too shocking for words, yet words and pictures are what we need to galvanize awareness of and bare witness to such hideous reality. “Is there something about sexual violence that makes us all turn away?” asks Jackson. Indeed, this powerful film raises this question--and asks each of us to answer it.
Happily Ever After USA Lidia Sheinin Lidia Sheinin Gary Cohen Did you ever wonder what happens when the last page is turned? Happily Ever After allows you to find out by pushing the boundaries of traditional cinematographic storytelling. It’s warm and beautiful, and yet in a most innovative and lighthearted way it’s asking us to think, and think hard.
Heart and Soul Canada Mary Lewis The Heart Filmmaking Collection Jeanne O'Brien This loving tribute archives the past to honour the rich history of a St. John’s high school. So many people emerged from the Heart system, all grown up now and making their marks on the world. How better to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school than with a celebratory homage to the impressive academic experience that inspired so much of Heart culture. A truly collaborative effort, steered by creative animator Mary Lewis and award-winning teacher Jeanne O’Brien, this film is a fitting legacy of a creative past.
Heartless Disappearance into Labrador Seas Canada Justin Simms Lois Brown Justin Simms, Lois Brown, Anna Petras This is a gorgeous story with all our favorite people, narrated and written by none other than the unsinkable Lois Brown. We adore this witty, bittersweet tale of what happens when Mt. Pearl girl meets Fisher boy. One of these things is really not like the other. This lovely short drama is as witty and wonderful as it gets.
Home Israel Alejandra Levy Alejandra Levy Alejandra Levy This intense and well directed stunner by a talented film school graduate is all about teenage angst, fueled by irresponsible parents and a frustrated dream of a boyfriend. Growing up never gets any easier.
Homecoming Canada Connie Diletti Connie Diletti Erin Faith Young, Jennifer St. John Another fable of war and its effects, this intelligent short follows the troubled return of a young man from the Afghanistan conflict. Nothing is the same once you’ve been to Kabul.
Hungu Canada Nicolas Brault Nicolas Brault Michelle Belanger, Julie Roy Under the African sun, a child walks the desert with his kin. Death is prowling, but a mother’s soul resurrected by music will return strength and life to the child when he becomes a man. This hungu is an African musical instrument that provides the director with a timeless story told in graceful animation. A film that is a deeply moving meditation on migration as traditions and family are visually imprinted in striking black and white animation.
Isabel Allende Germany Paula Rodriguez Sickert Paula Rodriguez Sickert This fascinating documentary tracks the life of novelist Isabel Allende over a year of book tours. readings and conversations. But it also goes back into her past to uncover what life was like in Chile before all the hot peppers hit the fan. What emerges is a startling portrait of a divided self. Above all, this is a study of a remarkable woman who not only emerged out of history but helped shape it directly.
I've Never Had Sex Canada/Australia Robert Kennedy Silvia Basmajian Right, and Sarah Palin’s still a virgin. We love this teeny weeny cell phone streeter so much we’re showing it twice, showing it twice.
Just A Minute Canada Allison Beda Allison Beda Allison Beda A one minute dance film meditation of a working single woman choreographed by Claire French and danced by Jennifer Clarke. It is scored by composer James Maxwell and is the dance film debut of director Allison Beda. The short celebrates the beauty of the mundane and explores the importance of reflection and pause in the “rat race” of urban existence. This film is the first in an infinite and unlimited series of one minute film collaborations between A Muse Productions and Restless Dance.
Kids + Money USA Lauren Greenfield Lauren Greenfield Lauren Greenfield Award-winning filmmaker Greenfield continues her exploration of her allegedly classless society, turning her lens on the American dream of owning a thousand dollar plus handbag. This is L.A., where the descriptor “rich” really doesn’t being to explain the spending habits of some precocious fourteen-year olds. Then again, the word “poor” doesn’t really begin to explain the challenges of living in East L.A, where saving up for something as basic as a fridge is a major goal for some adolescents. Money talks, and kids say the darndest things, with or without a platinum Visa card in hand.
Kitchen Canada Jordan Canning Jordan Canning Jordan Canning The conversation in this room-based narrative is as dry as the toast at breakfast. You can practically hear the bread crumbs falling on the floor, as the camera tightens up on a couple coping with crisis. This spare little drama unfolds like a Hemingway short story.
The Ladies USA Christina Voros Christina Voros Vali and Mimi, 87 and 93 years old respectively, are going to sew til they drop. Maintaining a small and elite clientele in NY City, the sisters are determined to keep themselves in stitches, despite the odds. Having survived the Hungarian revolution and a brutal Russian work camp, they’re not going to let age or a fading craft slow them now. By turns moving and intimate, The Ladies sure knows how to thread a needle.
La Lili À Gilles Canada David Uloth Chloé Cinq-Mars David Uloth, Claude Desrochers This remarkable short film poignantly embodies the critical difference between what’s seen through the eyes of a child and those of an adult b revealing how little Lili sees her aging, health-challenged grandfather. Slipping steadily into senility or Alzheimer’s, the old man at once infuriates his son and charms his granddaughter who hangs her own imagination on his colorful memories of days long gone, or perhaps never were. Lili is no ordinary child, of course, and this is no ordinary film.
Leaving Gussie USA Wendy Bendnarz Wendy Bendnarz Walter Strafford This is an immensely powerful short drama about a desperate housewife, Thyme, who break out in search of peace of mind and maid service. Her escape to a roadside motel leads to an encounter with a lively young teenager named Gussie, a troubled woman with an unsavory partner and a mysterious story. Suspenseful and moving, this is one finely written drama with the power to linger.
Lionel Lonely Heart Canada NIFCO First Time Filmmakers Stephen Dunn NIFCO he previous year’s FRAMED star, precociously dimpled Stephen Dunn, directs again with a confident eye and a typically comic wink at love. Well known talent Robert Chafe stars as the lonely Lionel, a hapless romantic who starts receiving roses in the mail--suddenly, inexplicably, wonderfully. Somebody out there must be paying attention--but who?
Loving Loretta Canada Andrea Gutsche Andrea Gutsche Canadian Film Centre The title echoes a country and Western tune, and, to be sure, the narrative arc of this lovely film could be set to a ballad. We’re in small-town diner territory, where everyone knows everyone's business, and so getting a girl crush on a butch farmer is a bit tricky. Furtive glances take practice, but that’s how the West was won.
Madame Tutli-Putli Canada Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski Marcy Page This barely pronounceable short film is a haunting work of genius. Using stop-motion technique , the filmmakers have created a dark, evocative mind trip, one that imagines a well-suited woman on a train. All aboard for some strange journey.
Memories of a Dreamer: The Journey of a Political Prisoner Canada Alisson Larrea Alisson Larrea This feature documentary is an energetic endorsement of the will to live.It focuses on Felix Mora, once a young member of Chile's Socialist Party, whose life was changed drastically when General Augusto Pinochet seized power. On his birthday he was arrested and thrown to the sadistic whims of brutal torturers and a punishing totalitarian regime. The “memories” in the ittle have to do with Felix’s return some thirty years later to the site of all that brutality. His story--and the images that accompany it--are truly harrowing, but the amazing thing is that this man survived with an indomitable spirit and a profound faith in humanity. Perhaps settling in Canada has something to do with it.
Mind the Unexplainable Canada FRAMED Film Camp Tara Bowers FRAMED Film Camp What do you do when your mind starts working against you? When strange things start occurring and time itself seems to have developed a mind of its own, a young woman begins to question her own sanity. Written by FRAMED 2008 participant Tara Bowers, This film was shot and produced by high school students all over St. John’s and the surrounding area over one week with the help of mentor Roger Maunder.
Mordu Canada Lucie Pagé Lucie Pagé Lucie Pagé A short study in tangled memory and present trauma, this intensely poetic film focuses on Judith’s long repressed desire and haunted dreams of a first same-sex kiss. Bound to care for her ailing and difficult mother, Judith might finally be ready to confront a life denied.
Mr. Jones Canada Melissa Lee, Amanda Mews, Tim Wallace Melissa Lee, Amanda Mews, Tim Wallace Melissa Lee, Amanda Mews, Tim Wallace Andy, that is, he of huge talent and bulging forehead. We really can’t get enough of this guy, and so it’s a rare treat to listen to him talk about his life and work with such wit and candor. Andy’s story about freaking out his sister Cathy when they were little is well worth the price of admission, but we are grateful for every moment we can spend with such massive, complicated talent and the rest of his sometimes beleaguered family. And don’t get us talking about how the wife admits to dealing with it!
New Boy Ireland Steph Green Steph Green Tamara Anghie The writing talent behind this lovely short film is none other than Roddy Doyle, a genius with the subject of cultural difference. This wonderfully executed adaptation perfectly captures the almost unbearable heaviness of being the new African kid at school. yes, boy will be boys, but sometimes it takes a common enemy to get them to be nice.
Next Floor Canada Denis Villeneuve Jacques Davidts Karen Murphy This is one tour de force of cinematography and editing. This film might be seen as a metaphor of excess, but you decide for yourself. Above all, this is a fantastic spectacle of over indulgence. You just might never hear the question “Going Down?” again without reaching for a Gravol.
Norm Canada Kent Nason, Teresa MacInnes Kent Nason Kent Nason, Teresa MacInnes This feature doc examines life with sensitivity and affection. Norm is a 54 year old man with down syndrome. Today he faces a slide into Alzheimer's, common to a majority of people with the affliction. Lest you think this is a dark and sad film, you should know it is far from gloomy. Norm’s situation is significantly lightened through the hard-core devotion of his sister Karen, who keeps a childhood promise to tend to his needs. Norm is just the latest example of festival favorite Teresa MacInnes’ artful craft.
One of Us Cannot Be Right Canada Jacqueline Hynes Jacqueline Hynes Jacqueline Hynes The title suggests the beginning of a fight. Well, two townies walk into a bar...the rest follows.
Padam Spain Jose Manuel Carrasco Jose Manuel Carrasco, Maria Rodrigo Rabal Jaime Maellas The rain in Spain may fall mainly in the plain, but lonely people are lonely everywhere. Pilar is sick of being on her own and so she approaches a dating agency for some assistance. Well, you pay your money, you takes your chances. This charming film has more to say about the strange awkward world of human nature than all the self-help books in Hollywood.
Paginas de Menina Brazil Monica Palazzo Monica Palazzo Paula Pripas A sensuous tale of desire, this gorgeously shot short takes in a whole world of longing. It’s 1955 and young inexperienced Ingrid earns a job at a bookstore: all those bindings and so little time. Ingrid is kindly mentored by the older, wiser, sexies Sylvia, a beautiful woman who drifts into town for her own reasons. The relationship between the two oddly matched women challenges each to push the boundaries of passion, with ambiguous consequences. Consider this a slow yummy sizzle, Brazilian style.
Passages Canada Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre An astonishingly animated film that takes us deep inside one woman’s dreadful encounter with the health care system--Canadian, that is. narrating her own story, Concordia graduate, director Saint-Pierre draws a vivid portrait of being pregnant and then having to face the consequences of a downsized, inadequate and almost fatal medical system. the story is both personal and socially grounded, since none of us needs to be pregnant to know what sorts of hazards are waiting for us should we need to rely on a hospital for assistance. Intensely moving and brilliantly conceived, Passages is a forceful experience.
Portrait of A Dancer India Ruchi Bakshi Ruchi Bakshi Ruchi Bakshi Yeats once asked us, “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” While we’re not sure what to say to that, Rucki Bakshi picks up where he left off with this beautifully-shot short. Challenging the general public’s notion of what it takes to be a dancer, this film explores the diversity of those in the dance field and looks at the individual behind the movement, and the truths they are boldly revealing.
Profile Canada Sharon Katz Sharon Katz Sharon Katz An animated short film about surveillance and disposable identities as a woman is profiled by a behavior detection device searching for otherness. This film looks at how we are forced to use masks in order to protect ourselves from madness built into our society. A film for the thoughtful mind.
Rains (L’Ondée) Canada David Coquard-Dassault David Coquard-Dassault Pascal Le Notre, Julie Roy, Rene Chenier In this animation, a sudden rainstorm is unleashed on a city. Everyone seeks refuge. Activity slows down and nearly stops. Some pedestrians wait in bus shelters, while others are determined to risk it. When the clouds thin out, life continues. The downpour has been a moment’s respite in never-ending human business.
The Rise and Fall of A Long Distance Relationship Canada Claudie Lévesque Madi Piller Claudie Lévesque This experimental exercise in the hazards of romantic communication is all too familiar for those of us who have been there and soiled the t-shirt. Jean Smith, come on in out of it and call home.
Roastbeef Canada Francois Bègin, Miryam Bouchard Miryam Bouchard Francois Bègin, Miryam Bouchard This is arguably the strangest dance movie you’ve ever seen. Inspired or haunted by the sounds of a butcher’s knife, a woman more or less abandons herself in the supermarket. It’s got good meat and you can dance to it. Could have been called Swing Blade.
Ruins Canada Matthew Kelly Matthew Kelly Tobi Jeans As with short stories, so many short films capture that uneasy moment when a relationship is about to take a turn, often for the rose. Here we have a guy who is fixing a leaky roof while avoiding his leaky relationship. When it rains...
Second Sight Canada/Scotland Alison McAlpine Alison McAlpine This debut documentary is a lovingly and stunningly photographed tribute to a faded way of life, a generation raised in Gaelic. The title refers to the people whose “second sight” permitted access to the invisible world. A world of ghosts and related specters. Donald Angus MacLean is at the centre of such vision, an 80-year old with the power to talk as well as to see right into the heart of things. MacLean strides through the film like a silver-haired legend, urging us to slow down and smell the earth. If you’re Scottish and you know it, blow your pipes.
The Shadow Within Italy Silvana Zancolo Daniel Aarons Paolo Lato He sees dead people. 9-year old Maurice does, that is. This is a creepy well-made tale of a young boy with an uncanny relationship to the invisible world. His mother, Marie, is locked in grief over having lost Maurice’s twin, Jacques, at childbirth, and becomes convinced his dead spirit can be reawakened through the living son. the problem is that Jacques comes back, all right, but takes up awkward residence in Maurice. Needless to say, Maurice looks a little under the weather once all this starts to happen. A must for sci-fi and fantasy fans. This film taps a chilling psychological vein in all of us.
Shooting Grannie Canada Megan Wennberg Megan Wennberg How many times have you heard someone say “when I get to that age just put a bullet through my head”? This droll short film dares to ask the question directly to 93-year old Margaret Anne Wennberg, who faces the camera with unflinching candour. The short-term memory goes but it’s amazing how one still knows which lipstick to apply.
Song of Solomon Canada Emmanuel Shirinian Amy Cameron Tara Boire This hilarious short drama answers the musical question--what if an orthodox Rabbi couldn’t get that catchy soul tune of of his head? If Michael Jackson were Jewish he wouldn’t dance any better than Rabbi Yosef Solomon, just a religious guy with a dream to boogey. But is it kosher on the Sabbath? Don’t ask. Just see.
Spoiled Canada Sherry White Sherry White Rhonda Buckley This is a perfectly crafted study in family unsettledness. Des Wash never acted so authentically. here he plays a self-absorbed Dad to his needy daughter Pearl. All Pearl wants is a Mom around the house, but since Dad’s got some evolving to do, even the most reliable online dating service can’t work miracles.
Stagman Belgium Virginie Gourmel Micha Wald Jacques-Henri Bronckart Well, if it looks like a stag and walks like a stag...Amaury Athanam lives in isolation, as you would if every time you looked into the mirror you had a compulsion to shoot yourself. Lacking the courage the courage he hires a hit man, but, one day, as fate would have it, he meets a gorgeous young woman who loves him just the way he is. Go figure. Is it too late to call off the contract? What happens when he grows antlers?
Stone Angel Canada/UK Kari Skogland Margaret Laurence (novel), Kari Skogland (Screenplay) Kari Skogland, Elizabeth Jarvis, Phyllis Lang Is there more iconic Canadian female figure than Hagar Shipley, who raged against the dying of the light like you wouldn’t believe? Based on Margaret Laurence’s 1964 novel, this film respectfully adapts the author’s sweeping story. Hagar resists the soul-denying promise of a nursing home and lights out for the territories. This is essentially a journey of the mind, traveling back through love, marriage, heartbreak, and all that jazz. Bring your Can it students and hand out the assignments.
Street Health Stories Canada Katerina Cizek Gerry Flahive A superb treatment of a difficult subject, this film tracks the dispossessed, those who live on the edge--of the sidewalk, that is. Four photographers with their own history of homelessness capture the struggle and spirit of 28 street-bound subjects. This time you won’t feel the urge to look away.
Struck USA Taron Lexton Milena Fereira Milena Fereira, Nathan Lorch You’ll recognize most of the actors in this adorable little film about a crazy little thing called love. One day Joel is shot through the chest with an arrow. No big deal; he learns to live with it. Dating’s a killer, though, what with that thing sticking out--that is, until he runs into what’s her name. The rest is painless.
Synthétiseur Canada Sarah Fortin Sarah Fortin Nitro Films If you like Montreal you will absolutely adore this quirky little film about a young woman and her resolve to take a trip to find a boyfriend. as fresh and original as an Orange Julep, with two straws.
Teacups and Milk Canada Leanne Averbach Leanne Averbach Leanne Averbach Local artist, sculptor, mentor, patron, buddy, cheerleader Bonnie Leyton contributed to her sister Leanne’s mixed media short about their fascinating parents and the evolution of a mid-century family. You’ll recognize the Bonnie-Leanne factor in all the colorful whimsy.
Test Spain Marta Aledo, Natalia Mateo Natalia Mateo Maria Zamora, Stefan Schmitz All it takes is 10 minutes to tell the stories of four women, each anxiously awaiting news of impending motherhood--or not. Each has her own reasons for being anxious: for some, pregnancy is a long-held dream; for others, it’s a surprising bump in the night.
Thread USA Laure Chock Dana Kuznetzkoff This highly appealing documentary traces the stories of five Afghan women who are challenged to find economic and personal independence in a desert of patriarchy. Each is remarkable and bound to the others through a common desire for personal transformation. The Taliban might have fallen, but the country remains resolutely suspicious of women’s power. With the permission of their husbands, these women get to travel to NYC where they encounter famous fashion designers and compare their own unique designs with those worn by runway divas. This film is an amazingly personal portrait of a complex social reality in the very moment of struggle and change.
Thursday Market Canada Christine Jan Masias Azadeh Reisdanaee Azadeh Reisdanaee A fabulous fable of Middle East conflict. In just a few short minutes, this filmmaker manages to capture just how it is that war reproduces war. Mariyah is preparing for her mission of jihad, taking her explosively wired self directly into the market. Doubtful and uncertain about what she was directed to do, she takes refuge in a public washroom where Arab and Jewish women converge in typically familiar ways. What she overhears changes everything, and then changes everything again. Suspenseful and accomplished.
Til Death Do Us Part USA Vita Lutsy Vita Lutsy This riveting feature documentary takes us deep inside a California prison for women, where victims have been revictimized through the American justice system. Over five years in the making, this doc follows the stories of 13 women, tough and imperfect, but nonetheless strong in their resolve to get a fair hearing. But having suffered domestic violence, they have been repeatedly denied the use of a history of absence in their defence. Highly motivating, this feature will enrage and inspire.
To Fly or Fall Canada Kathi Prosser Steven Clark Rob Allan A hypnotic and spiritual film set on the roof of a skyscraper. A man fears the pull of the edge of the rooftop, while a woman explores an irresistible urge to take flight. 30 stories below the road murmurs. Will they fly or will they fall?
Torn From the Flag Hungary/USA Endre Huled, Klaudia Kovacs Klaudia Kovacs Endre Huled This doc chronicles the rapid changes of mid to late century Hungary. the end of WWII was just the beginning of that country’s occupation by Soviet Russia, a stifling regime that resulted in rebellion and the bloodshed of 1956. This terrific film, shot on Hd and assisted by Oscar winning cinematographers, both personalizes world history and offers informed context for the struggle and triumph of an entire nation.
Travel Anywhere (Episodes 1-6) Canada Justin Simms Lois Brown Lois Brown, Rosemary House Inspired, hilarious, hypnotic, and utterly original, Lois Brown’s Travel Anywhere series creates the unforgettable world of the office temp in Claire, a travel agency clock-watcher with personality all her own. Come fly with Claire: she’s obviously off the ground most of the time anyway.
Unus Mundus Turkey Senem Tuzen Senem Tuzen Senem Tuzen What’s short, sweet, and encapsulates the meaning of life? Turkish delight of Unus Mundus of course!
URNT4ME Canada/Australia Tania Yuki Tania Yuki Peter Butt So TTLY EZ 2 HRT ths XLNT EFRT. Y? JMO. K?
Women Behind the Camera USA Alexis Krasilovsky Alexis Krasilovsky Alexis Krasilovsky A must for anyone serious about making, seeing, and thinking about movies, this entertaining feature traces the history of camerawomen around the world. The crew tracked the experiences of women behind the camera over six years, steadily revealing the connection between their craft and their interest in social change. We encounter some pretty remarkable women here, from those who shot some of our favorite features to those who toil in relative obscurity, producing amazing images for the world’s viewing pleasure.
Zlin Soup Czech Republic Akile Nazil Kaya Akile Nazil Kaya Akile Nazil Kaya A timely tribute to the dynamic life of Czech refugee Tomas Bata who did for shoes what Ford did for the automobile. Zlin is the town in which Bata and his ancestors lived, made famous because of Bata’s own inevitable success, a modern utopia of industrial achievement. This animated short captures the spirit of capitalism and the necessity of a well crafted heel.
Elling Lien