Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Forty-two remarkable shorts will screen in the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival’s Short Cuts Canada programme this September. Committed to presenting the best short films from across the country, the diverse six-programme lineup will captivate audiences with a compelling collection of works created by a combination of emerging and established directors. Complementing this year’s lineup, two recently-restored shorts will screen to commemorate the centenary of the birth of animation legend and pioneer filmmaker Norman McLaren.
“From genre-bending sci-fi to delicate life stories about transformation and disillusion, this year’s selections represent the vast creativity that dominated the staggering 841 entries we received — the most in the programme’s history,” said Magali Simard, Short Cuts Canada programmer.
“The healthy number of Canadian short film submissions signifies a steady growth in film talent in Canada,” said Alex Rogalski, Short Cuts Canada programmer. “We are so proud to welcome 22 of these filmmakers to our Festival for the very first time, and can’t wait to showcase their incredible work on Toronto’s world stage.”
Films in the Short Cuts Canada programme are eligible for the Award for Best Canadian Short Film. This year's jury includes Franklin Leonard, founder of The Black List; Beth Sá Freire, deputy-director of São Paulo International Short Film Festival; and visual artist Floria Sigismondi, who’s best known for her directorial work in music videos for the likes of David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Justin Timberlake and The White Stripes.
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 to 14, 2014.
An Apartment Sarah Galea-Davis, 17’ World Premiere
An Apartment is an intimate character study of Paul, a man who finds himself in mid-life struggling to restart his career in a modern job market with no room for a man of 55 trying to start over. After a long bout of unemployment, Paul is forced to move in with his brother, sacrificing personal space in hopes he will be back on his feet soon. But as his last job prospect dries up, Paul learns that the life he is trying to get back is gone.
Around Is Around Norman McLaren, 8’ North American Premiere
Newly restored, McLaren’s 1951 short is the first stereoscopic animated film ever made. McLaren creates a visionary 3D effect with a cathode-ray oscilloscope, and the result is an elegant, mesmerizing pattern of spherical shapes evolving in space.
The Barnhouse (La Grange) Caroline Mailloux, 19’ North American Premiere
A sweltering August in a remote community. Authorities and neighbours from the area search for an eight-year-old boy who has gone missing. Near the old family barnhouse, Jacinthe finds her son Kevin escaping into his imaginary world. The secret he will reveal to her about the disappearance will change their lives forever.
Bison Kevan Funk, 12’ World Premiere
A meditative and mysterious dramatic film, Bison explores the violent legacy of colonialism in a contemporary context. The film is anchored by thematic concerns around implicit cultural culpability, systemic issues of failure surrounding the contemporary and historical relationship with First Nations peoples, and notions of responsibility in an individual and societal context.
Broken Face (Sale Gueule) Alain Fournier, 16’ World Premiere
Loik, a disfigured sailor, is posted to a remote lighthouse with Morlaix, a tyrannical head keeper. But soon the two men find themselves besieged by a strange storm.
Burnt Grass Ray Wong, 11’ World Premiere
Burnt Grass is a dramatic short film about a young couple who discover a strange phenomenon in their backyard that duplicates organic life. After one of them copies themselves, their relationship takes unnatural and bizarre turns as loyalties shift, creating a new spin on the love triangle.
Chainreaction Dana Gingras, 11’ World Premiere
Chainreaction employs a pop sensibility that creates a tactile and mobile atmosphere, deconstructing the sublimely disquieting forces of desire, isolation, emotional and physical dislocation, manifested between layers of image, gesture and sound.
Chamber Drama Jeffrey Zablotny, 11’ World Premiere
Megan, a stubborn teenage girl with hypersensitive hearing, attempts to prove herself to her supervisor on the last day of her internship in an acoustics laboratory.
CODA Denis Poulin and Martine Époque, 11’ World Premiere
The mesmerizing dance of light particles in this film serves as both its subject and raw material. Using motion-capture techniques to manipulate the light particles, the filmmakers evoke ecological themes in their visual reinterpretation of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. As the very first note is played by acclaimed twin sister pianists TwinMuse, the light particles form a cloud that morphs into a dancer performing a swirling digital choreography.
Day 40 Sol Friedman, 6’ World Premiere
In this animated retelling of the Noah’s Ark story, various unholy activities fill the great ship, as the animals discover the darker side of their nature.
Del Ciego Desert François Leduc, 12’ North American Premiere
At Del Ciego desert, two gunfighters plagued with heavy squint and very bad eyesight duel in order to avenge the massacre of their families.
A Delusion of Grandeur (Une idée de grandeur) Vincent Biron, 14’ World Premiere
Louis, defeated mayor of his small town’s latest election, has to bid farewell to his seat after 20 years of loyalty. Following his defeat, he goes through a rough patch that leaves him confused about his future. As events seem to conspire to remind him of the bitter taste of his failure, he finds unlikely solace at his neighbour’s house.
The Encounter (La Rencontre) Frieda Luk, 9’ World Premiere
A man becomes obsessed with a woman he assaulted, when he unexpectedly happens to see her one day.
Entangled Tony Elliott, 15’ World Premiere
A scientist initiates her brain-dead partner’s secret experiment to find out what happened to him. But what she experiences is a mind-bending reality that threatens both of their lives.
Father Jordan Tannahill, 9’ World Premiere
Austin must extricate his father’s body from an abandoned factory after his father is electrocuted while thieving copper.
Fire (Fuoco) Raha Shirazi, 12’ World Premiere
As dawn turns to dusk, village men set off in search of fire. A celebration of traditions and myths, this is a story embedded in the Iranian culture, and directly connected to the representation of fire in the Zoroastrian religion and Persian literature.
Godhead Connor Gaston, 11’ World Premiere
A mystic autistic man heals his broken family without saying a word.
Hole Martin Edralin, 15’ North American Premiere
This film is a daring portrait of a middle-aged disabled man yearning for an intimate connection in his solitary life. Billy roams the city in pursuit of intimacy, but his disability proves to be a barrier to his emotional and sexual needs. With no other options, he looks to his caregiver for relief.
Indigo Amanda Strong, 9’ World Premiere
After years of suppressing her inner child, an elderly woman named Indigo struggles to connect with her childhood with the help of a grandmother spider, and faces the many layers of herself, and life, to revitalize her spirit before death. Hand-crafted stop-motion figures animate this fantastical tale based on native mythology.
Intruders Santiago Menghini, 10’ World Premiere
In the aftermath of a deadly haunting in a small suburban home, a sinister omnipresent entity presence causes havoc in the private lives of a young boy, an unsuspecting teen and absent-minded inspector.
Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes Scott Brachmayer, 15’ World Premiere
Isolated in the harsh wilderness of the Arctic, a hunter follows the teachings of survival passed on to him by his grandfather. In an environment governed by the spirits of the land, a taboo is broken and he is forced to face the consequences.
Last Night Arlen Konopaki, 6’ World Premiere
A shocking accusation pits two roommates against each other.
Light Yassmina Karajah, 13’ World Premiere
After his recent move to Canada, Omar faces the sudden death of his child. Upon hearing the news in Lebanon, his mother urges him to perform a religious pre-burial ritual on the body of his son. He struggles to fulfill her wishes.
Liompa Elizabeth Lazebnik, 16’ World Premiere
A sick man struggles to retain some kind of control of his body and the world around him.
Luk'Luk'I : Mother Wayne Wapeemukwa, 19’ World Premiere
A full-time mother/part-time sex-worker goes missing in Vancouver’s downtown eastside during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Me and My Moulton Torill Kove, 13’ North American Premiere
One summer in mid-’60s Norway, a seven-year-old girl asks her parents if she and her sisters can have a bicycle. Me and My Moulton provides a glimpse of its young protagonist’s thoughts as she struggles with her sense that her family is a little out of sync with what she perceives as normal. A witty animation by Torill Kove, creator of the Academy Award-winning short, The Danish Poet.
Migration Fluorescent Hill, 6’ North American Premiere
This animated work references vintage nature films and explores the migratory pattern of a herd of made-up wild creatures.
Mynarski Death Plummet (Mynarski chute mortelle) Matthew Rankin, 8’ World Premiere
A handmade historical micro-epic based on the final minutes in the life of Winnipeg’s doomed World War II hero, Andrew Mynarski, who died 70 years ago when his bomber jet is raked with enemy fire. A heritage minute on acid, mixing aviation agitprop with classical and avant-garde animation techniques, Mynarski Death Plummet is a psychedelic photo-chemical cinépoem on the theme of self-sacrifice, immortality and jellyfish.
O Canada Evelyn Lambart, 3’ North American Premiere
Commemorating the centenary of Norman McLaren’s birth, this 1951 animated adaptation of the country’s national anthem takes audiences on a 3D trip across Canada from coast to coast. It features the “travelling zoom” invented by the animation legend in 1937 — a technique later adapted to create the famous star gate sequence in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
On Cement (Sur le ciment) Robin Aubert, 14’ World Premiere
Using spray paint, a young boy leaves his cell number on city walls until an old lady writes down the number and decide to call.
Red Alert Barry Avrich, 9’ World Premiere
A young auburn-headed girl panics when she finds out that redheads may become extinct in just a century, in this charming comic short documentary from veteran filmmaker Barry Avrich. This short film will screen preceding the Canadian feature, Wet Bum.
Running Season Grayson Moore, 20’ World Premiere
An Ontario man attempts to sell his father’s house on Prince Edward Island just as severed feet have been turning up on the island’s shores. Shortly after arriving, he learns that the most recent foot was discovered close to the property he’s trying to sell.
Sahar Alexander Farah, 14’ World Premiere
Nadim's parents struggle to understand the carefree and westernized lifestyle of their daughter Sahar. With tension high and tolerance low, the household remains at a standstill, waiting for her to come home.
The Sands (Plage de sable) Marie-Ève Juste, 20’ World Premiere
A group of friends retreat to a cottage for a weekend in the woods, where tensions rise after the presence of a newcomer — the much younger boyfriend of one of the group — elicits unthinking acts of deprecation.
Sleeping Giant (Géant Endormi) Andrew Cividino, 16’ North American Premiere
Fourteen-year-old Adam is spending the summer in a small beach community on the north shore of Lake Superior. His dull summer routine shatters when he meets local boys Foster and Rizzo, two smart alecks who fill their long days with adventures and reckless stunting. When Adam learns he is competing with Foster for the affection of his crush, Taylor, he is drawn into a dark and unfamiliar world which leads the boys to the top of the infamous Todd’s Cliff.
Still Slater Jewell-Kemker, 16’ World Premiere
Lost in an isolated forest with her abusive boyfriend, Sadie finds a sinister way to get the love she’s always wanted.
Take Me (Prends-moi) André Turpin and Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, 10’ World Premiere
A nurse working in a center for the disabled is confronted with his principles when he's asked to accomplish a particular task.
A Tomb with a View Ryan J. Noth, 7’ World Premiere
The evolution of vertical life in the sky is now ushering in new buildings like Pepe Altustut’s Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, in Santos, Brazil, where all the inhabitants are dead. For Pepe, Memorial was a practical response to a lack of space, but it has transformed into a safe place for his own passage to an afterlife.
The Underground Michelle Latimer, 13’ World Premiere
Araz, an Iranian refugee, experiences North American life by imagining himself as a cockroach, the only living creature that will survive after humanity perishes in the apocalypse. Inspired by the bestselling novel written by Rawi Hage, The Underground is a visceral portrayal of one man’s struggle to fit into Western culture as he battles past demons. In a struggle to overcome poverty and isolation, Araz turns inward in hopes of experiencing the life that eludes him.
The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer Randall Okita, 10’ World Premiere
A short story about two brothers who go to extremes in the different ways they live their lives — looking forward and looking back. When crisis hits, their bonds pull them back together, for better or worse.
What Doesn’t Kill You Rob Grant, 12’ World Premiere
After dying in a horrific car crash, two bullied teens reappear completely healed and must decide the fate of their paralyzed friend.
Zero Recognition Ben Lewis, 9’ World Premiere
This short film takes a satirical look at the disparity between fame and recognisability. Lauren Collins (Degrassi, Kroll Show) stars as Demi, a young actress who’s grown up in the dim glare of the Hollywood (North) spotlight. When she decides to brave the world of Internet dating, she quickly finds her ego and her sanity unravelling.
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