The Shortest Day returns for a third year across the country from December 18 to 21, 2015, with an outstanding program of new, classic and award-winning shorts by some of Canada’s most talented filmmakers. This year’s free event—a fun way for families and movie-lovers to celebrate the lead-up to the winter solstice on December 21, the shortest day of the year, and usher in the holiday season—features 28 shorts organized into four thematic programs: Kids (under 8, 61 minutes), Family (56 minutes), Musical (16+, 74 minutes) and Dramas and Comedies (16+, 91 minutes).
Among the shorts from Ontario-based filmmakers this year is Bacon & God’s Wrath (Dramas and Comedies program) from director Sol Friedman. Bacon & God’s Wrath screened in the Short Cuts Programme at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Friedman’s short, an endearing mixed-media docu-collage, tells the story of a 90-year-old Jewish woman who reflects on her life’s experiences as she prepares to try bacon for the first time.
“Because short filmmakers don’t know the rules yet… there seems to be a tendency with good short films to break the rules in the best and most exciting ways—in ways that feature films generally can’t (or won’t),” said Friedman. “As both a relatively short person, and a self-taught Canadian filmmaker (who doesn’t know the rules), I’m proud to be involved in this year’s The Shortest Day program.”
Sol Friedman is an award-winning, self-taught animator and filmmaker based in Toronto. His short films have played at the Toronto International Film Festival, Slamdance, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, SXSW, the Hawaii International Film Festival, Sprockets and over 60 other international film festivals worldwide. Sol has been an invited participant in the Kyoto Filmmakers Lab, TIFF’s Talent Lab and Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!, as well as a panel speaker at a variety of film festivals at home and abroad.
Coming to a venue near you
The free screenings, which spotlight animated and live-action shorts, will be held in more than 80 venues across the country. Screenings will be held not just in movie theatres but in cultural centres, community spaces, schools, coffee shops, shopping malls, hospitals and public libraries, making the event accessible to as many cinemagoers as possible.
In Ontario, Shortest Day programs will be screened, notably, at The Staircase Café Theatre in Hamilton, as well as at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, the Carlton Cinema, the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Aki Studio Theatre at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto.
Other can’t-miss Ontario shorts in this year’s The Shortest Day are:
• Call It Blue (Dramas and Comedies program), directed by Ryerson University’s Julia Hendrickson. Call It Blue took home Best Student Short at the Kerry Film Festival in Ireland. Obliging to a simple request of hitching a ride, Benito quickly discovers that Ana lacks a destination. In between attempted door-to-door sales and spontaneous expeditions to scenic landscapes, Ana playfully pries Benito out of his insurance folder and into her world.
• Be the Snow (Family program), directed by Amir Honarmand, a graduate of the Toronto Film School in Computer Animation. Be the Snow had its world premiere at the São Paulo International Short Film Festival in Brazil. The adventure of a pillow who runs away from home to discover the outside world.
The Shortest Day was started in 2011 by France’s Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC). Presented in more than 50 countries, the event is sponsored in Canada by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec (SODEC) and Telefilm Canada.
To learn more about The Shortest Day
The microsite (www.theshortestday.ca) includes the campaign trailer, as well as lists the films in the each of the programs, along with their synopses and screening details at venues across the country.
You can also get real-time Twitter updates on the event via the hashtag #ShortestDay.
The Shortest Day is made possible in part through the financial support of the Talent Fund.
About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) it’s 75 years of innovation and leadership in social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, and most recently, groundbreaking interactive works. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 10 Webbys, 9 Canadian Screen Awards, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.caor download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.
About the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles
SODEC is a government corporation overseen by Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications. It supports the creation and growth of cultural enterprises throughout the province. SODEC brings together the passion of artistic creation with the power of economic development and provides cultural enterprises with a range of solutions designed to nurture Quebec creators and promote the production, distribution and exportation of their work. Follow SODEC on Facebook, Twitter and visit www.sodec.gouv.qc.ca.
About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Created in 1967, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund and the Talent Fund, a private donation initiative. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/