Skip to main content

TIFF13: Short Cuts Canada Programmes 6 and 5

I love short films. I'm always fascinated by how filmmakers rise to the challenge of constructing and delivering a compact visual story that has all the impact of a full-length feature. To me they are like the perfect hors d'oeuvres: a bite of bliss in one bite, or a bite of blech that conjures the Tom Hanks caviar moment in Big. I had a few blech moments watching the Short Cuts Canada Programme this year, with individual bites of perfection in each section, but with Programme 6 being the most satisfying viewing followed Programme 5.


At left is director/writer, Jasmin Mozaffari, whose work, Firecrackers surprised me with the overall quality of the filmmaking and the depth of the acting (by Vanessa Orford and Lindsay Smith). Who hasn't seen the story before of two young women wanting to escape their small town prisons to make it in the big city? Mozaffari has crafted a film cloaked in gray and black, in which you can feel the girls' dreams and smell the despair of truck stop diners.

Nova Scotia's Cory Bowles has discovered a talent in young Keeya King (left), whose character Talia has much to learn about the Anatomy of Assistance. Surrounding King is a wealth of Canadian talent with the casting of Raven Dauda, Clé Bennett, and bit part by Sandi Ross.

Wayne Robinson's Foreclosure uses full-frontal male nudity to perfection as a metaphor for the vagaries of office life while Chris Goldade's Drop flips the switch by showing how a stay-at-home son interprets the sudden arrival of a World War II soldier landing in his parents' front yard. Jordan Hayes delivers a bit of romance to this section with a Lay Over, in which two twenty-somethings spend an evening taking in the sites of L.A. while Devan Scott's grad film, Paradiso, is a broad send up about brotherly love and being stuck in a hell of a heaven.

Thursday September 12
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
7:00 PM
Friday September 13
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
12:15 PM 


Two of my favourites in this section are Impromptu and Roland.

IMPROMPTU  is a gorgeous animated short by Bruce Alcock whose sweeping lines and colourations exquisitely complement the music of Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu and the actions and dialogue of Chuck and Sylvie as they negotiate their relationship and the mixed bag of abrasive, perplexing, amusing and increasingly inebriated guests that Sylvie has invited home for dinner. Bravo!

ROLAND directed by Trevor Cornish (co-written with Niall Kelly) is a hilarious satire set in the world of retail. "How can I help your art today?" is the greeting art store employee Roland (Daniel Beirne) spews by rote as he meets each client that comes into the store. While his coworker (stage/screen actress Lindsey Clark) chats on the phone leaving him to deal with customers, Roland's evening turns into a store clerk's nightmare (both perceived and real).

For information on other films in this section CLICK HERE.

Wednesday September 11
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
9:15 PM
Thursday September 12
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
2:30 PM 


Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 5-15

Get Tickets: 416.599.TIFF | 1.888.599.8433


Anonymous said…
I always get burned on short films, although I enjoy the medium. I'm not sure you convinced me but maybe??

Popular posts from this blog

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 2 aka The Miscasting of Renée Zellweger


Appaloosa wasn't on my "Must See" list of films, simply because my Festival experience is seeing the films without the big stars that may not get distributed. Appaloosa is directed by my love, Ed Harris (who also stars in the film) and has such notable names as Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. I love Westerns, and an invite to the film had me in line at the elegant Elgin Theatre. While I enjoyed the Marshall (Harris) and his gun-toting, literate sidekick (Mortenssen) battling it out with the bad guy (Irons), I did not enjoy Renée Zellweger in the role of the woman who clings to whatever alpha male is dominating the scene. I kept trying to re-cast her, but it wasn't until I got home that Virginia Madsen's name popped into my head. Virginia would have been perfect and also luminous. Renée may be from Texas, but I wasn't buying her in this one. If you think I'm being harsh everything I've just written was also said by two guys walking behi…

Ross Petty's Sleeping Beauty BFFs: Meet Alexandra Beaton & Taveeta Szymanowicz

Fall/winter theatre favourite Ross Petty Productions is back with another fairy-tale pantomime! This year's treat is Sleeping Beauty-The Deliriously Dreamy Family Musical. The beauty is Kinky Boots star, AJ Bridal and playing her best pals are Alexandra Beaton and Taveeta Szymanowicz of Family Channel's The Next Steps. Taveeta and Alexandra were in rehearsals but took time out to share some insights into their roles.

donna g: Were either of you familiar with pantomime before being cast in Ross Petty's version of Sleeping Beauty?
Taveeta: Yes! I saw Ross's production of Peter Pan when I was in Elementary school. I remember having such a lovely time. I was thus very excited when I was cast in Ross's 2015/16 production of Peter Pan in Wonderland last year. I was thrilled to be cast again this year! 
Alexandra: Of course! Growing up in Toronto, going to the Panto at Christmas  time was a tradition for a lot of my friends. I even saw a few myself.
donna g: You both play Bea…

TIFF '15 Interview : Director, Sanna Lenken on "My Skinny Sister"

  My Skinny Sister (Min Lilla Syster) screens as part of TIFF Kids, but this Swedish film about eating disorders is far from being an after-school special. I was especially impressed by the casting of this smart, realistic film with its portrayal of sisterhood and family dynamics.

donna g:You are so right in your Director's Statement that eating disorders are as common in families as alcoholism, yet the subject is never given equal attention.  Based on this lack of awareness, did you have any problems getting this film made or was funding readily available for this project?
SANNA LENKEN: It  wasn’t as hard as I had expected even though we, of course, had some meetings without luck. The main problem was distribution in Sweden. The distribution companies didn’t believe in the film as a commercial product, mainly because of the cast, two young girls, and the heavy subject. I was really scared for a while because in Sweden you can’t get all the money before having a distributor. In t…