As the largest film festival in our city, TIFF really leads the way when it comes to smart programming. So we were happy to hear that for the first time in their history, the festival was adding a programme of international shorts to the their always-excellent Short Cuts Canada selection of Canadian shorts. Magali Simard and Alex Rogalski make the Canadian selections, while Kathleen McInnis (of Palm Springs Shortfest) and Shane Smith join Magali in picking the international slate. Now that both lineups have been announced, here are a few highlights:
Directors: Sarah Galea-Davis | Canada 2014 | 17:00
After a long bout of unemployment, 55-year-old Paul is forced to move in with his brother. As he faces a job market that has no time for him, the life he is trying to reclaim keeps receding. An incisive and merciless character study of a man in transition. What his life will become is uncertain and a happy outcome isn’t guaranteed.
Director: Sol Friedman | Canada 2014 | 6:00
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. Sol Friedman’s previous short Beasts of the Real World (2013) was also selected to show at TIFF, while Junko’s Shamisen (2010) picked up awards at both Toronto After Dark and Reel Asian. Check out the naughty trailer!
MYNARSKI DEATH PLUMMET
Directors: Matthew Rankin | Canada 2014 | 8:00
Reminiscent of Guy Maddin’s The Heart of the World in its use of early propaganda film techniques, Mynarski Death Plummet portrays the final moments of World War II airman Andrew Mynarksi, whose bomber is shot down in 1944. TIFF calls it “a heritage minute on acid.” Check out the trailer.
A TOMB WITH A VIEW
Director: Ryan Noth | Canada 2014 | 7:00
Santos, Brazil is the home of the world’s tallest vertical cemetery. The superintendent of this high-rise is Pepe Altuistut, who shows us that since our way of living has changed, so must the way we house those no longer living.
BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM
Director: Michael Lennox | UK (Northern Ireland) 2014 | 14:00
In 1970s Belfast, Jamesy and Malachy are over the moon when their soft-hearted Dad presents them with two baby chicks to care for, but the two boys are in for a shock when their parents announce that big changes are coming to the family.
EVERYTHING & EVERYTHING & EVERYTHING
Director: Alberto Roldan | USA 2014 | 15:00
The oppressively vapid life of Morgan is forever transformed when a mystical blue pyramid — that inexplicably produces doorknobs — appears in his apartment. What follows is a Charlie Kaufman-esque tale of greed and loss as Morgan builds an impossible, absurd corporate empire of doorknobs. See the trailer.
Director: Hlynur Pálmason | Denmark/Iceland 2014 | 10:00
In a single, black-and-white 360-degree shot that traverses seven boats surrounding a man lost at sea, director Hlynur Pálmason crafts a simple yet potent statement about mankind’s struggle to survive.
TATUAPÉ MAHAL TOWER
Directors: Carolina Markowicz, Fernanda Salloum | Brazil 2014 | 10:00
An existential drama set in a scale model-sized São Paulo, this animated short follows Javier Juarez Garcia, who abandons his tiresome job with a residential tower developer and makes a life-changing decision — but even the new possibilities he discovers are not enough to wipe out his desire for revenge against those who have betrayed him. The teaser looks fascinating.
Of course, these are just a handful of the selections. Check out the full Short Cuts Canada and Short Cuts International programmes on the TIFF site. And a big thank you to TIFF for permission to use all of the images from the films. Since our next screening isn’t until October, why not show the big film festival in town that you support short films and short filmmakers!