Category Archives: News

Going Virtual For 2020!

Eventive Virtual Festival

Despite our fervent hopes, it doesn't look like we'll be back in cinemas by November, so we've made the decision to take our festival virtual for 2020. We're not the first festival to make this decision, and that's good news for several reasons.

First of all, we've been fortunate to be working with a trusted partner. Our ticket vendor for the past two festivals, Eventive, was among the first tech companies to build a robust, secure, and user-friendly solution to presenting festivals online. Since April, they have helped dozens of festivals go virtual. Their track record is excellent, and they are adding refinements all the time. We're confident that, with their help, we can provide an excellent experience for audiences and filmmakers this November.

Second of all, going virtual presents certain advantages for us. We can geo-fence the films so that anyone in Canada can access our festival, allowing us to reach a much wider audience than ever before. And we are extending our dates, so you'll have much more time to enjoy our programming. This year's festival dates will be November 13-22. That's TEN days to watch all the great Canadian and international short films that we're putting together.

We’ll have more news soon about how and when passes and tickets will be on sale, and we’re ready to start announcing a few titles too. Thanks for coming along on this crazy 2020 ride with us!

A Message

Black and Indigenous Voices Matter

As awful as some of the images on the news have been lately, we are encouraged by the outpouring of righteous anger and the desire for constructive change. But the events that incited the protests have been happening for many many years, both here in Canada and around the world, and things won’t change overnight. It’s hard to know what to say, or what to do, especially as a small arts organization. But we are committed to sharing the stories of underrepresented communities and to supporting other organizations who do so. Meanwhile, we acknowledge our need to listen and to learn and to always do better.

Some organizations that we support that could use your help:

Call for Entries 2020

Call for Entries 2020

Did you know our call for entries is now open? We’d love to see your short films under 20 minutes in any of these categories: narrative, documentary, or animation. Our Early Bird deadline is March 27 and that means that fees are the lowest they’re going to be, so hurry up and submit!

BONUS: If you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you a code that will give you an additional 15% off the fee! Subscribe here! (Sorry, but existing subscribers already received the discount code).

2019 Festival Awards

Our second annual festival was held this past weekend, and exceeded my expectations once again. I’m grateful to our staff, volunteers, audience, and especially to our filmmakers, and I want to recognize those films awarded by our juries and audience. Thank you to all our jury members for their hard work and for lending us their expertise. Congratulations to these filmmakers but also to all the rest of the filmmakers who allowed us to share their work during the festival. Toronto enjoyed watching your films and we can’t wait to see what you’re working on next!

Award Winners 2019

Best Narrative Film

Patision Avenue [poster image]

Patision Avenue (Dir: Thanasis Neofotistos)

Jury statement: The director masterfully lets us tap into the protagonist’s rapidly rising pulse while handling a mother’s everyday challenges in streets under the siege of an aggressive political riot.

Best Documentary Film

Dulce [poster image]

Dulce (Dirs: Guille Isa, Angello Faccini)

Jury statement: A subtle and moving portrait of a Colombian mother and daughter harvesting clams amidst the existential threats of climate change, this has the deft storytelling of a scripted film, accumulating power and significance rather than demanding it. Intimate and observational, the film’s success lies in its focus on impression and vignette over traditional narrative, conveying a vital message without preaching. Sometimes the greatest works of art are those that feel simultaneously about the smallest stories and the enormity of being alive; to see that in a work of nonfiction is an impressive feat indeed.

Best Animated Film

Pura Vida [poster image]

Pura Vida (Dir: Nata Metlukh)

Jury statement: Great fun! Nice design and style and funny stuff!

Audience Award – TIE

Nefta Football Club [poster image]Girl in the Hallway [poster image]

Nefta Football Club (Dir: Yves Piat)
Girl in the Hallway (Dir: Valerie Barnhart)

There were also jury special mentions in the three categories:

  • Special Mention (Narrative): Repugnant (Dir: Kyan Krumdieck)
  • Special Mention (Documentary): The Snowball Treasury (Dir: Kara Blake)
  • Special Mention (Animated): Good Intentions (Dir: Anna Mantzaris)

2019 Festival Juries

With the festival kicking off in a few days, I’d like to introduce the good people who are helping us determine our three juried award winners. We’ll be giving away a total of $1,000 in prize money with the help of our audiences, as well as these fine industry leaders.

Narrative Jury

Liane CunjePer FikseDan Moore

Liane Cunje

Liane Cunje is a programmer for the Overlook Film Festival, and has been an international programming associate for the Toronto International Film Festival since 2017. In 2019, she became the Discovery programming associate for the focused programme showcasing bold visions from international first- and second-feature directors. Coming from a Film Studies and a television development background in Montreal, Liane previously worked in cult film restoration and distribution in the UK with Arrow Video as operations executive. She currently sits on the board for The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, and is working with a few industry femme fatales on INIODYMUS, a genre film festival consultancy collective promoting new filmmakers.

Per Fikse

Per Fikse (b. 1965, Norway) is the director of Minimalen Short Film Festival in Trondheim, Norway. He began programming for the festival in 1994 and has been its director since 1999. The festival had its 31st edition this year, screening more than 200 films over six days.

Dan Moore

Dan Moore is the executive director of the Indy Film Fest which recently celebrated its 16th year, and was drawn to the fest by his love for film nearly a decade ago. He has served as executive director of the all-volunteer festival since 2016. By day, he’s a software engineer and lives with his two cats in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Animation Jury

Barnabas WornoffShelagh Rowan-LeggElaine Wong

Barnabas Wornoff

Barnabas Wornoff is a senior animator, animation professor and one of the co-founders of TAAFI (Toronto Animated Arts Festival International) where he helps with speaker programming and other fun shtuffs. Wornoff is a full-time professor at Seneca College, where he coordinates the 3rd year 2D stream and mentors his students while they make incredible cartoons.

Wornoff also animates for top tier animation studios in Toronto, and has worked on Corner Gas Animated, Nature Cat, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Total Drama Island, Jimmy Two Shoes, Peg and Corn, and did storyboard cleanup on Danny Phantom. Currently he’s a freelance animator for Nelvana on Sesame Street’s second season of Esme and Roy.

Barnabas has his Masters in Creative Media and Education from Bournemouth University in England.

Shelagh Rowan-Legg

Shelagh Rowan-Legg is a filmmaker, author, programmer for FrightFest, and contributing editor for ScreenAnarchy.

Elaine Wong

Elaine Wong is a short film programmer for the BFI London Film Festival. She has previously worked on Sheffield Doc/Fest, London Short Film Festival, Underwire, Raindance and Chinese Visual Festival and is based in London.

Documentary Jury

Mickey DuzyjSanne JehoulEthan Warren

Mickey Duzyj

Mickey Duzyj is an Emmy-nominated director known for his innovative use of animation in documentary film, and was chosen by Variety as one of 2019’s “Top 10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch.” He is the creator and director of the critically-acclaimed Netflix documentary series LOSERS (2019), and previously won the Best Short award at Hot Docs for his ESPN 30for30 film The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere (2016.) More at mduzyj.com.

Sanne Jehoul

Sanne Jehoul is the co-director of Glasgow Short Film Festival, Scotland’s leading short film event, which champions new talent and disruptive, transgressive work alongside a programme of industry events. She is also a programmer at Document Human Rights Film Festival in Glasgow, and freelances as a writer, host, and curator. Sanne has worked in arts and media in her home country Belgium as well as in China and the Basque Country. She sits on the advisory board of Femspectives, a new feminist film festival in Glasgow.

Ethan Warren

Ethan Warren is a senior editor at the online film journal Bright Wall/Dark Room and the writer/director of the 2018 independent feature film West of Her. He lives on the south shore of Boston with his wife, Caitlin, and their children.