Category Archives: Organizations

Thursday February 22: Recent Irish Shorts

Our first curated monthly screening is a partnership with the Toronto Irish Film Festival, which unspools its 8th edition from March 2-4th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Festival co-director John Galway joins us to introduce their 2018 lineup and to present some great recent Irish short films. Lower prices will be in effect and all tickets must be bought at the Carlton box office. Special thanks to Network Ireland Television, the Irish Film Board, and Eibh Collins for their generous help in assembling this programme.

Thursday February 22nd at 7:00pm
(but meet us at 6:00pm in the lobby for pre-screening drinks and craic!)
Carlton Cinemas
20 Carlton Street (steps from College subway station)

Still from Boogaloo & Graham


Dir: Michael Lennox
UK – 2014

Jamesy and Malachy are over the moon when their soft-hearted dad presents them with two baby chicks to care for. Raising their tiny charges, declaring themselves vegetarian and dreaming of running a chicken farm, the two boys are in for a shock when their parents announce that big changes are coming to the family.

Duration: 14:00

Still from Strangers in the Night


Dir: Conor McMahon
Ireland – 2015

Two lonely people find the love that they were searching for. Well, one lonely person and one banshee.

Duration: 12:00

Still from The Nation Holds Its Breath


Dir: Kev Cahill
Ireland – 2016

On the day of the most important football match in Irish history, a young father-to-be is torn between a) standing at his wife’s side to hold her hand and witness the miracle of childbirth, or b) witnessing the miracle of the national team reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Duration: 20:00

Still from Noreen


Dir: Domhnall Gleeson
Ireland – 2011

Two policemen learn life lessons on a house-call in rural Ireland. Frank is young and heartbroken. Con is middle-aged and weary. They’re both alone. They’re both idiots. Written and directed by Domhnall Gleeson, and starring his brother Brian Gleeson and father Brendan Gleeson.

Duration: 18:00

Still from Analogue People in a Digital Age


Dirs: Keith Walsh and Jill Beardsworth
Ireland – 2013

On the day that Ireland’s analogue television network is replaced by a digital signal, eight men in a bar battle to survive in the new world, the TV in the corner a harbinger of this technological future

Duration: 13:00

Still from Breakfast Wine


Dir: Ian FitzGibbon
Ireland – 2013

They say it takes just three alcoholics to keep a small bar running in a country town, but what if you’ve only got two? Starring Dylan Moran (Black Books).

Duration: 12:00

Tickets available online or at the Carlton box office ($10 adults, $7 seniors). Facebook RSVP here!

Thank You Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury Publishing

A special thank you to Tanya Leet from Bloomsbury Publishing in New York for supplying some selections from the excellent 33⅓ series as giveaways for our July 18 screening. These have always been among my favourite books about music, with each writer given free reign to write in any way about their chosen LP. The series has its own excellent web site where you can find out more about the whole series. If you’re a fan of Talking Heads, Neutral Milk Hotel, Richard and Linda Thompson, or Pixies, you’ll want to read these.

As an added bonus, the entire series of books has just been added to the iTunes store, and until July 2nd, each title is just $4.99. Have a look!

33.3 Books

Come out on July 18th for your chance to win one of these fine volumes. Advance tickets are on sale now.

CityLife Film Project

CityLife Film Project

A few weeks ago, filmmaker Dane Clark (Long Branch, January 2013 screening) contacted me in order to introduce me to his friend Tara Woodbury. Tara is the director of a really interesting program for young filmmakers called the CityLife Film Project. It’s an intensive multi-month workshop for “disadvantaged youth” from 18-25 to help them tell their stories and build towards careers in film, television and other creative industries. The culmination of the program is that the ten participants write, shoot, and edit three short films, chosen from their ten individual pitches.

With the demise of the Worldwide Short Film Festival, Tara needed a way for the students to see more short films, so she asked me to put together a selection of films and come in to talk to them. Since they’re in the early part of the program now, focussed on screenwriting, I brought a few films where the writing was strong enough that the film could get away with one location or very simple cinematography.

Although I never feel like much of an “expert,” I did have a previous life as a teacher, and I have to say I probably got more out of answering their many questions than they did. It was inspiring to see such a motivated and hungry group of creative young people and I’m now eager to follow their progress as they are molded into filmmakers. So, a big thanks to Tara and to the students for having me there.

You can find out more about CityLife and how to support their program on their web site.

Micro Films and Micro Loans

Kiva Microfinance

Back in 2006, I started lending money to small businesspeople around the world with Kiva. Over the past 6+ years, I’ve made 32 loans totalling more than $800. The beautiful part is that I’ve really only spent a fraction of that amount. You see, when these loans are paid back (and research shows that default rates for these types of “micro” loans are much lower than those made to larger businesses), the money can be lent out again and again. It’s immensely gratifying to know that my money is being stretched as far as possible to help people not just make a living, but to improve the lives of their families and communities. Here’s a bit more on the concept of microfinance:


Frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to connect the concept of short films to these small loans. In the same way that a short film can give you an introduction to a vastly different culture in just a few minutes, you can make a big difference a long way from home with just a few bucks.

If you’re a fan of what I’m trying to do with Shorts That Are Not Pants, please give a thought to all the men and women struggling to make their businesses a lasting source of income for their families all around the world. And then consider making that first loan. I don’t mean to alarm you, but you’ll find it’s immensely satisfying. And addictive!

A World of Shorts: The Finale

At 5pm this Wednesday September 19th, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, we’ll lose an important part of the city’s cinema scene. The Canadian Film Centre’s monthly shorts series A World of Shorts will screen for the last time (see the full September lineup here). This is an additional blow to the news that the CFC’s annual Worldwide Short Film Festival is going on hiatus.

If you’re a fan of short film (and if you’re reading this, I’ll assume that you are), please come out to show your support for the great people behind A World of Shorts and the Worldwide Short Film Festival, all of whom have worked very hard for a very long time to build their organization into something short filmmakers and film lovers around the world admire and respect. Hopefully, this is just a temporary farewell, and we’ll have them back in some form soon.

If you were a fan of A World of Shorts, I invite you to join us on Thursday October 11th, at 7pm at the Carlton Cinemas, to share our appreciation for the art of short film. Although this will be our last screening of 2012, we have lots of things planned for 2013, and we hope you’ll come along with us as we grow.

Buy your tickets in advance to save.