Hello, shorts lovers! I’m excited to reveal our 2020 festival poster, designed by Jacob Rolfe. Jacob is an illustrator and screen-printer living in Cherry Hill, Nova Scotia, where he has a home studio. When not in there, he sometimes acts as Ricky’s son-in-law on the TV show Trailer Park Boys. You can see lots more at his Instagram: @floating.world.studio.
We love this year’s design so much that we had Jacob screen-print ten copies, in two different colours. Stay tuned for your chance to own a unique piece of our very special 2020 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!
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:
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).
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 (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 (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 (Dir: Nata Metlukh)
Jury statement: Great fun! Nice design and style and funny stuff!
Audience Award – TIE
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)