Short & Sweet film festival launches in Toronto
Short & Sweet, a successful London-based short film event, finally had its official launch in Toronto at No One Writes to the Colonel. Although they have plans to start up branches in Australia and South Africa, Toronto is the first city to see the expanded project come to light. S&S has been going strong across the Atlantic for nearly five years now, providing a loungey atmosphere to watch a couple hours of shorts once a week. With the smell of fresh buttered popcorn in the air, co-founder Jordan Crute presented a program of eight films, divided by a 15-minute mix-and-mingle halftime break.
The range of films Crute screened are of varying tones and genres. There were two music videos, a handful of comedic films, some cutting-edge animation (hand and digital), and a couple downers (the film about an emo puppet that hangs himself, and then offs himself again with a toaster in a bathtub, got a subdued reaction from attendees).
One thing is for sure, though: these are serious, professional-grade short films. Many of them are award winners; two of which - the noirish collage YOURS, TRULY and the paper cut-out animation THE EAGLEMAN STAG - are BAFTA winners. Meanwhile, the filmmaker of GOODBYE TO THE NORMALS is busy making a feature with Hugh Jackman.
I couldn't help but long for a stronger showing of Canadian shorts in Crute's selection (there was one). But, as there was a strong UK presence (four), it's clear that most of the people who know about and submit to Short & Sweet are from where the event has already developed a following. It's only a matter of time before Torontonians catch on and start getting represented at S&S (Filmmakers shouldn't hesitate to go here where you can find out how to submit your films).
This was a decent start to hopefully a healthy life for this project in Toronto. Naturally, the event will live or die based on how well-attended it is. Quality short films can be viewed at any time in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Short & Sweet's goal is to coordinate short film watching as a social event, motivating discussion and encouraging the appreciation of the short film as an art form.
Short & Sweet takes place every Monday night at 7:30pm at No One Writes to the Colonel. Each program contains eight films, with a 15-minute break for mingling after the first four have screened. The event is free, although donations are appreciated.
Writing by Blake Williams