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One Minute Film & Video Festival grows yet again

Toronto's own One Minute Film & Video Festival presents its annual programme of very short short films at the Bloor on November 22nd, next Wednesday night. I wrote about the origins of the festival around this time last year, and the story remains the same: nobody expected this insignificant "dare/challenge" between lapsed filmmaker friends to become a hot ticket on the city's festival circuit.

As one of the co-founders of 1MFVF, I don't make a dime off this gig. Like so many of the city's film festivals (the ones that aren't "the" film festival), my co-presenters and I are in it for the love of the game, and the willingness to help short filmmakers get their work seen. Just gouging out a tiny little piece of Toronto's attention for ourselves every November can be, without the benefit of corporate sponsors or a full-flight marketing team, an adventure in itself.

One Minute, unlike many of its brethren, gets to run the gamut between the very amateur and the extremely professional in its annual programme. (For "extremely professional," see the three urban essays from the Montreal artistic collective known as Urbania - Vox Pop, Vidangeur, and Halterophile. For "very amateur," few are more effective than Dane Boedigheimer's masterful ode to bad science fiction and giant marshmallows, Time Travel Trouble.)

Each year is given a theme by the previous year's audience; in 2005, one lucky audience member chose "Growth" to be the theme for the 2006 show. In theory, every film in the November 22nd programme interprets the concept of "growth" in some way.... although in some cases, you have to put your thinking cap on to figure out where the filmmaker makes the connection. What does the crawling lump of meat in a-sykote - an entry from Greece - have to do with the theme? That will be up to the audience to decide.

The emphasis remains on Canadian work, but films this year come from such varied environs as the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Israel, and Italy.

Watching 60 one-minute films in a row can be a little like watching an hour of commercials, but the filmmakers still manage to keep it feeling fresh by constantly amazing us with just how many things you can say, do, and feel in sixty seconds or less.

The One Minute Film & Video Festival 2006 screens on November 22nd at the Bloor Cinema, starting at 7:00 p.m. Advanced tickets go on sale tomorrow at Queen Video (480 Bloor Street West) for $8.


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