Still from Claudia Morgado Escanilla's No Bikini

More Thoughts on TIFF Shorts

In last month's Cinema In Brief, I had the chance to chat with filmmaker Peter Lynch and ask him about some of his experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Since then, I've had the opportunity to talk to a few more filmmakers whose films debuted at TIFF, and would like to share some of their thoughts with you.

So today, in this small update to Cinema In Brief: TIFF Shorts, Ramses Madina and Claudia Morgado Escanilla share their experiences from the festival, and their thoughts on the support for short film in Canada.

Claudia Morgado Escanilla's short No Bikini (which I reviewed here on blogTO) played at TIFF before every screening of Breakfast with Scot, and featured a strong and engaging feel-good story about a young girl who decides to become a boy for a few short weeks.

Ramses Madina's short Farmer's Requiem (which I reviewed here on blogTO) screened along with Blood Will Tell and was one of my favorite shorts of the festival, treating the laments of the loss of agricultural space in our country with poignancy.

I asked Ramses and Claudia the same questions I asked Peter Lynch, to find out how they felt about their experiences this past September:

What were the highlights of screening your film at the Toronto International Film Festival this year?

CME: The highlight for me on was the overwhelming response to my film No Bikini. We loved making the film and we loved the final product. It was so exciting to have other people love it also.

RM: After the screening at TIFF I received an e-mail from one of [film narrator] Victor's close relatives... A few of his relatives knew about the film and made the trip to Toronto to see the film and experience Victors voice again for the first time in over two years... and they loved it. Sadly I never got the chance to meet them but it was the best compliment I could have ever asked for. I have invited them to the gallery opening for the film here in Ottawa and hope to meet them then.

Why is it important for Canada to support our country's short filmmakers? What kind of support is available right now?

CME: It is important because talent is developed and found by giving the opportunity to many types of people to explore the artist within. Among the many people that the arts councils support once in a while we may also find brilliance. In general, there is very little support [for short filmmakers] and many of us who are trying to access it. Aspiring filmmakers can occasionally find support at the Provincial Arts Council and of course The Canada Council for the Arts. The local filmmakers co-ops are often good places where one can find many resources.

RM: I think its really important for Canada to support the arts in general including short filmmakers, and I think that the country is doing a great job. I believe that the different levels of government arts funding organizations have recently received an increase in their budgets which is great.

More coverage on short film at TIFF can be found in September's edition of Cinema in Brief. Cinema in Brief is a 12-part look at short film in Canada, with a special focus on the people making, supporting, and watching short film in Toronto. It will appear on the final Wednesday of every month until August 2008.

The title image is a still from Claudia Morgado Escanilla's No Bikini which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.

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