5 programs to see at the World Wide Short Film Festival
The Worldwide Short Film Festival offers a yearly round up of the best short films from local talent and those abroad, and is the gem in the crown of the CFC. If you think film festival programmers have it rough when it comes to rejection letters, imagine how shorts programmers must feel. Now multiply that by 10. Despite the challenges, they always have amazing selections, and this year is no exception. Choosing from live action, animated, mixed media and then fictional, non-fictional and those in between, the festival has its work cut out for them every year, but once again they deliver.
1. Sci Fi: Out There June 1st 9:15pm - ROM Theatre
For those who like the films a little om the far-out side, the Sci Fi programs have consistently been a best bet at WSFF. From the dystopic with Dissonance, a film about a woman always out of touch with the world or reality she lives in, due to her profession and Rosa about a robot, who, like Wall-E takes vigilante conservation into her own hands. Military themes pop up in Tin Soldier and Peaceforce, which expose the desperation of war-time and how moral codes are disrupted while also showing the uselessness of such protection.
2. For Shorts & Giggles: Indie Comedy Showcase June 2nd, 9pm, The Garrison
Featuring some of Toronto's well-known and visible indie comics, this showcase features shorts about how to cope with adulthood with films such as Dusty Gulch Retreat, a PSA for a team-building retreat for hopeless employees, No Parents, an ode to being an adult (and eating sugar cereal) and What The Fud? about a woman who makes personal connections with garbage. But it also features the most awesome commercial of all, Awesome Truck Commercial, about the best truck that can fit a whale in it that you've ever seen.
3. Golden Girls (Official Selection) June 1st, 3:15pm & June 3rd, 8:30pm, Varsity Cinema
A truly strong series of shorts that include a nice number of animated and live action works about girls, women and those perhaps in between. My favourites of the bunch were Smart Girls, about a woman who becomes determined to lose her virginity to 'get it over with' a family friend. I am a Girl paints a fascinating portrait of a young transgendered German girl and her life. Also poignant was Teamwork, a bittersweet look into a moment shared by a grandmother and granddaughter that both would remember on a very solemn occasion.
4. One Night Stand (Official Selection) June 1st, 7pm & June 4, 12:30pm, ROM Theatre
A stand up selection from start to finish, the program starts with Flatbed, a gorgeous dance between two assumed strangers on the back of a truck and ends with Baby, an urban tale of boy meets girl that seems doomed from the start. Interspersed with bizarre animated features such as The Tongueling about people who, you guessed it, tongue everything, and Lust, a cut-out satire of classic stories of affairs throughout the ages.
5. Choose Your Own Adventure June 1st, 1pm & June 3rd 6:15pm, Varsity Cinema
Last but not least, this one is guaranteed to be a well-sold program so you better buy your tickets soon. Lauded for being the selection with The Suburbs, the filmic adaptation of Arcade Fire's newest album by director Spike Jonze, there's more to this program than rock star cred. Three Mothers is a heartwrenching look at motherhood and the decisions and situations one never realizes they may experience. Something Left, Something Taken is a dark comedy about serial killer paranoia, masked as a quirky animated travelogue for kids and/or potheads. But my favourite has to be The Bridge, a haunting acting gig for an actress takes a turn for the scary, as she steps into the role of a victim at a crime scene staging.
With so many films to choose from, the above selections represent only a drop in the bucket for this festival as there are literally dozens of other films available in many other programs. Be sure to check and see which best suits your interests. There are eerie midnight fares in 'Midnight Mania' which has three separate programs this year, Creepy, Hardgore and Freaky. Celebrity stalkers will be satiated with Celebrity Shorts #1 and #2, the latter really coloured me impressed by the bitchy Julia Stiles monologue, Sexting, which made me wonder what she's been up to lately. (Answer, thanks to imdb.com, is Dexter) and Steve, which is a frantic look at contemporary expectations of neighbourly friendship with Keira Knightley and Colin Firth.
The Worldwide Short Film Festival runs from May 29th to June 5th. Tickets can be bought online, in person at the advance box office at Cumberland Terrace or at the cinema on the day of the screening.
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