Sunday, 15 June 2008

Worldwide Short Film Festival 2008 Day 5 - Saturday June 14/08

I love the festivals signature small box for programs. Shorter *is* better!

Saturday at the Worldwide Short Film Festival was all about creatures and Thailand, although not at the same time. The programs I attended were Official Selection 4: All Creatures Great and Small along with the highly anticipated Thai Spotlight, a series of commissioned works by renowned Thai directors in honour of the King of Thailand's 80th birthday.

Official Selection 4: All Creatures Great and Small
From the familiar doggies in our lives to the more bizarre and almost indescribable, this program shines a light on mysterious creatures as well as the human condition. Here are the highlights.

Silent Snow
Dir: Jan van der Berg
14 minutes, Netherlands

This short documentary explores the heartbreaking environmental concerns in Greenland, to no fault of their own. Beautiful imagery of the land and its people drive the aching nature of this issue.

Jörn Staeger, director Journey to the Forest

Journey to the Forest / Reise Zum Wald
Dir: Jörn Staeger
7 minutes, Germany

Many environments are explored in this short film, seeing trees and plants in a variety of locations from urban to forest. It was interesting to see a live action film with so few people in it, and when we do see them are they doing harm or good to the trees around them?

During the Q&A with director Jörn Staeger he shared that technology used for the film is not a new technique but based on the gyroscope and he build the camera for the purpose of the film. Ninety percent of the footage shown was taken with that camera as he walked around or moved the camera through the air.

Dog Altogether
Dir: Paddy Considine
17 minutes, UK

Well crafted short film starring Peter Mullan (Boy A, True North) and Olivia Coleman (Hot Fuzz) following a man with an inner rage that perpetually causes him trouble. Powerful and heartbreaking with astounding performances.

The Object
Dir: Leslie Ali
6 minutes, UK

This is one of the most bizarre films I've seen in this festival (and that is a compliment) about a noisemaking, breathing shiny silver box that wins over everyones heart. This film was a lot of fun and completely absurd at the same time.

Can You Wave Bye-Bye
Dir: Sarah Galea-Davis
17 minutes, Canada

Beautiful short film showing a reluctant mother and her new baby. With minimal dialogue but a wealth of expression we follow along on this emotional journey.

Sarah Galea-Davis director Can You Wave Bye-Bye and Virginie Gourmel director Stagman discuss how their films are similar, yet different.

Dir: Virginie Gourmel
23 minutes, Belgium

What would it like be like if you lived it with the face of a stag? How would you, or would you, interact with other people? This short film traces the steps of stagman and the few others that come into his world.

Q&A with director Virginie Gourmel was great, she said they had a month of rehearsal time and during shooting there was 1 hour of makeup for the lead actor whom every day had a new mask created.

Thai Spotlight
This was one of the strongest programs I've seen in the festival so far. The range of the styles and stories in the films is vast, with a strong current of the love for the King. Here are the highlights.

The Sanctuary of the Sea / Ta-Le Khong Koi
Dir: Pornsak Sukongkarankui
15 minutes, Thailand

Beautiful short that follows a young girl as she withdraws from daily life and places herself into the fables and stories from comics. Visually stunning with beautiful colours and an impressive flair of creativity.

Luminous Sounds / Seang-Sawang
Dir: Pen-ek Ratanaruang
25 minutes, Thailand

Astounding portrait of a blind piano player, showing him as he plays as well as in frank interview discussing his life. Beautifully shot capturing rare and candid moments with ease and grace. Pen-ek Ratanaruang does not disappoint, this is one of the festivals best.

Dir: Wisit Sasanatieng
15 minutes, Thailand

Vivid with colour and intensity this compelling story of humans and gods played by actors in traditional masks. Glorious and alive.

Silencio / Seang-Ngeab
Dir: Sivaroj Kongsakul
15 minutes, Thailand

Touching film following a man as he collects and replays sounds. Gracefully captures distance and intimacy by way of human non-interaction. Stunning.

The Worldwide Short Film Festival runs from June 10-15/08 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1 comment:

Marina said...


I was so busy taking in the greatness of the "My Winnipeg" poster that I didn't even see the box until I read the caption! :)

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