Monday, 15 June 2009

Worldwide Short Film Festival 2009 Preview

It's time for the Worldwide Short Film Festival 2009! How can you not love a festival with a website url of I might be biased on the shorter part, but the festival has been stellar every year I've attended. This year is the festivals 15th year and brings us 295 shorts from 46 countries world wide. Curious to how many films were submitted this year? 3966 films. Wow. That is a lot of film.

The festival kicks off Opening Night on Tuesday June 9, 2009 with a selection of Award Winners from Around the World. The first film noted is the delightfully dark and delicious Next Floor from director Denis Villeneuve (Polytechnique). Next Floor may be familiar as it is one of the selected films of Canada's Top Ten 2008. The program is one of the most eclectic of the festival including Jerrycan which involves rock paper scissors, as well as the more title explanatory The Secret Life of Beards and Teaching the Alphabet. This program repeats on closing night, Sunday June 21, 2009.

There are 12 Official Selection programs which have a collection of shorts revolving around a particular theme. This is where you really can find something for everyone with tastes from political with #4 When Political Gets Personal, to rebellion with #6 Rebels with a Cause, to making it work with #8 Conflict Resolution to even food with #9 Food Chain. Like to play with perception? How about checking out #5 What You See Isn't What You Get. Or if you like to explore spaces there is #10 Concrete & Steal. Tech takes over with #11 Tech-Neurological which includes the hilarious short The Website Is Down: Sales Guy vs Web Dude which will entertain anyone who has been on either side of a tech support call (in other words: everyone).

Feeling patriotic? Have a look at the Canadian programs including Oh! Canada: Canadian Comedy Shorts which includes the fantastic zombie curling short Deadspiel (which was my favourite zombie film of Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2008) and nostalgic commentary Catalogue. More Canadian goodness with CFC Canadian Dramatic Shorts.

If you are looking for something a little more out of this world, there is the Sci Fi: Out There program and of course the two Midnight Mania selections: Creepy and Freaky. Hmm. Those would be good cat names, no? I don't think there are cats involved with the midnight selections but there will be zombie, vampires, bunnies and monsters.

The festival also includes the high profile programs 8 and Celebrity Shorts. 8 is 8 short films inspired by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as achieving universal primary education with The Letter (dir: Gael García Bernal), promoting gender equality and empower women with How Can it Be (dir: Mira Nair), and ensuring environmental stability with The Water Diary (dir: Jane Campion) to start. I'm sure those are familiar names, and we continue with that theme with the Celebrity Shorts program which showcases a fair number of our favourite actors, but this time behind the camera. Selections this year include Sparks (dir: Joseph Gordon-Levitt) starring Eric Stoltz and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, One of Those Days (dir: Hattie Dalton) starring Sir Derek Jacobi and Eve (dir: Natalie Portman) starring Lauren Bacall, Olivia Thirby and Ben Gazzara.

That is just a section of the programs. For more information, check out the Worldwide Short Film Festival website, Program Descriptions, Film Schedule, Symposium Details, Location Information, Box Office Information or Purchase Tickets online.

The Worldwide Short Film Festival runs from June 16-21, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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