Thursday, 3 June 2010

Worldwide Short Film Festival 2010 Day 2 - Wednesday June 2, 2010

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It was a rather rainy at the festival for Day 2, every time I stepped out of the theatre it was spitting and splattering away. It was nice to get back inside and enjoy lots of short film! I took in three programs: Doris - a selection of shorts created out of a Swedish film manifesto to encourage women in film and where all the key roles in the film must be held by women, onedotzero: New British Talent '09 from up & coming UK talent and lastly one program I always look forward to, Sci-Fi: OUT THERE. So many shorts, so little time. Let's take a look at some of the offerings from each of the programs, and keep our fingers crossed that the rain stays away.

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Doris Program
The Doris Network was founded in Sweden in 1999 and later created the Doris Manifesto, which outlines that each film must have at least one female lead, have all key creative positions filled by women including scriptwriters and score composers. The omnibus present a collection of 8 shorts that all meet that standard. For more about the Doris Manifesto click here. If you are interested in women in film, I'd bet you'd also be interested in The Bechdel Test for women in movies.

Mon 3
Dir: Lena Koppel
Sweden, 14 minutes

Waiting for a way to get home from a party, we see two young women that are not only looking to get home, but also to get away. Stuck on the side of the road we wonder as to what their mystery and secrets are. Very strong performances from the young cast in a tough situation.

Fish
Dir: Åsa Johannisson
Cast: Gry Lambertsen, Rune Anderson
Sweden, 10 minutes

Beautiful and whimsical, Fish tells a story of a woman who has an unusually strong bond to her fish. Absolutely delightful and expressive though movement and action, the is a fantastic range of emotion displayed throughout. Top notch.

Susanne Goes Single / Susanne Blir Singel
Dir: Lena Hanno-Clyne
Sweden, 15 minutes

With the intensity of a thriller, Susanne Goes Single / Susanne Blir Singel tells one womans journey away from her verbally abusive husband and into a unique holiday experience. I really enjoyed the situational awkwardness of this short which is played very well. Great performance by the lead actress, who often has an amazing undercurrent of tension seeped in repressed expression.

Shoot Me / Skjut Mig
Dir: Anna Hylander
Sweden, 14 minutes

I really enjoyed this short film that is made up of a cast entirely of women, and has a heist-like feel to it. It really showcase the brilliance of women and how we see things differently. It surprized me more than once, and I was happy to be surprize. Beautiful visuals and a rich colour palette take a simple carjacking to a story with real heart and soul.

Director Anna Hylander was in attendance at the screening and discussed the Doris Manifesto and her film Shoot Me / Skjut Mig. Here are some highlights of the Q&A:
- The Doris Manifesto was a step to not just complain about but to do something to make a change and get more women involved in film. They are hoping that the Manifesto takes on a life of it's own to encourage more people to follow it's mandate.
- re: Shoot Me / Skjut Mig, originally some of the characters in the story were male, but she changed it to all be women and creating a fictional universe where only women existed. The music was created by 3 women, a combination of composers and singer/songwriters who watched the short and then live composed the score.

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Shoot Me director Anna Hylander with Festival Director Eileen Arandiga

onedotzero: New British Talent '09

Round/XX Teens
Dir: Kirk Hendry
UK, 5 minutes

Creative & compelling this short film has an amazing story told through hand shadows. It's absolutely spectacular, great story, creative vision and a joy to watch.

Photograph of Jesus
Dir: Laurie Hill
UK, 7 minutes

Animation that expressing the real, and impossible, requests for photographs at the Getty Images archives. Hilarious, yet still very polite in a oh-so-British way. Loved it.

I Stood Up
Dir:James Willis & Lucy Tcherniak
Cast: Simon Tcherniak, Maya Wasowizc
UK, 3 minutes

Heartbreaking and overwhelming , this short film does a stellar job of portraying and experiential and emotional moment of regret. Short but certainly not sweet, we see the consequence of an everyday act as it haunts in memory and beyond. Frighteningly well done.

I See What You Are Saying
Dir: Lottie White
UK, 5 minutes

Great short film expressing the experience of being deaf, not only creatively and aptly displaying not just the challenges but also the joy and freedom of many different means of communication.

The Hobbyist
Dir: Justin A Waite
UK, 4 minutes

Hilarious short film done documentary style with a brilliantly deadpan performance of the titular 'Hobbyist' and his creation. Great display of taking a fantastic idea and exploring it to it's maximum with using low tech, but effective, means. Had me giggling throughout.

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Sci-Fi: OUT THERE

Defoe
Dir: Ross Neil
Cast: Glenn Doherty, Thom Glover
UK, 9 minutes

Visually stunning short sci-fi film about an displaced astronaut who crash lands on a planet. Stellar make-up and costuming alongside the brilliant effects made this film very effective and atmospheric. Truly felt alien, in the best possible way.

Vostok Station
Dir: Dylan Pharazyn
Cast: Matthew Sunderland
New Zealand, 8 minutes

Beautiful visual storytelling gives us a rich palette to enjoy as we see the unfortunately dismal aftermath of a catastrophic event through the eyes and experience of a survivor. Haunting, beautiful and experiential all at the same time. Very impressive.

Pumzi
Dir: Wanuri Kahiu
Cast: Kudzani Moswela, Chantelle Burger
South Africa/Kenya, 23 minutes

I loved Pumzi. Futuristic and set in a 'virtual natural history museum' in Eastern African territory, our protagonist Asha is curious, brave and cunning on her quest to do her part to help humanity, and the world. Fantastic setting, great effects, strong performances and a strong message make it a must see short film. It's also so refreshing to see a female protagonist in a science fiction, I don't think I even realized how rarely that is the case until I saw, and enjoyed, Pumzi.

For more information on the festival, check out: 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 1-6, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1 comment:

Polly said...

Thanks for your write-up - it's great to hear what's showing. I feel like I'm attending vicariously through you!

Enjoy the rest of the fest!

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