From June 5-10, Toronto will become the centre of the short film world (take that, Clermont-Ferrand!) as the 18th annual Worldwide Short Film Festival unspools its tiny masterpieces at venues all over the city. I’m particularly excited about a new program called The Night Shift. It’s a showcase for creepy and freaky genre fare and it’s taking place at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on Saturday June 9th from 11:30pm until 4:00am! Yes indeed, a real midnight madness kind of atmosphere, where the audience will stumble out at dawn, shaken and stirred by the 21 shorts they’ve just seen. Lots of other stuff looks good, too. Here are just a few things I’m excited about:
Men of the Earth (Director: Andrew Kavanagh)
Young Australian filmmaker Andrew Kavanagh made the excellent At The Formal in 2010, and this short, also made while he was a student, continues exploring his fascination with ancient rituals juxtaposed with seemingly banal scenes from modern life. Kavanagh just graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne, the same school that produced Ariel Kleiman (who made Deeper than Yesterday, from our first screening). Whatever they’re teaching there, it seems to be working. Look for At The Formal later this summer at a certain short film screening series.
The Umbrella Man (Director: Errol Morris)
Quirky documentarian Morris turns his attention to the little-known mystery surrounding a man with an umbrella who turns up in the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination What was he doing opening an umbrella on a perfectly sunny day in Dallas? Was it a signal to the assassin?
The Twin (Tvillingen) (Director: Gustav Danielsson)
A man’s unease with his seemingly successful life causes him to wonder if he’s truly happy. Then he receives a visit from the twin brother he never knew he had. With the twin roles played by the director himself and his twin brother (who had never acted before), this short promises to ask some existential questions about the nature of twins.
There are far too many interesting films to highlight (the festival screens 244 films from 35 countries over its six day run), but incredibly, all of the above are from the WHO’S YOUR DADA? program which screens as part of the Official Selection on Wednesday June 6th at 1:30pm and on Saturday June 9th at 7:45pm. Both screenings take place at the Isabel Bader Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online.
Here’s the festival trailer: