The Toronto International Film Festival® has announced the lineup for the Short Cuts programme. Thirty-eight international shorts join the previously announced Canadian shorts, which will screen in 11 curated programmes. The compelling lineup encompasses works from filmmakers representing an impressive 35 countries. From provocative narratives to compelling animation, from insightful dramas to profoundly moving documentaries, the works in Short Cuts showcase unique, yet universal, stories about the human condition, in short form.
Short Cuts is programmed by: Shane Smith, Director of Special Projects, TIFF; as well as Jason Anderson, Danis Goulet and Kathleen McInnis, Short Cuts Programmers.
The 40th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10 to 20, 2015.
Films screening in Short Cuts include:
(Otto) Joris Oprins, Marieke Blaauw and Job Roggeveen, Netherlands, 10’ World Premiere
As one couple try, and fail again, for the baby they’ve dreamed of, a little girl accidentally leaves her imaginary baby brother, Otto, behind at a restaurant. Suddenly, the definition of ‘baby’ takes on a new and completely unexpected dimension. Will Otto find a way back home? From the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival filmmakers who brought us the Oscar-nominated animation A Single Life.
7 sheep Wiktoria Szymanska, Poland/United Kingdom/Denmark/Mexico, 21’ World Premiere
A lonely little girl tries to create a new world for herself and an equally lonely man. In a visually stunning dreamscape, she finds that freedom and home are synonymous — and that they come at a steep cost.
Barbados Misha Manson-Smith, USA, 7’ World Premiere
David is a middle-class guy with middle-class problems, despite his lovely home and beautiful middle-class wife. His son Gary is the same, just 30 years younger. Both are looking for a way out from suburbia and all its trappings. One Sunday lunchtime, however, when the police come knocking, David’s world suddenly becomes even more claustrophobic. Starring Michael Sheen, Radha Mitchell and Ty Simpkins.
Beneath the Spaceship (Under Rymdskeppet) Caroline Ingvarsson, Sweden, 15’ World Premiere
A young girl and her older neighbour share an unusual friendship. Together they are inseparable until the outside world peeks in.
Bird Hearts Halfdan Olav Ullmann Tøndel, Norway, 25’ North American Premiere
Benjamin and Maya share a life in Oslo. During a late-night dinner party, Maya tells a story about a sexual experience she had in Brazil. As a consequence, Benjamin’s insecurities begin to surface. Bird Hearts is a film about the power of the stories lovers tell. Starring Stine Sørensen, André Sørum and Trine Wiggen.
Blue Spring Andreea Cristina Bortun, Romania, 15’ World Premiere
A woman confronts the uselessness of words when confronted by the inevitable departure of her much younger lover.
The Boyfriend Game Alice Englert, Australia, 7’ World Premiere
Twelve-year-old friends Tomika and Edith set out in the bush to play their creation, The Boyfriend Game, only to struggle when the lines between real and pretend become blurred.
Bunny Megha Ramaswamy, India, 19’ North American Premiere
Bunny is an elegiac look at how fantastical childhood is, and evocative of the heartbreak with which we leave it behind. Wreathed in surrealist imagery, the story is about a little girl and her pet toy Bunny. Starring Syesha Adnani and Faizan Mohammad.
The Call Zamo Mkhwanazi, South Africa, 11’ Canadian Premiere
This arresting urban drama from Johannesburg’s Zamo Mkhwanazi focuses on a key moment in the relationship between a taxi driver and a prostitute. When Sibongiseni finds out that Purity is pregnant, he begins to question his own place in the world. Starring Fana Mokoena, MoMo Matsunyane, Ronnie Nyakale and Abena Ayivor.
Concerning the Bodyguard Kasra Farahani, USA, 10’ World Premiere
An anonymous henchman fulfils his role in a rigid hierarchy of power and control in this adaptation of a razor-sharp satire written by Donald Barthelme; and recited with great relish by Salman Rushdie.
Deszcz (Rain) Malina Maria Mackiewicz, Australia, 5’ World Premiere
In the summer of 1983 in Kraków, Poland, prisoners sentenced to death are not informed of the date of their execution. As Jedzrej waits for his lover Magda in the visitation hall of the Montelupich Political Detainment Centre, a sun shower pours down on Kraków. Each visit could be their last. Starring Lech Mackiewicz and Victoria Haralabidou.
Dragstrip Pacho Velez and Daniel Claridge, USA, 4’ World Premiere
At the Lebanon Valley Dragstrip in New York state, spectators, drivers and mechanics wait for their races.
Dream the Other (Soñar el otro) Abril Schmucler Iñiguez, Mexico, 16’ International Premiere
Diego is a lonely man with a humdrum life in Mexico City. In his sleep, he dreams of the (far more invigorating) life of a man named Alejandro Valle. As his friend Fabian looks on in disbelief, Diego’s shifting realities begin to take on new forms and new meaning.
El Adiós Clara Roquet, Spain 15’ Canadian Premiere
Rosana, a Bolivian maid, has worked for Angela, the elder matriarch of the Vidal family for the last 10 years. On the day of the funeral of her beloved Angela, Rosana is not allowed to grieve with the rest of the family. On the contrary: she is forced to work. El Adiós is an intimate story about how emotional bonds supersede social conventions, racial labels or family regimes.
End of Puberty (Kamaszkor vége) Fanni Szilágyi, Hungary, 13’ International Premiere
On a beautiful summer day, teenage twins meet a boy — he acquaints them with matters of sex, anger and jealousy. This is the end of puberty.
Exit/Entrance or Trasumanar Federica Foglia, Italy/Canada, 7’ World Premiere
A flow of words and images portrays an artist’s journey through a variety of Italian landscapes and interiors, evoking an eminently modern strain of melancholy: the feeling of belonging to two places and being fully at home in neither. Starring Antonio De Luca.
The Fantastic Love of Beeboy & Flowergirl Clemens Roth, Germany, 10’ North American Premiere
Peter is being followed by killer bees; Elsa collects exotic flowers from all over the world. To be together, they both have to overcome their fantasies. But what if love itself is nothing but fantasy? Starring Elisa Schlott and Florian Prokop.
A Few Seconds Nora El Hourch, France, 16’ North American Premiere
Five girls live at a Paris home for wayward teens, each of them branded by a deeply troubling past. Forming an ad hoc community-within-a-community, the girls struggle to identify themselves no longer as victims but as something new and hopeful. Starring Marie Tirmont, Charlotte Bartocci, Camille Lellouche, Maly Diallo and Charlotte-Victoire Legrain.
Following Diana (Sendiri Diana Sendiri) Kamila Andini, Indonesia, 40’ International Premiere
Diana, a 30-year-old housewife, lives with her husband and son at home, across the street from a building construction site. She spends every day with her only child until her husband comes from work in the evening. One night, Diana’s husband presents her with a chart that reveals his shocking plan to share their little family with another woman. Starring Raihaanun, Tanta Ginting and Panji Rafenda Putra.
Hide & Seek Kimie Tanaka, France/Japan/Singapore, 22’ International Premiere
Shoichi, a Japanese male nurse living in the city, returns home to the countryside after his mother’s sudden death to sort out the situation of his younger brother Kotaro, who’s been a shut-in for over a decade. Shoichi seeks help from social services, only to be disappointed with their bureaucratic treatment. Frustrated, Shoichi makes a radical decision. Starring Masaki Miura, Kuniaki Nakamura and Sachiko Matsuura.
Latchkey Kids (Yaldey Mafteah) Elad Goldman, Israel, 22’ North American Premiere
Gur and his sister Daniel have a remarkably close relationship after years of caring for each other in their empty house. Although Daniel is looking outside for a chance to grow up and fall in love, Gur feels safer at home and refuses to let their bond come undone.
Starring Yoav Rottman, Gaia Shalita Katz, Hillel Cappon and Tamara Friedland.
The Magnetic Nature (El ser magnético) Mateo Bendesky, Argentina, 17’ North American Premiere
Fifty-five-year-old Aldo and his older brother Pablo live together and take part in a religious practice invented by their father, whose congregation meets mainly online. But for Aldo, the allure of the world outside the garden gates is growing much stronger than “philosophical magnetism.” Starring Claudio Rangnau, Claudio Kustin and Iván Moschner.
Maman(s) Maïmouna Doucouré, France, 21’ North American Premiere
The family of eight-year-old Aida is thrown into chaos when her father returns from Senegal with young Rama, whom he introduces as his second wife. Aida may not exactly understand the details, but she understands that her mother is in deep distress, and that there seems to be but one way to make things better again. Starring Sokhna Diallo and Maïmouna Gueye.
New Eyes Hiwot Admasu Getaneh, France/United Kingdom 12’ North American Premiere
A girl who is in the transition of puberty, Selam, encounters something that arouses her sexually for the first time. She becomes restless as the day goes by in her oblivious semi-urban environment.
Nulla Nulla Dylan River, Australia, 6’ North American Premiere
Fresh out of the academy, White Cop experiences his first taste of aboriginal community life, as Black Cop puts him to the test. Starring Wayne Blair, Khan Chittenden, Pamela Nangala Sampson and Audrey Napanangka Martin.
One Last Night (Laila Acharon) Kerem Blumberg, Israel, 22’ International Premiere
It’s the last night Noa and Orr have together in Tel Aviv, before Orr leaves for Berlin. Outside a punk gig, when the police arrive and Orr jumps in to help a friend, both she and Noa get arrested. Now Noa will have to make a final decision about their relationship at the police station. Starring Michal Korman and Agam Schuster.
Oslo’s Rose The Sporadic Film Collective, Norway, 7’ International Premiere
For more than two years, Nader has been head over heels in love with Janne but unable to let her know, making for an untenable situation for both his work and creativity. At last, one night at the bar, it appears Nader may be able to finally speak and free himself from the writer’s block that has plagued him.
Paradise (Het Paradijs) Laura Vandewynckel, Belgium, 6’ Canadian Premiere
Paradise is the story of people heading for a better place on either side of the ocean. Although at times their paths do cross, they never really seem to meet. Starring Thomas Bellinck, Nico Sturm, Liesje De Backer, Jerom Sturm and Rocky Sturm.
Peacock (Furiant) Ondrej Hudecek, Czech Republic, 26’ International Premiere
Set in a 19th-century Bohemian village, this twisted queer romance tells a taboo true story about revered Czech writer Ladislav Stroupežnický. Starring Julius Feldmeier and Cyril Dobry.
People Are Becoming Clouds Marc Katz, USA, 15’ World Premiere
We follow John and Eleanor, a married couple who are faced with a problem: Eleanor keeps turning into a cloud. The couple visits Weather and Relationship Specialist Dr. Corduroy, hoping to resolve unusual situation. He tries to counsel them through the difficulties in their relationship and also get to the bottom of why exactly people are becoming clouds. Starring Libby Woodbridge, David Ross and Sean Cullen.
Peripheria David Coquard-Dassault, France, 12’ World Premiere
A journey into the heart of a large and abandoned council estate, Peripheria portrays an urban environment becoming wild: a modern Pompeii where the wind blows and dogs roam.
Rate Me Fyzal Boulifa, United Kingdom, 17’ North American Premiere
A portait of a teenage escort known only as Coco.
The Return of Erkin Maria Guskova, Russia, 29’ North American Premiere
Erkin gets out of prison and wants to return to his former life, but everything has changed and he does not know if he can live as a free man. Starring Kahramonjon Mamasaliyev.
Semele Myrsini Aristidou, Cyprus/Greece/USA, 13’ World Premiere
Semele will do anything to spend some time with her long absent father. A school note becomes just the excuse for her to visit him at his workplace, where her presence highlights their fragile relationship.
The Signalman (O Sinaleiro) Daniel Augusto, Brazil, 15’ World Premiere
A railroad signalman is haunted by a series of otherworldly events in this adaptation of a Charles Dickens short story. Are they truly ghostly manifestations, or the signalman’s psychological response to his isolation and repetitive work?
The Society (Al mujtamaa) Osama Rasheed, Iraq/Germany 13’ World Premiere
Lovers Muhamad and Ahmed live in a society that not only rejects homosexuality but also actively and insistently pressures its young men into marriage and fatherhood. Starring Muhamad Atshan, Ahmad Moneka and Fouad, Yaser.
A Tale of Love, Madness and Death (Un Cuento de Amor, Locura y Muerte) Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez, Chile, 22’ North American Premiere
“My uncle is schizophrenic and my grandmother suffers from a terminal illness. My grandfather, who is unable to take care of them both, must decide between his wife and his son.” So begins the remarkable documentary from Mijael Bustos about his family, caught between love and duty.
THAT DOG Nick Thorburn, USA, 15’ World Premiere
A dark comedy of errors unfolds as two interloping idiots inadvertently wreak havoc on the lives of others. Starring Michael Cera, Tim Heidecker and Andrea Riseborough.
Tuesday (SALI) Ziya Demirel, Turkey/France, 12’ North American Premiere
An ordinary day for a teenage girl in Istanbul and her encounters with three different men as she goes to school, plays basketball and takes a bus home. Starring Melis Balaban, Zeki Ocak, Yonca Hiç and Can Karaçayli.
Violet Maurice Joyce, Ireland, 8’ North American Premiere
There are many natural enemies for a self-loathing youth. But for Violet O’Reilly, the worst of them all was an unforgiving rectangle that hung on the wall. Violet is the cautionary tale of a young girl who despises her reflection. Tired of the abuse, Violet’s reflection decides she’s not going to take it anymore.
Waves ’98 Ely Dagher, Lebanon/Qatar, 15’ North American Premiere
In the crumbling tower blocks of post-war Beirut, Omar is restless and isolated, until a luminescent light draws him across the segregated city to a utopian world of enchantment — and he finds himself drifting further away from home.
Wellington Jr. Cécile Paysant, France, 12’ World Premiere
A tentative young hunter sets out into the wilderness under the tutelage of his seasoned father. But the rite of passage leads to increasingly surreal and grisly developments in this stop-motion animated marvel. Starring Aurélien Gabrielli and Rémy Lacquittant.
Canadian shorts screening in the Shorts Cut programme were previously announced.
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