The Toronto International Film Festival® unveiled an exciting slate of 37 Canadian short films sure to captivate and inspire international audiences with their original and compelling stories. This year’s short film roster celebrates established filmmakers and a new wave of talent. Their creative visions are as diverse in perspectives and distinctive in experiences as Canada is rich in communities, people, and voices. This year’s selection includes 17 films by women directors, 6 films from Canadian Indigenous directors, and several films that focus on stories from remote regions of the country. From animation to documentary, fiction to experimental, these shorts showcase fascinating and provocative stories that are uniquely Canadian.
Canadian films in the Short Cuts programme are eligible for the Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film, and the Short Cuts Award for Best Film. This year’s jury includes American filmmaker Abteen Bagheri (That B.E.A.T.), French filmmaker Eva Husson (Bang Gang), and Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby (Rhymes for Young Ghouls).
The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016.
3-Way (Not Calling) Molly McGlynn, Canada World Premiere
Mel struggles to find excitement in her relationship and convinces her reluctant partner Kevin to have a threesome, which he sets up with their local millennial barista, Gina, who overstays her welcome.
5 Films About Technology Peter Huang, Canada World Premiere
A look at the dumber side of modern technology.
Ape Sodom Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Canada World Premiere
Three degenerates navigate the descending hierarchy of post-consumerist enlightenment.
Blind Vaysha Theodore Ushev, Canada North American Premiere
Blind Vaysha doesn’t see the present. She was born with a left eye that only sees the past and a right eye that only sees the future. This story is a metaphor for the struggle to live in the moment, and how people seek comfort in memories of the past or in hope brought on by the future.
Cleo Sanja Zivkovic, Canada World Premiere
Cleo discovers an unexpected connection as she ventures outside her comfort zone into a part of town she has never experienced before.
CYCLES Joe Cobden, Canada World Premiere
A man is stuck in loops of abstract memories after a relationship suddenly ends. He relives the love lost, from first meeting to last goodbye.
DataMine Timothy Barron Tracey, Canada Toronto Premiere
This cunning example of stop-motion animation tackles our obsessions with security, surveillance, and digital culture.
Emma Martin Edralin, Canada World Premiere
Emma, 14, has alopecia — a condition of rapid, unpredictable hair loss. Fighting a futile battle against her changing appearance, her only hope is acceptance.
Four Faces of the Moon Amanda Strong, Canada World Premiere
This intricate stop-motion animation interlaces Canada’s colonial past with writer-director Amanda Strong’s personal family history — and illuminates Cree, Métis, and Anishinaabe reclamation of culture, language, and nationhood.
A Funeral for Lightning Emily Kai Bock, Canada/USA World Premiere
Seven months pregnant, a young woman is stuck living off-the-grid, under her husband’s pretense of a “free life,” as he pursues other ambitions.
Gods Acre Kelton Stepanowich, Canada World Premiere
Frank lives alone on his family’s ancestral Cree lands, but water levels are rising due to climate change, and evacuation seems more necessary every day.
HAND.LINE.COD. Justin Simms, Canada World Premiere
On the remote, ruggedly beautiful Fogo Island, traditional fishers lead a revolution in sustainability. Returning to a traditional cod catching method and engaging in a modern experiment to deliver directly to a commercial market of big city chefs in Toronto, the story provides a provocative window on the concept of the economic nutrition label and exposes where the money goes in the process.
Imitations Fabian Velasco and Milos Mitrovic, Canada World Premiere
After getting plastic surgery to look like a famous teen pop-star, an introverted super fan named Arnold begins to experience irreversible side effects as his face begins to fall apart during a night out doing karaoke.
Late Night Drama Patrice Laliberté, Canada World Premiere
1:34 AM. A snowy suburb. Jérémie, 24, parks his modified car in front of a crowded club. His friends’ usual concerns —“Hey man, do you have something that will help me make it through the night”? — do not interest him. Jérémie is looking for someone.
Mariner Thyrone Tommy, Canada World Premiere
A young, marine navigation student suffers intense anxiety during his final exams, when an incident from his past returns to both haunt and help him.
Mutants Alexandre Dostie, Canada North American Premiere
In the summer of 1996, life throws a curveball in the face of Keven Guénette and it hits him hard. Guided by his paraplegic baseball coach, Keven discovers the mutating effects of sex and love.
Nothing about Moccasins Eden Mallina Awashish, Canada North American Premiere
Director Eden Mallina Awashish struggles to understand why her grandmother refuses to allow her to shoot a film about moccasins. Her failed attempt turns into a playful deconstruction of cultural loss, a record of the resolve to protect Atikamekw tradition.
Nutag – Homeland Alisi Telengut, Canada North American Premiere
A non-narrative hand-painted visual poem about diaspora, homeland, and the tragic mass-deportations of the Kalmyk people during World War II.
Oh What a Wonderful Feeling François Jaros, Canada North American Premiere
A truck stop becomes a nighttime realm of menace and mystery for a young woman who harbours her own secrets.
Plain and Simple Raphaël Ouellet, Canada World Premiere
A window into the lives of four different characters who share an acute sense of loneliness and a hidden longing to connect.
Red of the Yew Tree Marie-Hélène Turcotte, Canada North American Premiere
A voyage begins on the occasion of a pheasant hunt, leading the hunter through a vast and yet intimate landscape in this delicately evocative animation.
The Road to Webequie Ryan Noth and Tess Girard, Canada World Premiere
A mining company has promised to create opportunities for the remote Webequie First Nation. Through the eyes of three youths facing an uncertain future, this observational yet expansive documentary shows the struggles — and hopes — of a community confronting challenges that many Canadians will never experience.
Shahzad Haya Waseem, Canada World Premiere
Shahzad, an 11-year old Pakistani boy who moves to Toronto with his father, has to find his home in a foreign land, only to discover home itself has become foreign.
Small Fry Eva Michon, USA/Poland/Canada World Premiere
A teenage girl visits her dad on vacation and finds his news a little hard to swallow.
SNIP Terril Calder, Canada World Premiere
SNIP cuts up colonial Canadian histories by telling a story of survival amidst genocide. Annie and Gordon travel back in time to save Charlie and Niska, who are trapped in a nightmare reality designed to eradicate native culture by erasing their children.
The Smoke Rebecca Addelman, Canada World Premiere
A woman nearing middle-age returns to her hometown for a bat mitzvah and along the way becomes desperate for a cigarette.
The Taste of Vietnam Pier-Luc Latulippe, Canada World Premiere
Chloe has to leave town. Arnaud is determined to make her last night one she’ll never forget.
TMG_103 (rough cut) Walter Woodman, Canada World Premiere
A behind-the-scenes look at an actress deciding whether or not to do her first sex scene.
Tshiuetin Caroline Monnet, Canada World Premiere
An extraordinary look at the historic Tshiuetin line amidst the beauty of the northern landscape.
Twisted Jay Cheel, Canada World Premiere
In 1996, an urban legend was born in small-town Ontario when the Can-View Drive-In was hit by a tornado during a screening of the movie Twister. News of the event spread around the world. But what is even more amazing is… it didn’t happen.
Whispering Breeze Jonathan Tremblay, Canada World Premiere
This captivating ode to the beauty of childhood and the pain of exile combines black-and-white images of a coastal town with the imagined words of an elderly woman, who longs to see her home once more.
Wild Skin Ariane Louis-Seize, Canada World Premiere
The quiet life of a young and solitary woman is disturbed when she discovers a baby python in her apartment. This mysterious presence unleashes her deepest urges and allows her to express, for the first time, who she truly is.
Your Mother and I Anna Maguire, Canada/United Kingdom World Premiere
This adaptation of a story by Dave Eggers looks at the small moments that belie the larger tensions between generations, as a dad recounts to his daughter all the ways he and his wife changed the world… or so he says.
350 MYA Terra Long, Morocco/Canada World Premiere
The Tafilalt region of the Sahara Desert was once the Rheic Ocean. 350 MYA imagines the ocean’s continued presence in the landscape.
Dark Adaptation Chris Gehman, Canada World Premiere
Dark Adaptation extends the experiments with refracted light that Chris Gehman began with Refraction Series. Using simple materials, and shooting on 16mm reversal film, Gehman explores the qualities of pure light and colour in motion. The film is a collaboration with electronic music composer Graham Stewart (Violence and the Sacred).
Strange Vision of Seeing Things Ryan Ferko, Canada/Serbia World Premiere
Despite the title’s twin references to eyesight, Ryan Ferko’s Strange Vision of Seeing Things is a film about unseen buildings and conflicts in Belgrade, Serbia: those deliberately obscured; those unseeable to a tourist’s eyes; and those masked by monuments — their hyper-visibility a form of obfuscation.
Untitled, 1925 Madi Piller, Canada Toronto Premiere
Travelling through the highlands of Peru, the artist follows the path her grandfather took in 1925, from Lima to Cuzco. The vast, silent territory of the Andes is the backdrop for the artist’s insights and reflections on identity and belonging.
International titles for the Short Cuts programme will be announced on August 9. The complete Wavelengths programme will be announced on August 16.
Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/tickets; by phone from 10am to 7pm ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433; or visit the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person from 10am to 10pm ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 14 for My Choice packages and August 24 for TIFF Choice packages, while quantities last.