Category Archives: Short Films

December 19

Keanu Reeves Narrates TIFF’s “The Film Prayer” Short Film

  Last month TIFF announced it was launching its Save This Moment campaign. The goal is to raise funds to support their acquisition and restoration of incredible 35mm film prints. These films cover a wide spectrum of acclaimed international and home grown works. As part of their campaign, TIFF has released a short film narrated […]

August 25

Shorts Spotlight: Angels and Ghosts

The stigma surrounding mental illness is something that we all need to take responsibility in erasing. Part of this not only requires educating oneself about the various symptoms, but also taking the time to get to know those around us who often suffer in silence. In Sara Kenney’s award-winning short, which is narrated by Oscar […]

August 13

Shorts Spotlight: Home

The Jameson First Shot competition has been pairing emerging filmmakers with talented Hollywood stars for five years now. The participants in the 2016 edition not only had the pleasure of Kevin Spacey serving as one of the producers on their film, but were also able to work with Maggie Gyllenhaal in the lead role. While […]

June 19

Shorts Spotlight: The Focus Group

In Heather Fink’s delightful and poignant short film The Focus Group author and comedian Sara Benincasa, who also wrote the script, offers an astute commentary on the societal pressures surrounding body image. Sara’s (played by Benincasa) life is in a bit of a rut. Fired from her job, depressed, single, and a little overweight, the […]

April 22

Shorts Spotlight: Eric, Winter to Spring

As the battle between the taxi cab industry and companies like Uber rages on, the human element often gets lost in the clash of big business. Rarely do we really get to know the individuals who randomly enter our lives to drive us from point A to B. In their documentary short Eric, Winter to […]

April 11

Shorts Spotlight: Cowboy Ben

You may have notice things have been a bit light around here over the last few days. While I would like to offer some fantastical explanation, the truth is parenthood, life responsibilities, a broken computer and festival coverage preparation have taken up most of my time. Fear not though, some great things are coming down […]

March 11

Shorts Spotlight: Today’s the Day

I would like to believe that somewhere just past the pearly gates Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly are sharing a drink while giving an approving nod to Daniel Cloud Campos’ Today’s the Day. The delightful musical short film tells the tale of Cloud Walker (played by Campos), an intern at one of the top dance […]

February 24

Shorts Spotlight: This Is Not What You Had Planned

The two couples at the core of Christopher Warre Smets’ wonderful drama, This Is Not What You Had Planned, are in for an evening that neither will forget. Sarah (Natalie Lisinka) arrives at Jack’s (Jefferson Brown) apartment ready for an evening of dinner and romance. Unfortunately for her, their night takes a few drastic turns […]

January 23

Shorts Spotlight: Wild Life

The fifth season of Shorts That Are Not Pants screening series kicked off with a bang earlier this month. While I have sung its praise before, and have even purchased a yearly subscription to series for the past few years, I highly recommend that those in the Toronto area, or those visiting the city, make […]

January 22

Shorts Spotlight: The Bumblebees

During her initiation period for one of New York’s deadliest gangs, The Bumblebees, Betty Sue (Christina Paterno) gets more than she bargains for when a night out with her friend Kitty (Catherine Peters) takes a dark turn. Unsure of Kitty’s whereabouts, Betty Sue has no alternative but to head back to the gang’s hideout and […]

September 27

Shorts Spotlight: Foxed!

Last year, while attending the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, I had the pleasure of seeing a curious little short film entitled Foxed! Co-directed by James Stewart and Nev Bezaire, the film immediately drops the viewer right into the middle of the narrative. Similar to its main character, a young girl named Emily (Athena Karkanis), […]

September 26

Shorts Spotlight: Melville

There is a deceptive beauty to James M. Johnston’s gripping short film Melville. At first the film appears to be a quirky indie comedy as the viewer witnesses a sullen Marcus (Chicago-based rapper Rodney “F.Stokes” Lucas) abruptly interrupt a man smoking in his car, with a young child in the backseat, to comedic results. However, […]

September 01

Shorts Spotlight: #AmeriCAN

Actor Nate Parker (Beyond the Lights) directs this emotionally gripping look at the racial turmoil that is ripping America apart at the seams. Focusing his narrative on the seemingly endless violence against black males at the hands of police officers, Parker is not shy about his intentions. Taking the stance that “all lives matter,” the […]

August 31

Shorts Spotlight: El Coyote

Offering an insider’s insight into the world of human smuggling, Javier Barboza’s El Coyote is a revelation. Using testimony from G-Iok (voiced by Jose Callela), an actual smuggler or “Coyote”, Barboza weaves a fascinating tale about the lengths coyotes go through to get people across the Mexico-U.S. border. Some of their tricks include confining individuals, […]

August 07

Shorts Spotlight: Normal Doors

In a summer where explosions and outlandish action films are a weekly staple, there is something wonderfully refreshing about coming across a film that still values a sharply written script. Take James Sweeney’s hilarious short Normal Doors for example, a film where simple conversation evokes a vibrant portrait of the characters who reside within it. […]

June 27

Shorts Spotlight: The Root of the Problem

Evoking the spirit of classic Twilight Zone episodes, Ryan Spindell’s The Root of the Problem plays on people’s fears of visiting the dentist. Set in 1950’s suburbia, the short involves a housewife, Mary (Alison Gallaher), who suspects that her local dental office might be more sinister than it appears. Is there some validity to Mary’s […]

June 25

Shorts Spotlight: Miss Todd

Set in 1909, Kristina Yee’s magnificent award-winning film Miss Todd captures a time when the possibility of flight had an entire generation filled with awe and excitement. Inspired by the life of E. Lilian Todd – the first woman in the world to build and design an airplane – the film charts one woman’s journey […]

June 15

Shorts Spotlight: River

For ten years Keiji (Hiraku Ando) has made a living as a Rent-boy (aka male gigolo). While the lifestyle has had it perks, the toil of wooing women and drinking copious amounts of champagne has begun to impact his work. Stuck in a rut both professionally and emotionally, it takes an unexpected violent encounter to […]

May 17

Shorts Spotlight: Rule Number Three

This weekend Nicholas Hoult can be found in theatres worldwide in the hotly anticipated action film Mad Max: Fury Road. Back in 2011, Hoult was not only involved in the revival of the X-Men franchise, playing Beast in X-Men: First Class, but he also made the quirky short film, Rule Number Three. Directed by Tim […]

May 16

Shorts Spotlight: everything & everything & everything

After somehow managing to miss screenings of everything & everything & everything at both TIFF and Toronto After Dark last year, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get a chance catch up with Alberto Roldán’s short film. Thankfully I did and it was worth the wait. Roldán’s wonderfully absurd sci-fi film tells […]