TIFF – Short Cuts Canada Programme 1


TIFF is under way, and screening today and tomorrow at the Lightbox is the first full programme of shorts. This collection features some amazing visuals and camera work, some odd stories, and a dazzling compilation of talent.

Comprised of 6 titles, there’s a little bit of everything in this collection, and I was quite taken in by all of them, but for one, which left me scratching my head a bit, but doesn’t mean I enjoyed it any less.

First up is Gloria Victoria from Theodore Ushev. As it began with its red-hued animation, and it’s swelling score, I was put in mind of a excerpt from Disney’s Fantasia. From there it shows the rise and destruction of man, the way we war upon one another, until we are left with nothing but our own destruction.


Subconscious Password by Chris Landreth is probably my fave of this bunch, as a man tries to recall the name of an acquaintance he meets at a party. We journey inside his head to join him and a constantly changing cast of panelists on a game show that holds the key to the name. This one had me laughing from the get-go, I love how it was shot, and the way it looks, not to mention some of the guests that show up on the panel. Highly enjoyable.

Cochemare is a beautiful, fantasy-sci/fi short with undeniably erotic imagery from Maciek Szczerbowski and Chris Lavis. Combining stop-motion animation, macro-photography, and a zero-gee environment. It’s beautifully filmed, and the opening sequence couldn’t help but put me in mind of Ridley Scott’s Legend.

The Sparkling River by Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael was the one that most baffled me. It seems a traveling group somehow ends up momentarily stranded near a man who quite happily lives a solitary existence. The man, and one of the young women in the group strike up a friendship of sorts, while their unseen vehicle (or gate) is repaired.

Pilgrims from Marie Clements is another odd one, about a tourist who wants to learn about First Nations culture and seals, and the extremes that he goes to for both. This one is a bit out there, but the photography is gorgeous, especially the underwater work.


Last up in this series is Remember Me, a fantastic little film by Jean-Francois Asselin. In today’s modern age, a young man is struggling to literally exist. If someone isn’t thinking of him, he begins to fade from existence. With his girlfriend busy with her thesis, he is driven to extremes to make sure that someone is always thinking of him. Seducing women and men, doing everything he can to garner attention, posting absurd status updates, confrontational tweets, anything to make sure someone is thinking of him at all times. But that may be all he’s left with in the end…

This is a fantastic round of shorts, showcasing some amazing talent, if you have an opportunity make sure you check them out!

This program screens today at 9:45pm and tomorrow at 10:45am. For those of you who can’t get to the festival, or have screenings at those times… make sure you check out YouTube, as some of the titles will be available for viewing online after their premiere! You can find them here.

Have a look and let me know which one was your favorite!


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