Canada delivers its own Shorts programme for Toronto After Dark, with 9 selections, that like the International Shorts features a variety of styles, sensibilities, and genre mashing. There’s some great work in here, and despite the fact that none of the films were as laugh out loud as the highly enjoyable Shiny New World, there are some great stories here, and one WTF film that left me curious, and floored me with its final shot.
10:33 and Family were both shot in and around T-dot, and deal with forms of what feels like everyday violence (or the possibility thereof) that a number of us live in fear of, whether going to the theatre, like our character in 10:33, or leaving the city behind for a day, and making a huge mistake that runs you afoul of some trouble in the country.
There’s also a creature feature, with some enjoyable practical effects that show the imagination of having to work within a budget. Crawl Space is a lot of fun, and pays homage to the atomic monster movies of the 50s.
Maybe You Should Be Careful is a delightful little short that shows how constant phone scrolling and lack of awareness of your partner could lead down some dangerous paths. I just wanted to slap the male lead around for being on his phone all the time, so maybe he deserves what he gets…
The French film Sang Jaune (Yellow Blood) is the one that I was wondering what the hell was going on, as we never really see what the main character is seeing, and is affecting her profoundly, until the final shot of the film, and it was my favourite moment so far in the festival, that image is going to stay with me for awhile, and fire my imagination endlessly I’m sure.
It’s very cool to see what Canadian genre artists are up to, and TAF serves as a great platform for them to reach an audience, and get talked about. The bundle of shorts is available to pick up on TAD’s home page, here, and is a great way to support some homegrown talent.
LIke I mentioned in the International Shorts post, not all of them are going to appeal, but most of these are short, well-crafted, and engaging, dealing with a number of different issues, and if you don’t like it, well head to the kitchen to make some more popcorn in time for the next one. But honestly, they are all worth a look, and they get you in just the right mindset for the rest of the festival, because you should be ready for anything!
So settle in make your film selections, and get ready to explore Toronto… After Dark.