TAD 2021: International Shorts

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival unveils its International Shorts programme today. With an all virtual format this year, the Festival is not presenting a short before each feature, but is bundling them into two separate viewing packages, the International and the Canadian Shorts.

Both collections feature a wealth of talent, and storytelling styles, and as always not all the films are going to appeal to everyone, but the beauty of the programme is just wait a few minutes, and the next story will be along shortly.

The International Shorts bundle includes 11 titles, and while I didn’t love all of them, I was absolutely delighted with two of them. Make sure you check out Seek, which was arguably too short, but so wonderfully and creepily executed that it left you wanting to see more of this story, and that’s a great sign. I don’t want to give anything away, but it was very enoyable.

And the other film I love in this collection, that I thought I was going to hate it, is the very entertaining Shiny New World, and without giving away too much, it’s about the clean up crew that is brought in after a horrorific, demonic events.

The beauty of the After Dark festival in years past has been the shared communal experience, which oftentimes helps with the acceptance of certain films and stories that may not fly for the solo, or couple, viewer.

For me, Mashed Potatoe Face is one of those titles. I think in the theatre, with the right audience this one would pop, watching it virtually, all I could do was quirk an eyebrow and wonder what the filmmakers were thinking.

The beauty of the International Shorts is that it allows you to examine, at a glance, how genre films are interpreted in different countries, and I, Adonis is a perfect example of that, it’s a uniquely crafted film, that has some interesting posits playing out through its runtime, and that last moment is a little disturbing, but for North American audiences, it may just play as a passing curiousity.

That doesn’t mean it should be avoided, however. The entire program is worth a look, and gives us a genre bundle that will keep you entertained, make you squeamish, make you laugh, and make you question what you see.

Virtual tickets for all of the After Dark films can be purchased from their home page here. Check them out, clear your schedule, get the popcorn, wine, and the blanket to hide under, and enjoy Toronto… After Dark!

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