The 2014 edition of the Toronto Youth Shorts film festival will be happening this Saturday September 27 at the Maple Leaf Cinema in the CN Tower. The festival will showcase 36 short films, divided into three programmes, by young filmmakers from all over the Greater Toronto Area. As part of the lead up to the festival, I was given a sneak peak of five of the shorts that will be screening.
Do It For the Vine - Phoebe Sequino / Documentary (Questions and Discovery)
This documentary focuses on the rise of the six second video app Vine. In a similar fashion to YouTube, Vine has created celebrities (known as Viners), who have become extremely popular for their extremely creative six second videos. Do It For the Vine profiles a number of these Viners, who are gathered for an event at Yonge Dundas Square. While creating a six second video might sound like a simple task, many of these celebrities comment about taking two or three hours to make their videos. Do It For the Vine is a quite well done documentary about these internet celebrities, who are famous despite having only about 15 minutes of actual screentime.
8 | LIKED IT
Parked - Myles Milne / Drama (The Bonds That Bind Us)
Marilyn (Maria Asofiei) and Emily (Victoria DiGiovanni) are two sisters, who have different ways of coping with their mother’s recent passing. While Emily is heavily active in the funeral preparations, Marilyn often remains by herself in the car outside of the funeral home. Parked is an interesting drama about grief and how it can affect people in different ways. The short is also about the sisterly bond between Marilyn and Emily, who ultimately come closer together in their grief. Parked was an OK enough short.
7 | FAIR
The Hunt - Celina Hulshof / Animation (Personal Portraits)
Featuring a mix of hand drawn animation and stop motion, a girl enters the kitchen on a quest for cookies. Running at just over a minute long, The Hunt is a very short and sweet story. The short really shines visually in the excellent way it blends the hand drawn animation, which looks like a moving oil painting, with the stop motion. The short does not waste any time with the story, getting straight to the point, with a punch line that will leave a smile on your face.
10 | LOVED IT
Third Person - Tessa Sousa / Drama (Questions and Discovery)
Andy is a boy who has trouble making his own decisions and often has to get the opinion of the narrator of his life. Things begin to change for Andy when he meets a girl named Allie. Third Person is an OK enough romantic story about a boy, who needs to learn to choose things for himself. Even though the title of the short comes from her, the narrator does not entirely seem to be a necessary aspect of this story. While the fourth wall breaking interactions do serve to illustrate Andy’s dependence on receiving assistance in making decisions, the narrator could have been entirely removed and the romantic story between Andy and Allie would have still played out just fine.
7 | FAIR
Frida and Dingwall Talk About Love - Amika Cooper / Animation (Questions and Discovery)
A monster couple named Frida and Dingwall talk about their relationship with each other. Frida and Dingwall Talk About Love is a claymation short, which talks about what it means to be in love. The stop motion of the short is a little rough around the edges, with some frame jitters, but is still well-done enough for the short’s purpose. However, the animation does clash a bit with the heavy romantic themes of the story. It just does not feel entirely right that a couple of animated monsters are having a very serious discussion about what it means to be in love. While it’s director Amika Cooper’s prerogative to present the story in this fashion, Frida and Dingwall Talk About Love would have been more effective if it was done in live action or a more realistic looking form of animation. Still, it’s a satisfactory short.
6 | WATCHABLE
The full line-up and ticket information for Toronto Youth Shorts can be found on the festival website.