I must admit that I’ve been paying a lot more attention to shorts lately, and not just the leg-revealing ones that have arrived with the warmer weather. The last time I covered the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, in 2007, I expressed a certain befuddlement when it came to actually writing about these mini-movies. But I’m convinced that short films are not only the training ground for feature directors, but may even be the future of film. During the most recent Sundance Film Festival, the programmers made a number of the short films screening there available for free through the iTunes music store. As more and more of us acquire mobile devices that are capable of playing video, the market for short films will grow. We may not have time to watch an entire feature film during our morning commute, but something in the 5-30 minute range might just be perfect.
So if you want a glimpse at the future of filmmaking, whether it be a director who remains a specialist in shorts, or someone who graduates to longer work, don’t miss this year’s festival. As in previous years, the screenings are organized into thematic “loot bags” with lots of potential for discovery. Here are the themes for this year:
- The Edge of Reason
- Lust for Life
- You Can’t Take It With You
- When Political Gets Personal
- What You See Is Not What You Get
- Rebels With a Cause
- The Mamas and the Papas
- Conflict Resolution
- Food Chain
- Concrete and Steal
- The 90-Minute Makeover
And those are just the Official Selection competitors. There are lots of other thematic screenings, including sections focused on horror, comedy, music, and a special focus on Belgium this year. This year’s festival runs from June 16-21 at the Cumberland and R.O.M. cinemas. The exception is the opening night screening (featuring award-winning shorts from around the world) which takes place Tuesday June 16 at 7pm at the Bloor Cinema.
P.S. You just might find me at the Celebrity Shorts program on Thursday June 18 at 7pm at the R.O.M. cinema. It will feature the Canadian premiere of Eve, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut, starring Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara and Olivia Thirlby, and with a score by Sufjan Stevens. I’m also interested in seeing Sparks, which is the directorial debut of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It’s based on an Elmore Leonard short story, and stars Eric Stoltz and Carla Gugino. Will these just be celebrity vanity projects or has acting actually taught these two something about filmmaking? Come and see!