Announcing Shorts That Are Not Pants!

I know things have been pretty quiet around here since my big philosophical post last month. And while I’m still experiencing writer’s block when it comes to reviewing individual films, I haven’t been sitting around feeling sorry for myself. In fact, I’m busier than ever. In addition to coordinating the second edition of the CAST Awards (look for an announcement early in the new year), I’ve decided to take my long-gestating idea for a shorts screening public.

I’ve always enjoyed short films, but seeing them outside of festivals has never been easy. In fact, even at festivals, they’re usually bundled together in unpromising sounding packages like “Canadian Shorts 1” or “Programme 6.” And the problem at the spectacular Worldwide Short Film Festival, where they group the films thematically, is just overload. I’ve always wanted to curate a regular program of films that would be something like a mixtape, and in 2009, I started doing it on a small scale.

I’d been a huge fan of Wholphin, a DVD “magazine” of short films from the people behind McSweeney’s, ever since the first one came out in 2005. By 2009, I was still amazed that hardly anyone I knew had heard of it, so I decided to screen a selection of films for a small group of friends at my apartment. It was a hit, and not only because of the cupcakes my wife thoughtfully provided. After running a few more of these nights, I wanted to share my enthusiasm and some great films with the rest of the city. Starting last winter, I began researching venues and licensing fees and possible partners, and I’m very happy to announce that we’re finally launching!

On January 13, 2012, at 7pm, Shorts That Are Not Pants will screen our inaugural program of international and Canadian shorts at the NFB Mediatheque (150 John St. at Richmond). I’ll refer you to the site for more details, but I sincerely hope you’ll join us at the start of this new adventure.

My plan is to make this a quarterly event, and we hope to be working with a variety of partners. For the first screening, we’re showing the entirety of the Future Shorts Pop Up Festival lineup, as well as a couple of wonderful animated Canadian shorts from the National Film Board. But I’m excited by the fact that there is such a wealth of great material out there that has either never been screened before in Toronto, or was buried amongst hundreds of other films at festivals. I’m looking forward to discovering and sharing films with you, live and on the big screen. Hopefully we’ll even get a group together after the screenings to discuss the films over a drink. Short films are worthy of your attention, and I hope to demonstrate that to a larger audience than just the dozen I’ve been cramming into my apartment. I hope you’ll join us!

You can buy tickets for just $8 in advance. At the door, tickets will be $10, or $5 if you’re crazy enough to show up in shorts. Even if you can’t make it and want to support the series, buy a ticket and just let me know that’s your intention. Of course, mentioning us on Twitter (follow us here), Facebook (we have a page) or anywhere else online or off would be helpful, too. I’m certainly not hoping to make money on this, but it would be great if I didn’t lose too much. 🙂

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