TIFF SHORT CUTS PROGRAMMES are presentations of select short films from around the world, highlighting up and coming talent within the industry. TIFF offered eleven SHORT CUTS PROGRAMMES this year, with shorts grouped by particular themes.
Canadian films we’ve reviewed from the SHORT CUTS PROGRAMME give a taste of Canadian cadence in comedy, drama, and avant-garde.
Director: Grayson Moore, Aidan Shipley
Cast: Kyra Harper, Rachel Wilson
Running Time: 13 mins
A woman decides returns to her daily routine after recovering from a traumatic crash. When she goes back to boxing class, she gets unwarranted special attention from a fellow student, too persistent to shake off.
Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley’s BOXING captures that annoying feeling of someone entering your personal space. Kyra Harper and Rachel Wilson have a charming antagonistic chemistry, showing that unnecessarily getting into other’s business harms more than helps.
Harper’s knowing looks are enough to tell that Wilson’s character is doing nothing more than trying to figure herself out from another person’s burden; her misguided antics, naively believing she’s doing someone else a service.
Push to be someone’s confidant when she doesn’t want you to be, and get stung. BOXING is a charming tale that is sometimes funny, with a theme everyone can relate to.
Director: Phillip Barker
Cast: Alex Paxton-Beesley, Thomas Hauff, Ryan Granville-Martin
Running Time: 17 mins
The wife of a salvage ship captain gets to know the only other crewmate, and the strange knowledge he shares leads her to life back on shore.
Phillip Barker’s DREDGER has stunning, inventive visuals, with moving sets circling the character’s actions. DREDGER illustrates a life burdened by too much compromise for the uncomfortable as a couple gravitate back towards each other.
The enigmatic dredger is engaging as a weathered old man with psuedo-mariner knowledge. His performace makes an effective vehicle for turning the ethereal into the abstract. As alluring as the visuals are, DREDGER is not for passive viewing – attention must be paid to the dialogue and symbolism in detail to get the full meaning.
Director: Mark Slutsky
Cast: Mia Kirshner, Aaron Abrams, Anna Hopkins
Running Time: 8 mins
A business trip for a pair of coworkers-at-odds ends with a night of passion in NEVER HAPPENED.
Mark Slutsky sets the stage for what could be a difficult series of cover ups, given the stuation. The businessman comes home to his wife and is asked about his trip. What we follow in his head is steamier than the summary they dance around. Building to the moment of infedelity, what happens after is best left undescribed. NEVER HAPPENED’s punchiline is distinctly Canadian in its delivery.
Some may find this enjoyable, others not so much. Left to personal taste, I liked it, so it gets a positive rating.