Films for 2013
A bored high school student turns his Biology notes into a wildly adventurous flip book. Won Best Animated Short at 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival.
During the winter of 1944-45 near the end of World War II, a German blockade causes widespread famine in occupied Holland. Three women and a young girl unravel a beautiful bedspread so they can knit 55 socks to barter for food. Based on a poem by Marie Jacobs, this film pays tribute to the ingenuity…
From the techniques he used to conceptualize and plan the painting to its unveiling at Rideau Hall in 2012, this fascinating documentary reveals the creative process of Canadian artist Phil Richards who was commissioned in 2010 to paint a life-sized portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of her 60 years as monarch. Won Best…
An exquisite stop-motion animated film that chronicles the life cycle of this critically endangered species and captures the beauty of the ecosystems they inhabit.
Winner of the 2013 Reel Shorts Film Festival Audience Choice Award. Three “hot” elderly women living in a retirement home fumble with modern technology as one of them texts a message to a man she’s interested in.
A young girl’s imagination sets her shadow free to recapture the blue butterfly that the wind tore from her grasp. Won Best Animation Award at the 2012 Short Shorts Film Festival of Tokyo among many other awards.
After countless years of Liberian civil war, 17-year-old Vele just wants to learn to read and write, along with her 7-year-old daughter. Now that she finally has the opportunity to go to school, her hope for a better future and her determination to achieve it are inspiring.
Inspired by animations for Mars Rover missions, the filmmaker creates a sci-fi spectacle in which a startling mechanical device lands on a bleak and desolate world to enact a profound transformation. Won Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Maui Film Festival.
In the beginning, there was Adam and Eve … and dog who’s never encountered such strange creatures before, but who finds himself drawn to the world of Man. Nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Animated Short.
In this grisly homage to 80’s anthology horror, a miserable stepfather has trouble adjusting the VCR after removing the horror video his stepson was watching.
Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy runs to the airport to win her back in this hilarious take on the real-life consequences of a romantic grand gesture. Won Best Comedy at the LA Shorts Fest in 2011 among other awards.
A man’s hope of finding his lost daughter becomes an obsession that his estranged wife can no longer ignore. Won Best Fiction Short Film at the 2012 Kinofest International Digital Film Festival in Rumania.
A nine-year-old boy exhibits symptoms of schizophrenia. Did his psychosis cause the brutal deaths of his parents?
In a war-torn fishing village in Somalia, a young boy must help support his family by becoming a pirate like the older boys in his village or by becoming a fisherman despite his terrible luck at fishing. Nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Live Action Short.
Samantha, a little girl growing up in the sixties, loves class b-movies and monsters … until they start to invade her bedroom and her obsession compels her parents to seek help.
A young woman accepts a babysitting offer from a couple she doesn’t know. Puzzled by the children’s odd behaviour, she invites some friends to keep her company. They should have said no.
Soniya is excited about going into the first grade and buying school supplies, especially a Barbie backpack. It is forbidden in some schools, so she is very happy when her mother finds one for her. But her happiness is short-lived when she learns that she will have to conform to certain restrictions. Won Best Short…
When Trudy starts school, she is eager to make new friends, but her habit of honestly pointing out what she sees – be it a big mole or a big belly – results in an impressive collection of disciplinary notes from her teacher … and no friends. How to speak the truth without being rude…
A man plans to eat his lunch in the park, but the local pigeons have other ideas! Screened with the kind permission of Network Ireland Television and Brown Bag Films.
A regular morning becomes a nightmare for young Jacob when he is forced to wear a suit on school picture day. He will once again have to suffer through this day, unless he can find a way to keep this nightmare from recurring. Won Best Short Film at the 2012 Festival du film francophone de…
The director of Despicable Me creates a supremely silly tale of misadventure as two friends, stuck for something to do, find it increasingly difficult to get unstuck.
A man with anger management issues appears to be cured, but his nervous psychiatrist urges him to take a vacation and suggests the beach as a nice place to relax. That would be true if only his music had continued to drown out the screams as vicious monsters emerge from the sea and start killing…
A married couple learns that their release from a government regulated bomb shelter has been delayed due to persistently high radiation levels. Starving and desperate, they debate their last resort for survival.
Revered as Afghanistan’s national sport, Buzkashi is a brutal game of horse polo involving a headless goat. Becoming a skilled player of the game is a dream shared by a blacksmith’s son and a street urchin, best friends who struggle to escape their lives in Kabul. Nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Live…
A man with a broken heart tries to relive his failed relationship by hiring a young woman to play his ex-girlfriend, but is there any hope when she can’t even get the accent right? Won Audience Favourite Award at 2012 DC Shorts Film Festival among other awards.
At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister asking him to look after his nine-year-old niece. Won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short.
Stuck in a dark limbo between life and death, a deceased solder collects shadows of the dying to buy back his own second chance at life so that he can be with the woman he loves. When he discovers that she’s in love with someone else, the temptation to use his other-worldly powers becomes impossible…
In the early 1950’s, a Manhattan art thief steals paintings and then eats them. After consuming every painting he has stolen, he tries to feed his hunger with his own artistic efforts in this joyful tribute to painters and homage to Jackson Pollock. Won Best Animated Short Film at the 2011 Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival.
December, 1959: Poe, a young writer, has locked himself inside a seedy hotel room with a bottle, an 8mm projector, and the haunting memories of his “lost Lenore.” A raven visits him and Poe turns to the bird for answers and the promise of being reunited with his lost love, but the bird’s only reply…
On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to enter space. But first, he was a kid with big dreams in Lake City, South Carolina.
A bird who’s afraid of flying does everything he can to avoid heading south for the winter, but when a squirrel raids his food and a winter storm rages, he must find a way south or perish. Screened with the kind permission of Network Ireland Television and Lovely Productions.
In this contemporary parable, a man’s consumer choices have an impact that he can see with every decision he makes. Over the course of the day, the people he has relied on in the global economy begin to depend on him, and he is left with the problem of what to do with them at…
In the midst of a giant flock of flamingos, there is one bird who thinks he might fit in better with the other side.
Iris is a shy baker who lives a vivid fantasy life inspired by the works of Shakespeare. The real world intervenes when she develops a crush on a regular customer. Will cupcakes and couplets be enough to turn her imaginary romance into true love?
A young woman receives a digital camera as a birthday present. She is delighted with the gift … until she reviews the photos she’s taken. Won Best Fright Award at South African Horrorfest among other awards.
Familiar objects are transformed into fresh guacamole in this visually punny, delightfully original short. Nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Animated Short.
Hunting season is open as a terrified woman tries to escape her captors by fleeing through the woods. Won Best Horror Short at the 2012 Buried Alive Short Film Festival in Atlanta among other awards.
A documentary about acclaimed ad-guru Alex Bogusky’s fascination with collecting homeless signs. What starts out as a project to understand the world’s simplest form of communication becomes an enlightening journey into authenticity and generosity.
A young boy is excited about picking up his mom and new baby sister at the hospital but the process takes longer than expected. In the waiting room, he meets an old confused woman. Nobody seems to notice her and nobody seems to care. He wants to help her, but how? There’ll be a Q&A…
A young New Yorker struggles with heartbreak after his first love leaves for college. Won Audience Favorite Award at the 2012 DC Shorts Film Festival among other awards.
A couple has a baby but is unable to keep it. On the other side of town, another couple desperately wants a baby but is not allowed to have one. For a brief moment, their lives intersect at a baby hatch in Vienna. Won the Festival Prize for Best Overall Film at the 2012 Poppy…
Presented by Encana and the Stanford Hotel, this film is the result of the first Youth Film Mentorship Project. It’s a comedy about a high school student who tries many crazy and out-of-the-box strategies in an effort to retrieve the pencil that he accidentally drops but desperately needs in order to complete an exam while…
A husband and wife have grown apart over the years. He lives on the floor, she lives on the ceiling, and the marriage hangs in the balance. Nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Animated Short. HEAD OVER HEELS – Trailer from Timothy Reckart on Vimeo.
When his wife disappears, Henry desperately searches for her, but strangers seem intent on keeping him from her. Nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Live Action Short.
A greedy party girl is so determined to get what she wants that she employs the dangerous magic of a Gullah root doctor to help her cross over into the spirit world for one last conversation with her grandmother.
Hank’s just an ordinary guy trying to get his wife pregnant. Then his mother-in-law shows up, thus ruining their baby-making plans. His desperate attempts to get rid of her escalate into a crisis so out of control that his marriage, his life, and his embarrassingly low sperm count hang in the balance. Won Jury Award…
A deep-voiced bad guy makes three phone calls and asks, “Wanna play a game?” But none of his intended victims react the way they should. There’ll be a Q&A with Devon Burbank after the screening.
When a man wakes up in hospital after a car crash, he believes that his life will return to normal, but strange things start happening that he doesn’t understand. Screened with the kind permission of Network Ireland Television and Blinder Films Ltd.
How does one become a memorable villain like Michael Myers of Halloween and Ghostface of Scream? Go to serial killer school, of course.
A lonely boy watches other children having fun in the playground until a young girl offers to play with him, but will he be abandoned when her friends want her to play with them again?
The Spanish Civil War in 1936 sends one friend into battle while strings have been pulled to keep the other friend safe at home. Can their friendship survive the bitterness of the injured soldier when he returns home?
An 11-year-old boy is kidnapped by a classmate who has a crush on him in this sweet story of captivity and freedom. Won Audience Award Children’s Film at the 2012 Landshuter Kurzfilmfestival in Germany among other awards.
Finn finally gets a chance to go on a space mission but he starts experiencing strange hallucinations before deciding whether to go. It becomes more and more difficult for him to differentiate between reality and illusion, until he finally realizes the truth. Won the Studio Hamburg Nachwuchspreis for Best Short Film 2012.
Maggie Simpson spends a day at the Ayn Rand Daycare Center where she is diagnosed at an average intelligence level, but longs for the enriched environment enjoyed by the gifted children. Nominated for an Oscar in 2013 for Best Animated Short.
In a prison visitor’s room, a mother confronts her son over his part in an epic failed hold-up.
After her train ticket is stolen by a mysterious fox, a young girl must pursue the thief into a strange new world of secrets.
On a summer evening full of magic a young girl learns that some things are not meant to be captured. Won Programmer’s Choice Award for Narrative Short at the 2012 Virginia Film Festival.
When Katy discovers that a book of spells she borrowed from the library really works, she starts dressing like a witch and then realizes she’s turning into a real witch. Will she be able to return to her former self, or will magic end up ruling her life forever?
Romain and Laurie are in love, but they are forbidden to have sex at the Centre where they live so Laurie’s younger sister takes them on a romantic weekend getaway where they can “do it” for the first time. Won Best International Short Film Award at the 2012 Odense International Film Festival in Denmark among…
At 5 in the morning, a woman can’t sleep because the neighbours are arguing. Her husband says there’s nothing to worry about, but when she finally decides to call, she realizes that he was wrong.
When an Israeli man notices a suspicious-looking Arab woman boarding the same bus that his fiancée is on, he tries to get his fiancée off the bus without creating a scene, but panic breaks out. Should he try to calm things down? Or encourage his fiancée to take another bus? Won Best Short at the…
Knowing that his mother will record every moment of his performance in the school play, Nathan struggles to rehearse his tongue-twister lines while scrambling to throw, trash and flush a mysterious fingered appendage that he unearthed and can’t seem to shake, but things are about to get really out of hand!
The life of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City takes an unexpected turn after a brief encounter with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. When he sees her again from his office window, he has only his heart, imagination, and a stack of papers to get her attention. Won the Oscar…
Paulie is a nine-year-old prodigy in the seventh grade. He is used to being the smartest kid in the class, acing every test and winning every spelling bee, so when bully Tony beats him in an essay contest, Paulie’s mission becomes proving that Tony cheated. Won the Panavision Grand Jury Award at the 2012 Palm…
Desperate for money, a bungling crook agrees to kidnap a little girl. When things go terribly wrong, he doesn’t know who to fear most: little Penny or the vindictive crime lord who hired him. Won International Audience Prize at the 2013 Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival among other awards.
A stirring rendition of Chopin’s Opus 10, No. 4 for piano provides the music accompaniment to this story of a minimalist painter who loses his toddler inside one of his own paintings and must follow the child into a world of imagination where a toy xylophone becomes a flying piano, doodles grow into forests, and…
After getting hassled by subway police on the way home with his young son, a man spares another passenger the same fate at the hands of the subway’s ticket takers. Instead of being grateful, the man he helped is verbally abusive and throws the boy’s toy off the train. How does a father explain these…
After her plans to start a family fall apart, Nikki Holiday, a drag queen cabaret star, tries to fill the void in her life. Won Best Narrative at the 2012 Humboldt International Film Festival.
War, fate, and a broken Walkman transcend space and time in this sci-fi love story. Won the Audience Choice Award at the NYC Shorts Film Festival among others.
Rising Hope was the fastest horse in the world until suddenly he turns into a loser. With the help of a new friend, he finds hope and himself again.
Shanghai has a park where parents can match-make their unmarried children. This is just one love story in a city of 20 million lovers.
Shirin eats dinner alone with her father in their small north London home. Without her mother at home, little is said between them until Shirin reveals she is going out for the evening. Received a Jury Honourable Mention at the 2012 Cleveland International Film Festival.
Waiting to board the train, an old lady just wants to eat her cookies in peace, but then a young punk sitting next to her starts eating them too! This could mean war.
Snap is the smallest Water Haggis and he’s very hungry because he hasn’t mastered the art of spearing fish. With the help of an unlikely new friend, he’s inspired to try a new way of catching fish. Won the Children’s Choice Award at the 2013 Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival among others.
Upon waking, Sophia doesn’t know where she is. She wants to find her way home but isn’t sure who to trust. There’ll be a Q&A with Rory Mells after the screening.
Twenty years after witnessing the total destruction of planet Earth, extreme boredom becomes too much to handle for two astronauts living inside a cramped space station.
When a man sees a curious advertisement for a talking dog for sale cheap, he pursues the offer with natural scepticism. Won the Audience Award at the 2012 San Jose International Short Film Festival among many other awards.
A poignant and humorous account of the filmmaker’s experience as a boy in 1983 when kids who’d been taught anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial at their school in Eckville, Alberta are invited to a basketball game against his team at Jewish summer camp. Won Most Inspirational Short Film at the 2012 Reel 2 Real International Film…
A young woman’s driving lesson with her father reconnects them after years apart, but they are on a cliff-hugging road that may not be the best location for an inexperienced driver.
Nine-year-old Henry is scared of monsters lurking in the dark. The only thing that keeps them at bay is the decree from his father, a Royal Marine. When his father is killed in action, Henry must find a way to face the monsters alone. Won Best Foreign Drama Short Film at the 2012 International Family…
A tale of love and intrigue set in Depression-era Cape Breton, this film about a farm girl, the wandering musician she loves, and her father’s fierce opposition to their match pays tribute to the island’s Gaelic heritage.
A young man’s theory about fate is tested on the basis of whether he explains the theory to his friend. The ripple effect of that minor decision will determine who lives and who dies that night.
Based on the classic children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Sheffler, this tale of a little Gruffalo’s curiosity and a mouse’s ingenuity will delight young audiences as the little Gruffalo ignores her father’s warnings not to go into the deep dark wood where the Big Bad Mouse lives.
Survivors of a biological pandemic find refuge with Horizon Corporation which provides secure transport to the safety of Horizon City. This is the festival-produced film that was shot during Shoot for Reel, a 2-week internship program July 9-20, 2012. There’ll be a Q&A with Director Scott Belyea and Producer Dave Rice after the screening.
When their 10-year-old daughter kisses another little girl during recess, Emmy’s parents convince her that the kiss must have been “an accident.” Wishing to set her on the “right” path in life, the Grand High Council of Fairy Tale Rules and Standards assigns Hammond to narrate “The Maiden and the Prince” to her and he…
A strange creature must race against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life. Won Best Short Film at the 2012 Indianapolis International Film Festival among many other awards.
It is midnight. An inspector on night patrol pays a surprise visit to Mr. Tremblay who is sleeping soundly. During interrogation, he learns that he has broken several laws and the penalties are huge. Won Special Jury Mention at the 2011 Festival du cinema international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Niranda.
After his mutt accidentally eats some loose change, a man is soon bewildered to discover that his furry companion has passed the currency with compounded interest. A modern day fairy tale, this playful re-imagining of Aesop’s timeless fable “The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs” is doggy-doo delightful.
An unusual friendship forms when a soccer ball becomes the link between a boy on the Israeli side of the West Bank separation wall and someone on the Palestinian side.
The town of Derry has a secret that the new kid discovers during a sleepover at a neighbour boy’s house. Won Best Super Short Film at the 2012 Shriekfest Film Festival in Los Angeles.
A little girl sets a trap for her unsuspecting visitor. Won Best of Show at the 2013 Epiphany Children’s Film Festival in New York City. There’ll be a Q&A with Rio Fitch and daughter/actress Billie Fitch after the screening.
A clown is interrogated by two inspectors and soon realizes that breaking the law is no laughing matter.
Few things are as unexpected as a 12-year-old boy who collects, dreams about, and can’t wait to use … vacuum cleaners. Kyle Krichbaum’s family was sure he would outgrow the obsession that started when he was a toddler, but he hasn’t. In this charming documentary, Kyle talks about his passion, demonstrates a few models from…
A couple with a young child makes the painful decision to separate. Won 1st Prize Short Movie at the 2013 St. Albans Film Festival in the UK.
A young man has a job interview at Greendays, a company where transparency is the governing principle of the workplace. By the end of the interview, it is clear what he must give up to get it.
As zombies prowl the streets looking for fresh meat, a young man is in constant danger as he looks for food. Equipped with a baseball bat and padded clothes, he carefully checks every corner before proceeding. In a city that seems to have only one pulse – his own – he meets a stranger in…
Reshma works in a textile recycling factory in Panipat, a small town in Northern India. In this delightfully ironic documentary, she shows how the Western world’s least wanted clothes get transformed back into yarn while she and the other women workers speculate on how people live in the Western world, using their imaginations and the…
A delightful doc about Gary Frank Skaggs, a musician who wanted to play a piano in the streets of San Francisco so he invented a bizarrely funky way to do it. Won Audience Choice Awards at the GSP Film Festival and the Filmed by Bike Film Festival.
On a stormy night, a teenaged girl uses a shovel to break into the cemetery and start unearthing a recent grave. She is knocked unconscious by the caretaker who thinks she’s a graverobber. To convince him that she’s not, she tells him about the person who’s buried there and pleads for his help.
Annoyed with his neighbours, a man sets off to find a peaceful and quiet place to live, but wherever he goes, something always disturbs him. An amusing allegory about not appreciating what one already has.
In 1964, a young pediatrician begins his residency at Willowbrook State School in Staten Island only to discover that the institution is conducting Army-funded experiments on developmentally disabled children. Based on a true story. Won Best Short Film at the 2012 Boston Film Festival.
This documentary shares the stories of women, past and present, as they reveal how their experiences in mountain culture deeply inspired them. Meet free-thinking individuals who blazed trails into a man’s rugged world. There’ll be a Q&A with Susan Feddema-Leonard after the screening.