2007 Films

TITLE COUNTRY DIRECTOR WRITER PRODUCER DESCRIPTION
A Moment’s Reverie UK Tess Martin Tess Martin Tess Martin A year in the making, this film is a back-lit, paper cut-out animation set in the ephemeral dimension of thoughts and dreams.
Archetypes Canada Irene Duma Irene Duma Judith Keenan Narrated and scripted in the style of school propaganda films of the 1950’s, these three one-minute BookShort films combine minutely observed, caustic commentary with brilliant artwork and happily but lovingly eviscerate the denizens of the contemporary urban world.
A Revolving Door USA Marilyn Braverman Chuck Braverman Chuck Braverman A gripping experience-to-experience account of a young, troubled, and largely likeable young man struggling with and often losing his battle with drug addiction. What makes this documentary festival-worthy is the director’s sensitivity to the struggles of both 33-year old tommy Lennon, and his family--a group of interesting, articulate middle-class folks who are just doing the nest they can in fairly trying circumstances. As hard-hitting as this doc is, it opens us up to the very human side of addiction, at once imperfect and noble. This film is nothing short of wondrous for being so powerfully candid.
Being Innu Canada Catherine Mullins Catherine Mullins Catherine Mullins This documentary takes audiences to a place many of them know about but never see: Sheshatshiu, Labrador. Population 1,400. Filmmaker Mullins posts an honest and moving portrait of a community in crisis, where the old ways of life constantly clash with modern realities. Focusing on six young people who are aware of lives caught in a struggle for meaning and possibility. Mullins opens us up to some hard questions and achingly human dilemmas.
Belfast Girls Sweden/France Malin Andersson Malin Andersson Fredrik Gertten, Alexandre Cornu The title is an apt description for the two-person subject of this intriguing doc. Concrete walls have long separated two young women growing up in the troubled city of Belfast. A Catholic girl and a Protestant girl grew up fearing their unknown neighbours across the barriers, separated by history and prejudice. Each girl has firm, unfounded ideas about the other, but into each of their lives comes a boy from the other side and so each is suddenly compelled to confront the received ideas of her own culture. Perhaps it takes an outsider like the director to track the parallel lives of these two young women as they mature out of narrow-mindedness. Even if your eyes aren’t irish, they’ll be smiling.
BITCH USA Lilah Vandenburgh Lilah Vandenburgh S.J Main Not for the pretentious or the precious, this snarling little gem shows the darker side of feminism, and with feeling. Bitch the girl is the central femme who will make you fatal if you show even a hint of weakness. She keeps the streets safe for the tough and the brave, and has no time for anything or anyone--until she meets the right [sic] guy, that is. This movie is a brilliant satire of pop culture idiom. The punk rock soundtrack perfectly suits the mood, underscoring the hard saucy attitude of the irresistible anti-heroine. you won’t want to take her home for dinner but you’ll admire the way she kicks ass.
Blue Canada Elif Isikozlu Elif Isikozlu Elif Isikozlu There’s a moment when you have neither left the place you;re in nor entered the place you’re going. It’s the moment just before you play your first note, just before you walk out on stage, just before you tell someone you don’t love them anymore. Balanced on the brink, this film takes place within this moment, within the threshold between silence and sound. Based on the original stage piece of the same name, Blue is an abstract exploration of the journey of the hand to the piano keyboard.
But Some Are Brave Canada Grace Channer Grace Channer Grace Channer This innovative animated short film is multilayered and poetic. Chronicling the struggles for global peace and equality, it’s a tribute to the old and earthly, and to the connections we have to those who have gone before us, as well as to those who continue to dream and envision bravely.
Christopher House: Ahead of the Curve Canada Rosemary House Rosemary House Rosemary House, Mary Sexton Critically acclaimed as a well-crafted tribute to The Toronto Dance Theatre and specifically to the genius of Christopher House, this lovely documentary aims at capturing that most enigmatic of experiences: inspiration. Rosemary House follows her brother as he seeks signs and wonders for his kinetic art. The result is both a personal and informative portrait of the dancer as creator.
City of Guilt Canada/the Philippines Robin Barnwell, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Women living in religious-dominated patriarchies have an especially heavy load to bear. It is equally astonishing to discover how many women, and men, will work to lighten the loads of others. This film takes us on a journey through the poverty-stricken sections of Manila, far from the culture of tourism, deep into the homes of women who are compelled to have children, and many children, against their will. The population of the Philippines is bulging, but contraception is discouraged and abortion illegal. The subject is harrowing, but the film is anything but.
Coco-Nuts Norway Charlotte Blom Charlotte Blom Bjorn Eivind Aarskog We defy anyone to identify the genre of this quirky little film, as odd and charming an experiment in narrative play as you will ever see. Two women walk into a diner...they place an order; they share confidences; one suddenly breaks out in song; the other remains unfazed. Meanwhile, coconut is being made in the back kitchen and we seem to be in a documentary. Is it real or is it surreal? All of the above, surely.
Crunch! USA Sheila Schroeder Sheila Schroeder Sheila Schroeder, Kate Burns You’ll laugh, you’ll squirm. This hilarious short documentary focuses on 75-year old Beverly who, understandably, worries about her sick cat. But that’s just the beginning of this rather amusing little true story about a woman, a pet, and an appetite for something soothing. This film will put the snap, crackle, pop back into your evening.
Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey Canada Connie Littlefield Connie Littlefield Ann Bernier, Kent Martin A documentary about the ridiculous futile war against drugs. 30 years later, most law enforcers have come to see the waste of time and money involved in trying to make illegal drug use dissapear. A group of smart and informed experts speaks about the vicious circles of drug use, in which dependents resort to crime to extend their habits,thereby increasing the social damage, the costs of enforcement, and the despair of urban dwellers. The new da Vinci code is “legalize, regulate and tax”, an imperative that sensibly urges taking control out of the hands of pushers. dealers, and criminals, and giving it to the government. See this superb and enlightened documentary about the drug stores of the future, and why we need them.
Desires UK Kate Jessop Gaia Holmes Kate Jessop A lovingly animated adaptation of a Gaia Holmes poem, this film combines drawing and stop-frame animation with live action to propel its gorgeous rhythms forward. This is a cinematic tone poem in the service of the pleasure principle.
Diamonds in A Bucket Canada Sherry White Sherry White Jennice Ripley, Rhonda Buckley Vivian (Lisa Repo-Martel) is hunting for a man. Harold (Glenn Downey), who sings such songs, wants adoration and clean floors. Not exactly made in heaven, the relationship bobs along with a healthy measure of awkward comfort. When Harold’s older daughter (Susan Kent) shows up, things go from awkward to plain messy. This film is a terrific, beautifully shot film about dreams and delusion, a well-groomed short cut of wisdom and wit.
Eastern Shore Canada Eva Madden Eva Madden Drew Hagen This prize-winning short takes us to the glorious, cold waters of Lawrencetown beach, where Kat, a young woman on the verge of independence, must choose between Jack, the Boyfriend, and surfing, her Passion. Does she make the choice between turf and surf?
Evocation USA Jaeyoon Park Jaeyoon Park Jaeyoon Park A visual ode influenced by the poem “evocation” written by Kim Do Wol which is based on the concept of the endless wheel of rebirth.
Faire Chaluim Mhic Leòid (The Wake of Calum MacLeod) Canada Marc Almon Marc Almon Nona MacDermid It’s a wrapped-up legend, wrapped in a fable, inside an enigmatic film. It is, in short, a gloriously spirited story about the last of the great bards of Cape Breton, the brooding, loquacious, r-rolling Calum MacLeod. It was a dark and stormy night. Everything follows from that. The first Gaelic-language short dramatic film made in North America.
Feel the Earth Move: The Gros Morne Project Canada Anne Troake Anne Troake Lynne Wilson, Barbara Doran This documentary was commissioned to capture the magic of Montreal’s renowned Coleman Lemieux Dance Company as it invaded a community in Gros Morne National Park. As much about the process as an ambitious experimental production, a marriage of natural and artistic forms, the film involves us in the local reception to these striking alien creatures and their lithe remarkable bodies.
Flow Sweden Asa Maria Bengtsson Asa Maria Bengtsson Asa Maria Bengtsson This film is a masterpiece of the environmental art film, an exquisite study of the function and significance of water on our planet. Drawing on a variety of genres--doc, animation, nature photography--for their images, the filmmakers have produced a stunning visual record of climate change.
Forgiveness: Stories for Our Time Johanna Lunn Johanna Lunn Johanna Lunn, Kent Martin The four stories in this documentary are all related by the horrors of crime and its aftermath. In each case, the survivors seek reconciliation, not vengeance. Most pointedly, these are four stories for our time, a time of crushing vindictiveness and the global politics of getting even. These courageous figures speak forcefully to the need to make peace, and the process that took them there. If the subject sounds grim the film itself is an uplifting testament to the human spirit.
Generation XXL Canada Teresa MacInnes Teresa MacInnes Lesley Ann Patten This film is an impressive documentary in a growing record of MacInnes’ finely wrought films. As the title indicates, the film is about four youngsters struggling with weight issues. The subjects speak for themselves, thus eliminating any trace of exploitation. They speak about the pressures of being a 21st century kid: fast food, computers, video games, parents and peers all contribute to a maddening reality. No wonder they’re all gaining weight. Growing up balanced is getting harder to do. Parents, as well as tenagers, need to digeset their stories.
Girl Inside Canada Maya Gallus Maya Gallus Justine Pimlott, Maya Gallus Many docs are about the emerging culture of transgendered experience, but none is as faithful to the actual process and its physical and emotional challenges as this film. With rare unselfconsciousness, 26-year old Madison allows us to observe her radical transformation from one pronoun-identified subject to another. This up-close focus on one remarkable individual opens us up to questions about the very borders of identity. This film breathes new life into the cliche of show and tell.
Gone USA Mary Kerr Mary Kerr Paul Fischer Somewhere between a music video and a musical comedy sits this film, as fun as it is unclassifiable. Some women will go to any length to get even with their two-timing boyfriends--that much we know. The musical question though, is--who’s really gone?
Hannah's Story Canada Juanita Peters Juanita Peters Annette Clarke She’s 11, she's from Winnipeg, and she’s changing the world. hannah Taylor is a one-girl phenom, precociously philanthropic, almost frighteningly self confident. Founder of the Ladybug Foundation, Hannah has helped raise over a million dollars for the homeless. This engaging documentary gives new meaning to the term “role model”. Inspirational and on message, this film leads by example. Who else could make Stephen Harper stoop to listen?
Happiness USA Sophie Barthes Sophie Barthes Sophie Barthes, Andrij Parekh Freud famously asked, what do women want? This film goes a long way to answering that vexing question. Although this dramatic short seems to be set in the far reaches of Eastern Europe, where life is measured by commuter trains and humdrum factory work, we see that some things are universal--like, what makes any woman happy. This is a totally ingenious, cleverly understated triumph of visual storytelling, where the pictures tell way more than a thousand words.
Here and There Canada Diane Obomsawin Diane Obomsawin Marc Bertrand Nous aimons this delightful study of childhood, animated with wit and a merry sense of je ne sais quoi by versatile visual artist Obom. A lifetime spent bouncing back and forth between two continents, according to the whim of one parent or another, makes you crazy or makes you stronger, maybe a bit of both. Rootlessness never looked this good. Bravo et felicitations, Obom. Encore et vivre votre sens de l’humour.
Here On In Canada Jordan Canning Jordan Canning Tiffany Martin This live-action short is the beautiful product of Jordan Canning’s well deserved emerging filmmaker award at the 2006 festival. The film is a meditative and lyrically paced study of relationships. Tragedy brings a father and daughter into a reconsideration of the complex dynamic between them. Summer in St. John’s never looked richer.
Hombre Kabuki USA Leo Ange Julianne Ortale Cary Becker Talk is never cheap when you’re playing sexy head games. This really clever short traverses the whole spectrum of sexua politics in one fell swoop. Thomas and Vivvy invite a mask into their relationship, seriously challenging the limits of dialogue. You don’t need to know the Kama Sutra to follow their shifting positions, but don’t leave your eyes wide shut.
Imprint Canada Cecilia Araneda Cecilia Araneda Cecilia Araneda The transient connection of two leaves a lingering memory on one. This film is hand-crafted, with many sections processed, colored and printed by hand.
ImPULSE Canada Passia Pandora Passia Pandora Passia Pandora This film was first a silent study of movement in a Dance-for-Camera workshop, but when she married it with an independently conceived experimental sound track, it became so much more.
Just A Lawn Canada Megan Durnford Megan Durnford Megan Durnford A short and informed documentary about the price of keeping our golf ranges and suburban spreads green--like, really green. In an admirably short amount of time we learn that all that glitters isn’t healthy. A modern fetish for sameness has all but buried Nature Herself, layered over as She is by a brew of toxic beauty enhancers. This scary little doc should be compulsory viewing for all members of City Council. And all pesticide parties should get out of town.
Kaden USA Harriet Storm Harriet Storm Harriet Storm Kaden is a 29-year-old female-to-male transgendering individual who shares his concerns about what makes her him and vice versa. Being a trans guy in a straight pink and blue world isn’t easy or obvious. Living outside the box has its challenges.
Kaleidoscope USA Anna Hawkins Anna Hawkins Anna Hawkins A three minute experimental film shot on 16mm Kodachrome film. It was shot through a homemade kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope and camera were mounted on a car and the footage was shot at night in various locations, focusing on the abstraction of city lights.
Kemo Sabe USA Rana Kazkaz Rana Kazkaz Cary Jones Another little fable about some hard life lessons, this wonderful short drama goes a lot further than Miss USA to ensuring world peace. Palestinian-American Youssef wants to hang with the boys in the playground. Cowboys and Indians is their game, but their rules are a bit lame. Youssef is consistently shut out of play by some Anglo bully named Randy who makes up the discriminating terms as he goes aggressively along. Youssef is forced to watch from the sidelines, noting the racial divide that keeps the game--and prejudice--alive and well.
Lake Ontario (In My Head) Canada Penny McCann Penny McCann Penny McCann A meditative look at a mutable and hypnotic horizon filmed at the Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts. Grainy Super 8 imagery, optically printed 16mm footage and an atmospheric soundtrack evoke the stillness of mind reached when standing before an expansive horizon of sky and water.
Las Peregrinas (The Women Who Walk) Canada Sue Kenney Bruce Pirrie Sue Kenney, Bruce Pirrie The famous centuries-old journey from Southern France to the far West of Northern Spain is a sacred path to well being. Filmmaker Sue Kenney brings us this highly entertaining doc of one special trek. The journey brings blisters, backaches, dehydration, and even the occasional emotional meltdown, but as any serious hiker knows, with pain comes gain. Shell-shocked is more like the experience itself at times, but the end sure helps justify the means.
Last Chance Christmas Canada Scott McClellan Scott McClellan Alison Short This short reminds us of one of life’s biggest challenges: finding the perfect holiday gift. It’s never too early to start torturing yourself, but this film will help ease your pain.
Manhattan, Kansas USA Tara Wray Tara Wray Tara Wray Few feature-length documentaries are this raw, candid and watchable. You’ll be drawn deeply into the dramatic reunion of mother and child. Filmmaker Wray admits she grew up in an oddly eccentric way, raised by a smart and well-meaning but deeply troubled mother for whom a little medication is a good and stabilizing thing. Years later, the prodigal daughter decides to film the emotionally fraught encounter, her omniscient lens ready to catch the predictable unpredictable. All guts, this film pushes the limits of experience, as the camera records the most vulnerable, honest moments of reflection and confrontation. This story is in many ways every daughter’s story of working through her relationship with the woman who brought her here.
Mary Power: A Lifetime of Stories Canada Michelle Jackson Michelle Jackson Michelle Jackson They say everyone has a story to tell, but some people are way better at telling it than others. Storytelling legend May Power not only had more than one story in her but she sure knew how to deliver. When Power spoke, people listened. Local filmmaker Michelle Jackson obviously wants us to share her enthusiasm and appreciation for this wonderful lady with the persistent twinkle in her eye. Mary Power is also a “lifetime of Pictures”, so take the wax out of your ears and clean your glasses.
Masterpeer Theatre Australia Anny Slater Anny Slater Anny Slater What’s silly and talks like Alistair Cook? Roll over if you want more.
Maybe Baby USA Shannon O’Rourke Shannon O’Rourke Shannon O’Rourke O’Rourke turns her fine lens of the subject of fertility, and specifically a group of women in their “thirties” and “forties” who, for one reason or another, long to change diapers. The problems is, you just can’t dial-a-baby, and so the industry dedicated to increasing and facilitating pregnancy is huge and expensive. The six women followed here in their quest to carry a child are all amazingly candid as they pursue their own emotional journeys, and by the end of this feature we’re rooting for them. Where there’s a will there’s a whole lot of hope and hormones going on.
Meet-Market.ca Canada Geneviève Poulette Geneviève Poulette Geneviève Poulette As the loaded title signals, this is an amusing narrative exercise in cyber dating. Film director Marie-Helen and fashion maven Zoe routinely do a Friday night girl thing, partying as hard as they can as spirited singles. One Friday they decide to sign up on Meet-market.ca to see what they can find. Well, you pays your money and takes your chances.
My First Time Driving USA Rebecca Feldman Liz Feldman Tom Rice Brought to us by the mentoring powerhouse of the American Film Institute, this well-made dramatic short starts with a cliche and takes you somewhere quite surprising. Young Rachel is itching to take the wheel but Mom can’t seem to give it up. A Best Short-winning treat, this amusingly nuanced narrative reminds us that the first time can be the life-changing one.
My Moon USA Bianca Franco Bianca Franco Bianca Franco A little girl travels through a fantastical world that is an allegory for birth, death, and dreams.
My Nose USA Gayle Kirschenbaum Charlotte Radmaker, Gayle Kirschenbaum Gayle Kirschenbaum Director Kirschenbaum displays her familiar sense of humor in a personal short about her long proboscis. Leave it to Gayle to marry the personal and the possible. This film dares to ask the important question: if it ain’t broke, should I fix it?
Night Walk: Boreal Poetry Garden Canada Elizabeth Zetlin Marlene Creates Elizabeth Zetlin This is a short docu-poem featuring award-winning Newfoundland artist Marlene Creates. Poet Liz Zetlin filmed Creates taking friends on a flashlight lit walk through her Portugal Cove boreal forest. Creates pauses along the way to read her boreal poems, “The Rattling Brook Path” and “All the Sounds”, each at the site of its inspiration. The Boreal Poetry Garden, says Creates, “commemorates certain fleeting moments of my interaction with the land where I live”.
Ninth Street Chronicles Canada Megan Martin Megan Martin Michael Gefland If ever a short film had the capacity to inspire women to make movies, this has gotta be it. A multi-award winning drama about a bunch of neighbourhood misfits, this entry gives new meaning to the term quirky. It’s summertime in the 80’s and Sara, all of ten years old and just a bit jaded by too much life experience, is searching for diversions. More subtle than your garden variety coming-of-age story, Megan Martin’s film celebrates the outsider who always learns the hard way. For the inner outsider in everyone.
Oh La La Canada Isabella Rossellini Jody Shapiro Jody Shapiro, Marble Media We always wanted Isabella Rossellini in our festival. Now we’ve got her, if only for a minute, and in Paris.
One Hundredth of a Second UK Susan Jacobson Susan Jacobson Alex Boden Timely and provocative, this five-minute dramatic piece is an uncanny achievement in depth. The implicit question at the heart of the matter is--what is the role of the photojournalist in a war zone? Armed with a camera, the image-maker also shoots her targets. There are no job descriptions for innocent bystanders.
Peace Talk Sweden Jenifer Malmqvist Jenifer Malmqvist Jenifer Malmqvist This film is a superbly executed short film about young girls Jonna and Emilie, killing time playing war games. Childhood is a contact sport, indeed, and before you can say “surrender” the girls have moved on to new forms of experimentation. A worried Mom oversees the negotiations with ambiguous results.
Prenumbra (Pen Friend) UK Gwynne McElveen Gwynne McElveen Gwynne McElveen Another fascinating documentary of the candid-reality kind. Irish filmmaker McElveen has long been interested in the life of prisoners and so she took up a pen pal relationship with one in particular. Rarely has a long-distance correspondence assumed so much tension. Her five-year exchange is with an artist named Jim, and eloquent, skilled illustrator for whom the word “sentence” holds special weight. Gwynne finally decides to meet Jim, and sets out on a journey across the pond and into his past, eventually putting a face to the name on the bottom of those lively and personal pages.
Praxis: Twillingate Canada Monica Kidd Monica Kidd Monica Kidd A short film about a month spent in rural Newfoundland as an outsider and a student doctor. The film was inspired by the discovery of color film shot by a Dr. Ecke, who worked in Twillingate in the 1930’s.
Raak (Contact) The Netherlands Hanro Sistman Anjet Daanje, Philip Delmaar, Hanro Smitsman Marc Bary If you ever wondered about the legitimacy of chaos theory this clever short film from the Netherlands will help put it all in perspective. As much a brilliant game of narrative as it is a dramatic enactment of the old saw, what goes around comes around, this film is a stunner of a story. In effect, this is a film about the possible effects of the smallest gestures, or, being between a rock and a....
Reservations USA Aloura Charles Aloura Charles Aloura Charles Set in a busy New York hotel, the interconnected plotlines of this highly entertaining feature film follow a group of strangers with somewhat overlapping lives. Each character is performed by an outstanding cast of actors. The feature debut by director Charles is an excellent achievement in storytelling for adults--a small, often comic picture with the promise of connection as its main and enduring theme.
Sand Dancer New Zealand Valerie Reid Valerie Reid Valerie Reid With nothing more than a broom and a beach, New Zealand artist Peter Donnelly works his images like a Buddhist on mood enhancers. This award-winning short shows us a spectacularly talented artist who teaches perspective in every sense of the term. His sand creations are astonishingly complex and yet fleetingly alive. They disappear into the ebb and flow of the sea almost as soon as they are completed, a life lesson in sand and fury for all of us. This stunning example of artistic humility is simply jaw-droppingly incredible.
Soft UK Simon Ellis Simon Ellis Jane Hooks A little girl travels through a fantastical world that is an allegory for birth, death and dreams.
Summer Breeze UK Kim Strobi Daniel James Palmer Kim Strobi Young Paul is idling a lazy summer day away. As if in a dream, the beautiful Hannah appears, her dress exploding in a bouquet of attractions. Before he really knows what hit him, Paul is falling under the spell of her allure. We predict the ending will tantalize your curiosity.
Surgery Spain Alberto Gonzalez Alberto Gonzalez Nahikari Ipina A multi-prize winning, moving illustration of an awkward conversation, and a set of fantasies about how things might have been. As small and spicy as good tapas, it’s Spanish--and it trembles.
Tanghi Argentini Belgium Anja Daelemans Geert Verbanck Anja Daelemans This Belgian offering is as good as it gets. Who needs Dancing with the Stars when you’ve got Patrick, an office clerk who knows that the quickest way to a woman’s heart is through the vertical expression of horizontal desire? This award-winning treat about finding modern love around the water cooler will set your toes a tapping. It takes two to tango but many to watch.
Treat Beat of Sex Latvia Signe Baumane Signe Baumane Pierre Poire Does size matter? Can sex solv everything? The very experienced Cynthia picks up where Dr. Sue left off. This is a highly original and thoroughly entertaining sex-ed movie wisely delivered from an exclusively woman’s point of view. It’s fun and it’s good for you.
The Girl with Short Hair UK Maryann Mohajer Michelle Meeker Michelle Meeker This really short study in the psychology of human reactions takes us to that familiar wobbly moment between innocence and experience. When a little girl with short hair starts telling her Mom about what happened to her at a party, a long road of complexity opens up ahead.
The Safety of Others USA Jenni Tooley Jenni Tooley Highly original in its execution, this curiously titled short film is about a 30-something guy who is working up the nerve to approach someone at Happy Hour. He’s had his eye on her for some time, but his cocky demeanor masks an inner life of doubt and insecurity. In short, he’s as human as the next apparently confident guy at the bar.
The Tale of How South Africa Ree Treweek, Markus Smit Markus Smit The Blackheart Gang A spectacular moving tableau animates this etymological tale, the story of the dodo and its mysterious demise. You’ve never seen anything quite so imaginative as this collaborative effort from South Africa, brain candy for the open-minded.
The Wrong Trainers UK Kez Margrie Kez Margrie BBC, Slinky Pictures Ltd. Five real life stories told by six children all living in poverty in the UK. Each story is expressed using a different form of animation.
They Call Me Muslim Italy/France/Iran Diana Ferrero Diana Ferrero Diana Ferrero Two women each living out their Muslim identities in very different ways, Samah and K (whose name is protected for obvious reasons). Samah lives in defiantly secular France where a national law forbids Muslim girls from wearing any head coverings or hijabs in school. K lives in restrictively religious Tehran, where a woman must be covered in public. Interestingly, each young woman defies the law imposed in her own way. Each has a claim on the argument of rights and freedom: each demands the right to control her own body and its presentation in the public sphere. This provocative documentary is both typical and unusual in its open-minded examination of religious practice.
This is A Phone Canada Debra Felstead Debra Felstead Debra Felstead This is a witty short about cell phones--appropriately enough, all shot on a cell phone (and now while driving). We’ve gone a long way from “is that you Dr. Watson?”. Felstead sure calls it in well.
Today I Become A Man USA Mocha Jean Herrups Mocha Jean Herrups Mocha Jean Herrups No, this short doc is not about a bat mitzvah. It’s about a man who tries to pass as a real drag queen by pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man. Pass the Gravol and enjoy the show. To see it is to get it/him/her/she/he.
To Dublin With Love Canada Barbara Doran Barbara Doran Barbara Doran, Lynne Wilson This film celebrates an extended moment of cultural exchange, when many of our finest writers and performers took their talent to the pubs and reading halls of Dublin. The brilliant creative team at Morag Loves Company has assembled a stunning collage of exceptional ambassadors: the likes of Des Walsh, Lisa Moore, Michael Crummey and Joel Hynes charms the shillelaghs off the Irish, while Ron Hynes plays it all in perspective. Indeed, we love the company this film keeps, and we applaud its lyrical tribute to the art of words.
Toro Bravo (Brave Bull) Canada Madi Piller Madi Piller Madi Piller A beautiful experimental animation which uses a variety of materials--charcoal drawings, sand, cut-outs, and photocopies--to depict a bull fight. It expresses the filmmaker’s sadness at the brutality of our times, and the omnipresence of violence as spectacle.
To Spiti Me Tis Elies (House Of The Olive Trees) USA/Greece Thouly Dosios Maeve McQuillan, Thouly Dosios Louizos Aslanidis If the title is Greek to you, you’re well on your way to appreciating this short dramatic film about the vagaries of love. One day Anna thinks she’s figured out her independence; the next day there’s a Markos in her life. Uncanny in the view of the destructive Greek forest, fires of 2007, this film is smokin’.
Tricksters Canada Marian Frances White Marian Frances White, Beni Malone Marian Frances White This celebration of local culture focuses on the first eve Innu circus festival in Labrador. The documentary chronicles the unique range of events over the festival period, from world-champion hoop dancing to rope climbing, juggling and all forms of play and magic. Most affecting is the way the camera both catches the curiosity of native children, as they watch in awe and wonder, and listens to the Elders, as they articulate what’s important to their struggling community. Wonderbolt Circus creator and artistic director Beni Malone works his usual magic on everyone he meets, and in the end both the visitors and the visited have been deeply changed by the experience. Film audiences are sure to feel the same.
Vive Le Film Canada Madi Piller Madi Piller Madi Piller A celebration of the film medium and its capacity to preserve memories, which centres on a photograph of the filmmaker’s Romanian grandparents at their engagement party in 1927.
Waitress USA Adrienne Shelly Adrienne Shelly Michael Roloff There’s a sad poignancy to this terrific comedy, in that director writer Adrienne Shelly’s life was tragically cut down before she ever had the chance to see her success. Nonetheless, this film is a tribute to her talent and unforgettable achievement. The film features the lovely Keri Russell in the title role as Jenna, a small-town girl who can bake sweetness from misery the way Edit Piaf sang joy out of tragedy. Pregnant and unhappy with a moron of a husband, Jenna somehow finds a way to move forward, falling into a crush over her doctor, finding solidarity in her girlfriends, and concocting a life as American as apple pie.
Walkin' to New Orleans USA Lynn Estomin Lynn Estomin Lynn Estomin Arguably the shortest protest film in recorded history, this film flexes all the important muscles to send its message. War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin’.
When I Grow Up USA Michelle Meeker Michelle Meeker Michelle Meeker Meeker interviewed young people aged 7-10 year about what they would like to be when they grow up. Well, we all know that kids say the darndest things. She then cleverly gave each of the interviews to a group of talented animators, giving each total control over the illustrative process. The animated result is a rich collage of dreams and desires, lovely and poignant and utterly charming.
When Owls Dream Canada Rae Staseson Rae Staseson Rae Staseson On a dreary February day something very magical happens…
Elling Lien