Saturday, January 30, 2016

Vancouver Short Film Festival: Child's Play & Pursuit of Identity Saturday's Films Vancity Theater Jan 30th

The second night of the films are more of a family adventure as this night is all ages, more family appropriate for sure. This evening will feature the debut of 9 year old Maia Costea called "Behind The Rocks" which has already got her some press. She told Vancity Buzz this:


For award-winning director Maia Costea, age is just a number.

“I’ve been acting since I was five-years-old, and started filmmaking at age seven,” said Costea, nine-year-old writer and director of the short film Behind the Rocks. “It’s fun using your imagination to create your own story. And when you’re done, you feel proud.”


Now onto the films , once again I have been sent links to the films for early reviews of them.


                       CHILD'S PLAY 7 PM START TIME

                                                    BITE                                         
RUNNING TIME: 9:15
Bite tells the story of a love story between a young boy and girl --she just happens to be dead is all, one of the living dead. Some shots of them at the playground at their school and on the steps for lunch has some interesting lunches each day she arrives.
He gives her his heart and they walk off into the sunset together hands holding hearts.

                               WILLA & THE WILLIS                                 
RUNNING TIME : 4:12

A young woman dances in her room to visions of ballerinas dancing on her wall with the help of a projector.
This then transform into the woods where she is dancing with some women almost representing angels? No dialogue here just music and dance.

                                 MY LEAST FAVORITE PERSON               
RUNNING TIME: 11:31

This film won the Jury Award at last years World Film Festival in Montreal and was part of the Official Selection of the 19th Asian Film Festival , also last year. This is also a Official Selection here in the festival.
The film tells a story of a young woman that has a fight with some of her classmates , only to defend another classmate --she thinks she is doing the right thing by standing up to them but is soon told she was wrong. Her teacher berates her telling her she is not a hero in the books she reads. Her mother also tells her she was wrong and makes her write an apology letter to the class and her teacher.
Good work her by all the actors. Directing is good pulls you into the story and really makes you care for our lead actress.


                                         MICHI                                                 
RUNNING TIME: 4:10 

This film plays out more like a music video as there is a song throughout it with no narrative or dialogue. The visuals are interesting almost using the artwork in some of the books I remember reading as a child. 


                                       BEHIND THE ROCKS                       
RUNNING TIME: 5:01

Already making a name for herself just on the fact she is probably one of the youngest entrants into any festival. This is a great little imaginative film starring our director , her younger sister and another young woman. They find some magical rocks that transfers them through time and into a magical forest where they each have some powers. She has a great idea and look forward to what she makes next.


 
KINDERGARTEN 
RUNNING TIME :12:11

This is a fun little film as well.
Here we have people in a board room discussing things and such , in walks the messenger and tells everyone that Audrey(woman above)did not graduate Kindergarten and if she wants to continue with the company she will have to go back and repeat the class and their boss everyone on his team to have a complete education.

 LETTER TO MY FUTURE SELF
RUNNING TIME: 10:00

This film is exactly what it says it is, when younger the girl on the right wrote a letter to herself when she would turn 16. The letter arrives and she opens it. Upon reading the young girl to our right starts talking to her.
This has some helpful little segments between the young women.

 PURSUIT OF IDENTITY -8:30 START TIME

STRAWMAN
RUNNING TIME: 10:08

This is a different story than the rest this is a tale of a man being a brute and a homophobic man also that beats up another man for being gay , or at least that is the thought as we open the film.
Throughout the film he tries to get the bigot words off of his car. Then late one night his house is also sprayed with paint, only at the end does he realize the impact he is having on his young son that wants to stay with him and not his mother that is a lesbian.

NOT A STRANGER
RUNNING TIME: 14:02

Not a stranger is a project totally done by one man , that man is Colin and he suffers from clinical depression. But what he has chosen to do with his life is simply amazing, he went out of his house every single day of 2014 , met a stranger and interviewed them about their lives and wrote it on his social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Inspiring film this is was a joy to watch him connect with people in which we are all able to do.

 
DISSONANCE  
RUNNING TIME: 3:53

Here we start off with a young man wanting to use the restroom and his reluctance to do so, even knock on the door.
This is another film of acceptance and some different animation --the story has no narrative or dialogue well told though and something for the bullies of this world to see.

 CLOUDS OF AUTUMN 
RUNNING TIME : 14:55

This film was accepted into 6 film festivals last year including the Vancouver Film Festival as well.
This tells the story of two native siblings and their adventures to the pond , until one day the older sister has to start going to school.
There is some very big pieces of worry and concern for the sister when at school as the other child is quite lost without her.

THE PACIFIC WAYFARER
RUNNING TIME : 5:15

Telling the story through the lens and through the narrative from the surfer in the picture above. He shares with us the many reasons he loves to surf, his connection with the water that brings him food but also a connection with the sea as well.
A great little film and narrative piece.

NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL
RUNNING TIME: 19:45

This is easily my favorite short of the nights films. Tells many interlaced stories and the characters are so well developed and the performances are just great as well. The camera work and the story is what kept me interested and the history of these characters and the stories we don't know of their pasts and the little we find out in this small portion of their lives, makes us wanting more.
It has been a sincere pleasure to review these films for the festival and look forward to sharing some other news in a future article about the event as I am attending Saturday nights event.

Thank you for reading this
Sincerely
Anthony Nadeau