Worldwide Short Film Festival - Preview #1

Worldwide Short Film Festival
Toronto - June 1 to 6, 2010
Midnight Mania - Freaky Programme 

The Worldwide Short Film Festival fires up soon - from Jun 1 to 6 - here's the first in a series of previews I'll be running of some of their programmes. For a full listing and more details, please check out their link.

From animated weirdness to stop motion to live action and experimental treatments, this crop of shorts covers nearly all the bases in its quest to bring you midnight freakishness.
The Little Dragon (Le Petit Dragon)
Bruno Collet  France - 2009
8 minutes 35mm
Animation - Toronto Premiere
A martial arts themed combination of stop motion animatino and live action in a cute meditation on what would happen if magic incense brought a Bruce Lee figure to life. Cute and fun, if slightly melancholy in parts.

Still Birds (Alle Fugler)
Sara Eliassen Norway - 2009
13 minutes 35mm
Fiction - Canadian Premiere
Weird and atmospheric, this live action short explores an off kilter apocalyptic world where adults are zombie-types and children live in institutional like buildings with green hallways and fluorescent tube lighting. Only one of them can still speak or use language, a skill that proves crucial. Art school aesthetics rule (see image below).

Clean Carousel
Andreas Bødker Denmark - 2010
2 minutes  DigiBeta 
Animation - North American Premiere
A beautifully drawn animated piece about an old tyme carousel and its keeper, who takes drastic measures as the carousel is threatened by a flock of crows and barfing children. It's from Denmark. There is no happy ending.
The Twin Girls of Sunset Street (Les Bessones del Carrer de Ponent)
Marc Riba, Anna Solanas Spain - 2010
13 minutes Beta
Animation - North American Premiere
The creepiest, most disturbing one of the bunch, this stop motion animated film tells the dark tale of two elderly sisters who kidnap children, eat them, and turn them into tonics that they sell. And that's not the worst of it! Nightmare-inducing.
To Kill A Bumblebee (Laharog Devora)
Tal Granit, Sharon Maymon Israel - 2009
8 minutes DigiBeta
Fiction - World Premiere
A live action black comedy about a pair of hunters whose day of shooting for boar goes horribly awry  - or one thing leads to another...

The Tail Gunner
Sam Lanyon Jones UK - 2009
1 minutes  DigiBeta
Animation - North American Premiere
What do cute kitty-kats dream of while they're curled up so adorably? Those of us who have cats won't be surprised that it's not all warm and fuzzy.

Beauty Plus Pity
Emily Vey Duke, Cooper Battersby Canada - 2009
14 minutes DigiBeta 
Part live action documentary, part (intentionally) crudely animated musical, this experimental film includes fucked up narratives about killing animals to be close to them, drugging animals in the zoo to be close to them
(something very serial killer-ish about this theme) and cartoon animals that sing about family dysfunction. Yet, it's oddly watchable in a stream of consciousness kind of way.

Prince of Milk (Gyunyu Ohji)
Eisuke Naito Japan - 2009
15 minutes DigiBeta
Fiction - Canadian Premiere
This one was made by the kind of crazy kids who go to the Film School of Tokyo. Naturally, there are schoolgirls, sexual humiliation, suicide and bloody revenge, along with the murderous use of umbrellas and a song about milk in a compelling pastiche of over the top aberrancy.
Yellow Belly End
Philip Bacon UK -  2009
9 minutes DigiBeta
Animation - Toronto Premiere
This British animated eccentricity features people costumed as animals. One dressed as a canary sits at a desk and dutifully notes the number of suicides jumping off a cliff in a book, by species - cats, dogs, lemmings and so on. It develops a nice sense of dramatic tension amongst the surreality of it all. I really wanted to find out what was going to happen to him - the canary - even after he threw the mouse guy in the suitcase over the edge...