Canadian Film Fest 2015: Homegrown Shorts

astraea Here are my thoughts on seven of the eight shorts that will be playing as part of the Canadian Film Fest’s Homegrown Shorts showcase. When Fish Fly
A young girl grieving the loss of her mother receives a pet fish and must cope with its death too.  This short is told entirely without dialogue and, despite being somewhat of a sad story, it is also quite touching.  This is definitely a well made short.
★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT Astraea
After a car crash, a mother tries desperately to save her child.  Probably the most standout thing about Astraea is its very foggy production design, which gives it an otherworldly feel.  Given the way that the story of this short turns out, this is definitely not unintentional.  I quite enjoyed this one.
 ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 |  REALLY LIKED IT Some Things Won’t Sleep
A woman does a terrible thing to save her marriage and quickly learns that secrets don’t remain buried for long.  Built around narration by its protagonist, Some Things Won’t Sleep is an effective little horror short, with a growing tension throughout.
★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT Night Life
A woman spends her time, watching TV shows on her laptop, going to job interviews, and meeting men online.  This short is a slice of life of a woman, whose life clearly isn’t going the way she want it to.  There is definitely some memorable shots in this short, particularly the central character on an escalator.  However, the story could have been developed a bit more, since this woman’s dreams seems to be shattering, yet you don’t really find out why.  That said, it’s still an OK enough short.
★ ★ ★ 1/2 | FAIR  sic.
Two men talk about their lives in a steam room and things get heated really fast.  This is a short that is going to divide people.  What starts off as male bonding and discussions of fatherhood quickly changes tone, as it is revealed that these men have a very complicated history with each other.  This results in some flaring tempers and a really extreme ending that will likely turn off many.  I’m just going to leave it at that.
★ ★ 1/2 |  INDIFFERENT The Time Traveler
When a customer in a store recognizes a shop owner, it causes memories that the owner had repressed to come flashing back.  The Time Traveler uses time travel as a metaphor for memories and how people are able to travel back and forth in time in their man.  In this case, the central protagonist has a dark past, which he slowly remembers, even though it might have been better if he didn’t.  Overall, this is a quite solid short.
★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT The Day Santa Didn’t Come
A boy is worried that the bad deeds of himself and his family will affect the boy’s status on Santa’s list.  This is a cute little short, featuring an interesting cast of characters.  Definitely an enjoyable watch.
★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT Lunchroom Loser
Natasha would rather practice stand-up routines in the washroom, than deal with the politics and bullies in the lunchroom, deemed the world part of grade five.  Lunchroom Loser is definitely a bit of a surreal short, with the students acting mature past their age.  Perhaps it’s been a long time since I’ve been in the fifth grade, but these students seem more akin to high school cliques.  However, that ends up helping with my enjoyment of this short, which ends up being quite charming, even though the bullying depicted can get quite mean.
★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT Also screening as part of this showcase is the Canadian premiere of Finalitas.

  • Sat, March 28, 1:30 PM – The Royal Cinema

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).