As in previous years, BITS continues to champion Canadian short films, showcasing fifteen from filmmakers across the Great White North. I saw most of them, and have to say it was a very strong year. Here are a few highlights.
Karen Nielsen's Grace was my kind of short film. It was remarkably simple, dialogue driven and created a world in a small amount of time. It also had a great finish which is something that often eludes even the best craftsmen out there.
Another notable short featuring kids in the apocalypse was sixteen-year-old Morgana McKenzie's Kurayami No Wa. It was decidedly lo-fi, but hey, what the fuck were you doing when you were that age? There was a scope and a meditative tone to this that I really dug.
Blood In The Snow alumni Greg Kovacs and Jon Hyatt returned this year with new works, O Christmas Tree and Return, respectively. Kovacs twisted sense of humour was on full display once again as a little old lady receives a visit from some carolers on Christmas Eve and Hyatt pays homage to one of his favourite films, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Brett Kelly's Tale of the Bonesetter had a wonderful urban legend quality to it that was further strengthened by Scott Mclelland's over-the-top performance. The ending was a bit abrupt, but the mythos built within made for a very solid piece.
Lastly, I also really liked Vivian Lin's And They Watched as in just under six minutes, she wove a very dark tale indeed. It was well acted and complimented by some top notch production design and make-up effects.
So, that's another Blood In The Snow in the books. It is pretty safe to say that this festival is now thriving, considering how much great content is being put out in just the GTA alone these days. Toronto will be seeing red and white come the last weekend of November for many years to come.