In addition to its well rounded feature film programming, IFFF also showed a robust list of shorts from around the world. Consisting of two dedicated blocks and some pre-feature entertainments, over two dozen were screened over the ten-day festival. Here were some highlights.
Two titles I had seen while screening shorts for other festivals and was very happy to see on the big screen, were Philip McKie's Breaker and Robin Kaspirik's I Am The Doorway.
Filled with spectacular production design, the former was a master class in cyberpunk world building and the latter was one of the trippiest Stephen King adaptations to come down the pike in a long while.
I was pretty taken by Marica Petrey's Zoey and the Wind-up Boy. A partial adaptation of an existing live performance piece, this was a beautifully shot short that included Californian landscapes I never knew existed. It also had some musical accompaniment that was so striking that I couldn't help thinking to myself “remember to look into this soundtrack” while it unspooled. With all the ugliness in the world right now, it was refreshing to see Petrey shining some light into the universe.
I was glad to see a familiar face in Ithaca, as Ashlea Wessel was there representing Toronto with her short, Ink. Her tale about the potentially horrifying prospect of pregnancy played before my fave film of the fest, Tigers Are Not Afraid.
One thing I really clocked into about IFFF this year was their active interest in showing films of every flavour, whether it be Jack Warner's twenty-eight minute opus, Jenny Secoma In: The Blind Spot or Kevin Farmini's Super 8 kung-fu joint, Viola vs The Vampire King.
Keep it up, guys. You are doing it right.