Animation on view during “Short Cuts” in Toronto

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Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto Inter­na­tional Film Festival

The Toronto Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val is set to present 44 world-class Cana­dian short films, includ­ing four with ani­ma­tion, in this year’s Short Cuts Canada program.

With a lineup as diverse in themes and cul­tures as the coun­try itself, six engag­ing pro­grams will rep­re­sent the styles of both accom­plished and emerg­ing direc­tors from across Canada. From strong social state­ments to dead­pan humor, Short Cuts Canada pro­gram­mers Alex Rogal­ski and Mag­ali Simard received nearly 700 entries — the most sub­mis­sions to date for the pro­gram — indi­cat­ing steady growth in film tal­ent in Canada.

Pro­gram­ming Short Cuts Canada is more and more chal­leng­ing each year because of the level to which Cana­dian film­mak­ers are ele­vat­ing the qual­ity of short films,” said Simard. “It is a very excit­ing time for us as pro­gram­mers, and the future never looked brighter for Cana­dian shorts.”

Films in this year’s pro­gram have global reach and will appeal to audi­ences world­wide,” said Rogal­ski. “This year’s films are short in length, but long on impression.”

Films in the Short Cuts Canada pro­gram are eli­gi­ble for the Award for Best Cana­dian Short Film. This year’s jury includes jour­nal­ist and author Matthew Hays, jour­nal­ist Kat­rina Onstad and film­maker Regi­nald Harkema.

Among the films being screened:

Aubade (L’Aubade)
Carla Susanto, Ontario
2 min.
World Pre­miere
Engrav­ings from century-old med­ical text­books become an ani­mated back­drop to a man’s lov­ing good­bye dur­ing his final moments. The fleet­ing flicker of the mono­chro­matic images res­onates with the narrator’s quick­en­ing jour­ney as he tran­si­tions from one world to another.

Patrick Bouchard, Que­bec
9 min.
Toronto Pre­miere
Inspired by Russ­ian com­poser Mod­est Mussorgsky’s “Pic­tures at an Exhi­bi­tion,” Bydlo is a stag­ger­ing visual ren­der­ing of the lum­ber­ing wooden Pol­ish ox-cart pic­ture. Tech­ni­cally com­plex (Bouchard ani­mates plas­te­line) and artis­ti­cally fiery, Bydlo depicts the cycles of life, the power of man and beast, and both the beauty and hor­ror of labor.

Joda (Apart)
Theodore Ushev, Que­bec
4 min.
World Pre­miere
Poetic and polit­i­cal, Theodore Ushev’s lat­est ani­mated work cul­ti­vates his incred­i­ble tal­ent to call for the lib­er­a­tion of impris­oned Iran­ian film­mak­ers and to focus atten­tion on the plight of Jafar Panahi. Draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from raw footage of the Green Wave upris­ing to com­pose densely lay­ered roto­scoped images embed­ded with Farsi text, the result is a pow­er­ful piece of activism that is both per­sonal and profound.

Let the Day­light into the Swamp
Jef­frey St. Jules, Ontario
35 min.
World Pre­miere
The St. Judes ori­gins in the lum­ber camps of north­ern Ontario lead to a splin­tered fam­ily and a spot­ted his­tory filled with ques­tions and half answers. With a mix of ani­ma­tion, re-enactments and archival evi­dence, Jef­frey St. Jules assem­bles a three-part 3-D doc­u­men­tary col­lage that explores the con­se­quences of par­ents who make the dif­fi­cult deci­sion to give up their children.

The Fes­ti­val offers the TIFF Choice five-screening Cana­dian Pack, includ­ing fea­tures and shorts ($80 for adult, $68 stu­dent and senior). Pur­chase Fes­ti­val ticket pack­ages online 24 hours a day at, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET week­days at (416) 599-TIFF or 1–888-599‑8433, or visit the box office in per­son from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The 37th Toronto Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val runs from Sep­tem­ber 6 to 16.

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