For short film producers and fans in Canada, September 13th, 2014, was a highly-anticipated date. The first episode of the newest season of Short Film Face Off aired that evening on CBC Television. In this episode, we met the first three film makers who were competing for a chance to win a film production package grand prize of $45,000.
Steve Patterson introduced us one-by-one to directors Alan Miller (‘In Passing’); Madison Thomas (‘Out of Reach’); and Harmony Wagner (‘Queen of the Crows’). Each film maker shared with the audience some interesting tidbits about his or her film, such as production quirks. Each film was rated by the three-member panel of Mohit Rajhans, Michelle Latimer, and Eli Glasner. The studio audience also had a chance at rating each film. The final combined ratings tally would wind up picking the first finalist.
All three films had a serious and deep tone about them. ‘In Passing’ dealt with the story of two people who decided to end their lives by jumping off a building, but yet found love at the last minute. ‘Out of Reach’ looked at a struggling young woman locked in her apartment. ‘Queen of the Crows’ examined how we view and deal with mental illnesses in our society.
In the end, Miller’s film ‘In Passing’ won a total of 13.5 stars and moved on to the final face off round. His film received positive praise from the panel, including a perfect score rating from Glasner of 4.0 out of 4.0 (something that ‘rarely’ ever happens on SFFO, according to Patterson). Wagner’s ‘Queen of the Crows’ came in second at 11 stars and Thomas’ film ‘Out of Reach’ finished third at 10.5 stars.
If you missed the first episode’s premiere broadcast, find it as well as each of these films at this link:
Although the tone of each film was quite serious, everyone on the program had fun. The audience members were smiling, Steve Patterson was his usual funny self, the directors were enjoying the spotlight, and the panel gave good praises and great constructive criticisms of each film.
I liked each one of these films, and I appreciated learning more about the behind-the-scenes information from each director. These little bits of information can help viewers to better understand the challenges that directors face in putting together a short film. This, in turn, makes all of us appreciate the genre so much more.
Congratulations goes out to Harmony, Madison and Alan for making it to this round of SFFO. Best of luck goes to Alan in his quest for the $45,000 grand prize.
For an in-depth interview with all three of these film makers, have a look at this video (courtesy of Short Film Face Off):