Film festivals take place in various cities in Canada all year and are lots of fun to attend. In the background of each festival, programmers are busy sourcing and securing enjoyable films to screen for their audiences. Certain criteria are carefully considered when making a final decision for choosing the shorts that eventually appear on the screen. But as Canadian short film fans might wonder, what are these criteria that programmers use?
This year, Vaughan Film Festival was held from May 25th to 28th and featured a variety of Canadian short films among shorts from other countries. Short Film Fan caught up with Antonio Ienco, one of the festival’s co-founders and chairs, to learn more about how the Canadian shorts were chosen and how they fared with the audience.
Short Film Fan: Why were these Canadian shorts chosen, in particular?
Antonio Ienco: The Canadian short films that were chosen for Vaughan Film Festival 2015 (VFF) were ‘Lines’ (directed by Amy Jo Johnson of ‘Flashpoint’, ‘Felicity’ and ‘Power Rangers’ and featuring Enrico Colantoni), ‘Reunions’, ‘Temperature Drop’ and ‘The Present’. These films were chosen from over 200 international films submitted to this year’s festival. They were chosen because they were able to tell their stories in an engaging way. When we selected films for VFF, the panel looked at all aspects of film making – acting, directing, cinematography and writing. But what it comes down to is this: “Is the story going to engage the audience?” Once that is accomplished, then we narrowed down our selection.
SFF: How were they received by the audience? Did any of them resonate with the viewers in any way?
AI: The audience was very pleased to see the number of Canadian submissions increase year after year. With this year’s lineup, ‘The Present’ was nominated for two awards in the category of Best Film and Best Director, whereas ‘Temperature Drop’ and ‘Lines’ were nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Actress. I would have to say that ‘Reunions’ resonated most with the audience as film maker Naomi Wise was available for the screening and answered an abundance of questions during her Q & A from a very intrigued audience.
SFF: What are your plans for next year’s Canadian shorts? Will you be adding more to the lineup, for example?
AI: We are looking forward to next year’s submissions as we doubled from our second to third year. I can only imagine how many we are going to receive for 2016. Regarding Canadian films for 2016, it all really depends on how many are submitted. The more Canadian shorts submitted the more likely we are to screen more than the previous year. For all Canadian and international filmmakers looking to submit to VFF 2016, submissions open on Sept 1 2015 and close on Jan 31 2016. Visit vaughanfilmfestival.com to submit.
Congratulations goes out to Antonio and everyone at Vaughan Film Festival for a such a successful showing of Canadian short films this year. All the best for next year’s festival, including receiving a record number of Canadian shorts entries for 2016.
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