Monthly Archives: September 2015

‘Loss Of Contact’ Crosses The Finish Line To ‘Short Film Face Off’ Finals

CBC’s Short Film Face Off aired its third episode on September 26th with its final trio of talented filmmakers. From this group, the third finalist was chosen to appear on the October 3rd episode for an opportunity to win $45,000 from Telefilm Canada, SIM Digital and PS Production Services in a film production prize package.

The last group of filmmakers for this season comprised of BJ Verot (Loss of Contact), Patrick Hagarty (The Golden Ticket) and Nina Reed (Nervous Poo). Humour was the order of the day for all three films. In Loss of Contact, a champion race walker bows out of a competition and opens the door for a new winner; a nice guy having a bad day gets a chance to make things right on The Golden Ticket; a young woman in Nervous Poo is trapped on a toilet while her date waits on the other side of the bathroom door.SFFO_2015_Poster3

Loss of Contact moved on to next week’s final round with a strong 13.5 points. Nervous Poo took second spot with 11.0 points and The Golden Ticket secured 8.5 points for third place.

There was no lack of humour in any of these films. Loss of Contact was a funny send-up of documentary-style films. The use of a German narrator and the race walking theme gave the film a quirky European feel. The Golden Ticket was a light-hearted look at misunderstandings and aggressiveness; Carlo Rota’s role in the film made for a convincing ‘wish granter’. Nervous Poo was a comical take on first date anxiety. Instead of locking eyes in a restaurant, the couple experienced that moment in a bathroom.

There was humour on the stage as well as the films. Michelle could not keep herself from laughing during the review of Loss of Contact. The film’s German voice-over and her realization that BJ was the French race walker made her giggle. Also, Nina’s revelation that the ‘nervous poo thing’ was worsening since making the film was hilarious. Not only did she laugh at the situation, but so did host Steve Patterson and the studio audience.

BJ, Patrick and Nina did a great job as contestants on Short Film Face Off . Good luck to BJ (and co-producer Brad Crawford) as he moves on to the final round. Go to the website at to watch this newest episode and the films.

Since the winner of the $45,000 prize will be reavealed on the October 3rd episode, viewers of Short Film Face Off are encouraged to go to to vote for his or her favourite short film either via telephone or the website. Voters have until Sunday night to cast their ballot.



‘Eddie’ Drives Ahead To Reach The Final Round On ‘Short Film Face Off’

The second round of CBC’s Short Film Face Off aired on September 19th with a new group of fascinating filmmakers. Just like last week’s contestants, each of them had an opportunity to advance to the show’s final round for a chance to win a coveted $45,000 film production prize from Telefilm Canada, SIM Digital and PS Production Services.

SFFO_2015_Poster2The second group of filmmakers to grace the stage were James McLellan (Period Piece), Allison Coon-Come (Eddie) and Martine Blue (Me2). These three films were creative, memorable and reflective all at the same time. A filmmaker attempts to produce a love story during adverse situations in Period Piece; a lost toy car in Eddie drives itself in an attempt to find its owner; a novelist clones herself in order to spend more time with her family in Me2.

At the end of the episode, Allison Coon-Come’s Eddie advanced to the final round of Face Off with 11.5 points. Period Piece came in a close second with 11.0 points, while Me2 finished in third place with 10.5 points.

These films had an educational appeal. Period Piece taught us to never give up in the face of adversity. It was also an entertaining salute to the different film genres of romance, horror and action. Similarly with Eddie, the toy car symbolized the human need and desire to keep going until one finds what he or she is looking for. It was touching to see how the toy car eventually got back together with its original owner.  Me2 was a funny lesson in the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’, as the novelist clearly got more than what she bargained for. The film also had a great roster of familiar Canadian actors such as Cathy Jones, Susan Kent and Jonny Harris.

During the panel’s scoring of Eddie, Eli made a reference and comparison to the 1966 classic NFB film Paddle to the Sea by Bill Mason. In this short film, a miniature wood carving of a canoe sets sail on a journey to the sea. For those who have never seen the film before, you can watch it on the NFB website:

Congratulations to James, Allison and Martine for appearing on Short Film Face Off . Good luck to Allison as she moves on to the final round. You can watch this latest episode and the films at


‘The Toll’ Gets The Green Light To Advance On ‘Short Film Face Off’

Autumn in Canada can mean only one thing for fans of Canadian short film:  the highly anticipated eighth season of Short Film Face Off on CBC-TV. For new fans of the genre or for those who are curious about the show, Short Film Face Off is the kind of program that will greatly influence your admiration of and desire for Canadian shorts.

As in previous seasons, you will see well-crafted films, meet the creators and vote for a prize winner. For four weeks, nine filmmakers will vie for a substantial filmmaking prize of $30,000 from Telefilm Canada and an additional $15,000 from SIM Digital and PS Production Services. A panel of three judges will choose three finalists to advance to the final round on October 3rd. The winner will be announced in the fourth and final episode after all audience votes are tallied.

The first episode of this newest season aired on September 12th from coast to coast. Steve Patterson returned as host, while Mohit Rajhans, Michelle Latimer and Eli Glasner resumed their roles as panelists.

SFFO_2015_Poster1Tonight’s contestants were Scott Simpson (The Toll), Anna Sikorski (W-A-L-K) and Joshua Demers (Emily) and they competed with three very powerful shorts. In The Toll, a lone tollbooth operator’s dull night becomes unexpectedly eventful after a car crash; a 12-year old girl learns to handle high heel shoes in W-A-L-K; a young boy in Emily has to decide whether or not to join his sweetheart in the afterlife.

While Emily garnered 10.5 votes from the panel, both The Toll and W-A-L-K earned 12.5 votes. A tie-breaking decision was required from the panel. After a quick huddle, The Toll was selected to advance to the final round.

Each of the films had their own special qualities that drew you in and made you focus. The Toll was dark, grim and suspenseful with a surprise ending. Using smartphone text message bubbles was clever and reflected the reality of today’s phone communication. It was nice to see a mix of English and French dialogues in W-A-L-K. Although the girl wanted to be grown-up with high heels, eating ice cream was a great way to take time getting there. Emily showed us that letting go of the past is a hard decision for anybody to make. By letting go, the boy showed maturity; preferring life over death.

Steve’s reference to the band Trooper at the beginning was funny; it was also cute to see Anna wear the high heel shoes on the show.

Congratulations go out to Joshua, Anna and Scott. We wish Scott all the best as he advances to the final round in October for the $45,000 production award. Visit  to watch the entire episode and each film separately.


Guest Post: Katy Swailes Shares Sneak Peek Into ‘Short Film Face Off’

Comments and opinions about the articles posted at Short Film Fan are always appreciated. Similarly, anyone who would like to share his or her thoughts about Canadian short films is invited to submit an article to Short Film Fan as a guest. This week’s post is the first-ever written by a guest contributor. Katy Swailes manages social media for the CBC program, Short Film Face Off.  In her article, Katy gives us a sneak peek into what viewers can expect to see in this season’s episodes.


Behind-the-scenes on Short Film Face Off

Katy Swailes 4Earlier this year, nine filmmakers from across Canada gathered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to tape the eighth season of Short Film Face Off. The series showcases a selection of shorts and directors over four episodes, with the ultimate aim of winning a $45,000 production package. Each episode ends with one film—as determined by the judges—advancing to the final round. You the viewers will vote for the winner when the show airs this month on CBC Television.

I was at the heart of the action, monopod-mounted iPhone in hand, bringing a taste of production week to our fans on social media. And with host Steve Patterson (The Debaters) and an eclectic group of filmmakers hailing from six regions of Canada, there was no shortage of shenanigans to capture over four days. Check out some of the antics that went on when THE cameras weren’t rolling, but mine was.

IMG_5765_cropped1These shoes were made for W-A-L-K-ing, and that’s just what Montreal’s Anna Sikorski did on day one of the Face Off, donning the actual heels worn by actor Madison McAleer in Anna’s endearing, coming-of-age film W-A-L-K. If Anna is nervous about facing the judges, we definitely can’t tell. Here she strikes a pose in the hair and makeup room right before hitting the set.

Catch the stompers in action when W-A-L-K airs alongside Emily (Joshua Demers) and The Toll (Scott Simpson) in the Short Film Face Off premiere this Saturday.


We get into show biz for the glory but we stay for the craft services, amirite? The green room is well stocked but not even Maynards can compete with James McLellan’s Period Piece, a clever homage to filmmaking with a twist that had us gasping and laughing in one breath.

From Manitoba, James shares the stage with Quebec’s Allison Coon-Come (Eddie) and Newfoundland’s Martine Blue (Me2) in episode two on September 19.

This year, Short Film Face Off production took place in the new CBC Halifax complex, a space that used to be a Hudson’s Bay store. Here, Steve pokes fun at some vintage-looking equipment found in the otherwise shiny new facility.

It’s all shorts and giggles until the gloves come off and the elbows go up. Amid the CBC IMG_6005Atlantic News teleprompters, Yukon’s Nina Reed (Nervous Poo), Toronto’s Patrick Hagarty (The Golden Ticket) and Winnipeg’s BJ Verot (Loss of Contact) get duly acquainted before hitting the studio to tape episode three, airing September 26.

We promise no directors were harmed in the making of this show; but only three will advance to the final round. Tune in each week to find out who makes it—and then it’s YOUR turn to vote for the winner! You have 24 hours to cast your vote online or by phone after episode three airs on September 26. And with $45,000 in cash and services up for grabs, this just might be the most important ballot you cast all fall.

Follow @cbcshortfilm on Twitter and like our Facebook page for many more behind the scenes reveals. Watch all the films and episodes, starting this Saturday, on CBC Television or online at

Ed note: All photos and videos provided by kind courtesy of Katy Swailes/ CBC Short Film Face Off