Category Archives: Editorials

Where And How To Watch A Canadian Short Film

Watching Canadian shorts is fun to do and there are a lot of them to discover. Whether you’re new to the genre or already a fan, the following is a brief list on the places where you can access them and the ways to appreciate them.

1. Film festivals

Film festivals are great places to catch Canadian short films. They will set aside time and a venue to screen a wide variety of shorts. Not only have Canadian shorts been featured at Canadian film festivals, but also at festivals in the U.S. and in other countries as well. Look for a film festival in your area and check out their schedule to see when the short films are set to play. You might even get a chance to see some shorts win awards.

2. While travelling on an airplane

If you’re on a flight somewhere in Canada, for example, there is plenty of time to watch Canadian shorts found on the in-flight entertainment systems. Air Canada features a variety of shorts on its ‘enRoute’ system all free of charge. Why even try to watch a feature-length movie when you may not get a chance to see it from beginning to end? You can easily squeeze in a string of shorts from start to finish from the time you’ve made altitude to the time you start your descent. Flying international? Watching Canadian shorts will make you feel as if you were at home.

3. Teaching or presenting to a class

If you’re a teacher or if you are giving some kind of presentation to a class, enhance your lesson plan by showing a short film. Not only will you break-up the in-class routine for a while, but shorts can often shed more light on the subject you are teaching. Maybe even lighten the mood. A few years ago, a gentleman from the transportation field was a guest speaker at a professional logistics class lecture. Instead of just presenting material that could be found straight out of a textbook, he borrowed and screened a copy of the NFB’s ‘The Romance of Transportation in Canada‘ to the class. The film’s story and humor was well-received by everyone in the classroom.

4. Weekend evenings

The time of day also makes a difference when watching Canadian shorts. The best time of day to watch shorts is in the evening after 8 p.m on a Friday or Saturday. Maybe you’ve recorded CBC’s short film program ‘Canadian Reflections‘ or Rewind Channel’s ‘Homegrown Shorts’ earlier in the week on your PVR. The lights are turned down real low. You’ve sat down with a bowl of popcorn or potato chips and now you’re ready to watch a good selection of Canadian shorts for the next 30 minutes. Life is good.

5. Canada Day

Of course, celebrating Canada Day would not be complete without watching a few Canadian shorts. You can find them on all sorts of websites such as NSI Canada, CBC Player for both ‘Canadian Reflections‘ and ‘Short Film Face Off‘, as well as dozens of websites and Vimeo pages belonging to the Canadian short film makers themselves. There is such a wealth of excellent Canadian shorts to be found online. During the day, make a list of the ones you want to watch. Then watch them on your laptop or smartphone before you set out to catch the fireworks at your local park. Or, you might be so absorbed by the films that you will miss the fireworks altogether!

Happy Watching and have a Happy Canada Day!

 

 (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

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Happy Anniversary, Short Film Fan!

It’s hard to believe, but today is Short Film Fan’s first anniversary! When I launched the blog last year, it was definitely a different venture for me. I never saw myself as a blogger, yet I wanted to create a place where I could write about and share my interest in Canadian short films with the public. The one question that went through my head at that time was: “Will anyone even read it?” Suffice to say, I’m really happy with the results, so far.

As of today, Short Film Fan has been read over 1,200 times in almost 40 countries, including Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and various countries in Europe and Asia. Thank you so much to all those readers out there! I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to meet and connect with various people in the Canadian broadcast and film industry. Their interest and participation in my blog via interviews, research and information has helped make the blog what it is today!

The good news is that I have no plans in stopping. I look forward to posting more film reviews, interviews and general information posts about Canadian short films in the coming months. As a fan blog site, it’s my pleasure to inform other fans, and potential fans, about the great wealth of Canadian short films that are out there.

If you haven’t done so already, why not let others know about Short Film Fan? Maybe you have a friend, relative or co-worker who would be interested in knowing about Canadian short films? Also, if you have any comments or questions about the blog or about any of the posts, please feel free to post one at any time.

Thanks again, everyone! Keep coming back!

 

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Question: Is It Time For An Oscars-Type Of Awards Show For Canadian Short Films?

On Sunday night, I tuned into the Oscars award ceremony on TV. This was the first time that I actually sat down to watch this mega film gala. I have never really cared too much to watch the Oscars in the past, but this year was different. I was particularly interested in who was going to win in two specific categories: Foreign Language Film and Animated Short Film.

While I was pleased to see the Polish film ‘Ida‘ win the Foreign Language Film category, I was disappointed to learn that Torill Kove’s animated NFB short, ‘Me and My Moulton‘ was not a winner in the Animated Short Film category. The winner was instead ‘Feast’ by Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed. I may be a bit biased, but Kove’s short about a girl and her sisters’ desire for a bicycle from their architect parents deserved to win the Oscar prize.

The NFB is no stranger to winning Oscars or even being nominated for them. Their website gives a complete list of their wins and nominations since 1939. This is an excellent achievement for Canada’s national film producer. But, the fact that Kove’s film did not win made me wonder if it’s time for a Canadian short film award gala much like the Oscars.

This short film awards ceremony would honour the best in both live action and animated short films made by Canadian short film makers. It would offer similar categories as found at the Oscars, such as Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Music, Best Sound Editing, Best Writing, and so forth. It can take place in different cities every year, such as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. Most importantly, this Canadian short film awards ceremony would place a national spotlight on Canadian short film makers and actors for all to see and appreciate.

Yes, the Canadian Screen Awards does celebrate Canadian film and television talent each year. But, I’m talking about a gala just for Canadian shorts. I think it’s time we start to plan one soon; there is a lot of short film talent that should be celebrated in Canada. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Thank You, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Dear Short Film Fan Readers:

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit and read Short Film Fan since it was launched in May 2014. Never could I have predicted the number of visitors to the site from so many countries. I hope that everyone has found my posts interesting to read and the films fun to watch. It’s my wish that you will return next year.

A big thanks goes out to everyone at CBC Short Film Face Off for allowing me the opportunity to review the show’s episodes in the fall. Thanks also goes out to Jennifer Liao, Ez-Reklama, all my blog followers, new Twitter followers, and everyone who has shared my blog posts via Twitter re-tweets.

I am looking forward to taking Short Film Fan into 2015 with more reviews news and information on the extremely fascinating topic of Canadian short films.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. See you next year!

christmas tree

Happy Canada Day – Enjoy a Short Canadian Film Today

Happy Canada Day! Have a great time with your family and friends in whatever activities you have planned today. Canadians are lucky to live in a country full of abundance and opportunity. It’s also exciting to see so much film, music and television talent emerging from our nation in the past few decades.

Canada is definitely coming of age in the film industry and from the looks of things, there’s no shortage of quality short films out there. So, let’s celebrate those who make them a reality by watching one, two, three or more Canadian short films today! Check out the one’s posted on this blog, and watch more short films on the websites below:

http://www.nsi-canada.ca/film-festival/

https://www.nfb.ca/explore-all-films/ (click on the ‘Formats’ menu on the left-hand side, then select ‘Short-Film’)

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/Canadian+Reflections/

Enjoy!

 

 (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Quick Book Review: “Writing the Short Film” by Pat Cooper and Ken Dancyger

If you are a short film fan like me, you are probably curious as to how to they are made. One book that’s a great introduction into the short film world is ‘Writing the Short Film’ by Pat Cooper and Ken Dancyger (published by Focal Press, 2005).

http://www.focalpress.com/books/details/9780240805887/

In this 359-page book, we learn the principles of story writing and telling for the short film format. The authors cover the different story types (melodrama, docudrama, hyperdrama and experimental narrative). References are made and examples are used by previous short film makers, including the authors’ own students. Throughout the book, actual film scripts are reprinted so that the reader has a better idea of formatting.

This was a good read. All the concepts were explained very well and the film examples were interesting, as well. After reading the book, I felt very motivated to take a film making course or even just to buy my own little camera and apply the concepts that way. Either way, I recommend ‘Writing the Short Film’ to all fans of short films.

 

Welcome short film fans!

My name is Mike, and welcome to my blog about short films.

Let me clarify that I don’t work in the film industry at all. I’m simply a fan of the short film genre. I can’t remember when I first got into short films. Maybe they caught my interest after watching the CBC show, Canadian Reflections, one late night. Maybe it was my fond memory of watching National Film Board animated films at school or on television.

Either way, short films have made a real impact on me. Many times, I would prefer to watch short films instead of full-length feature films. They are basically short stories translated onto the screen. They can tell the story in a matter of minutes, without the need of subplots. They can often leave the viewer in awe and appreciation of the film maker’s talent. They can make you want to watch more and more!

My goal with this blog is to share and discuss some of my favorite short films that I’ve had the pleasure to watch on television or in a theatre. I’d also like to include posts regarding festivals, events, news, and hopefully an interview with a film maker now and then.

The films to be featured here will be Canadian. Hope you’ll come back to read my posts often.

Happy Viewing!