Tag Archives: Manitoba

View Shorts & Vote For Your Favourite At WFG’s 48-Hour Film Contest

For short film fans living in the Winnipeg area, the summer weather has been very hot and humid this past while. If you are looking to escape the heat while enjoying 27 newly-minted Manitoba-made short films at the same time, come down to the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre on Wednesday, August 2nd  at 7 p.m. for the 48-Hour Film Contest.

This annual event organized by the Winnipeg Film Group encourages the creation of short films made by Manitoba residents. Participants are tasked to write, shoot, edit, score and complete an original short in just two days.

Not only will the audience be treated to some quality short films, there will be a reception after the contest with a chance to win some prizes and an opportunity to mix and mingle with the filmmakers and members of various arts organizations.

Hot off of the 48-Hour Contest premiere at Gimli Film Festival, Short Film Fan caught up with Ben Williams, WFG’s Production Centre Director, to learn more about this year’s 48-Hour Film Contest at the Met:


Short Film Fan:  What genre of shorts will be screened at this year’s contest?

Ben Williams:  Actually, every year the filmmakers are given a challenge to produce a film within a set of parameters called “The Key”. The Key changes every year and each year there is a different plot theme, at least two camera techniques and the use of a music score. It is within these parameters that each filmmaker crafts their film. This year the plot theme was titled “The Quest”: There’s comedy, drama, LGBT content, special effects, some action and even puppets in this year’s crop of films.

SFF: Which categories will these shorts compete under?

BW:  At Gimli, there was a jury selection for Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editor, Best Sound, Best Score, Best Actor and Best Actress. At the Metropolitan, the audience gets to decide on the People’s Choice Awards for Best Film and Best Score. If you attend this event your vote will count.

SFF: Which filmmakers should the audience especially keep their eyes on?

BW:  I can honestly say that this year’s crop of films is stronger than it has been in the past four years. If we judge it by what the jury and Gimli crowd felt… filmmakers like Julie Epp, Cleo Leslie, Michael Sanders, Jhurmel Pasqua, Vincent Tang, Carter Hadlow, Lasha Mountain, John Titley and Lucky 7 Studios (composed of 7 teenagers ages 13-17) each have quality films. The bar is getting raised higher each year and we are proud of the results.

SFF:  Why should short film fans attend this year’s 48-Hour Film Contest?

BW:  There will be a reception afterwards with appetizers and a cash bar served from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. We will have a silent auction with generous sponsorships from: Royal MTC, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Ballet of Winnipeg, Landmark Cinemas and other great prizes. All ticket holders will receive 10% off at Chosabi (printed on the ticket). There will be many filmmakers, musicians, actors, film industry folks, local business arts supporters and arts organizations in attendance a great opportunity to build and network.


For tickets to the screening, click on the Winnipeg Film Group’s website: https://www.winnipegfilmgroup.com/event/48-hour-film-contest-2017-at-metropolitan-entertainment-centre/

For directions to the Met, check out  http://www.themetwinnipeg.com/contact-us/

A pair of free tickets is available to a lucky Short Film Fan reader in Winnipeg. Just email your name and phone number to cdnshortfilmfan@gmail.com and two tickets will be waiting for you and a guest at the door.

Happy viewing, short film fans!


‘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 http://www.cbc.ca/player/tv/Short%20Film%20Face%20Off 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 http://www.cbc.ca/shortfilmfaceoff/ 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: https://www.nfb.ca/film/paddle_to_the_sea/

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 http://www.cbc.ca/player/tv/Short%20Film%20Face%20Off


‘Period Piece’ By James McLellan Wins $1,000 Short Film Award At Gimli Film Festival

Manitoba film maker James McLellan won the $1,000 Manitoba Film & Music Audience Choice Manitoba Short Film Award with his short film, ‘Period Piece’, at Gimli Film Festival on July 25.

His film was featured along with nine other short films made by fellow Manitoba film makers at the Manitoba Short Film series program. The theatre, Gimli Lutheran Church Theatre, was well-attended with a cross-section of ages. At the end of the screening, a brief Q&A session took place where the audience got to know the film makers and their skills a little bit better. There was also an opportunity for the audience to vote for the winner which resulted in ‘Period Piece’ picking up the prize.

‘Period Piece’ is about Renee, a film maker trying to make a good-news story film despite all sorts of adverse situations that disturb her and her film crew. His film previously won the Best Canadian Short Film Audience Choice Award (Gold) at the 9th annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

If you missed seeing ‘Period Piece’ at Gimli, you can catch it on CBC-TV’s ‘Short Film Face Off‘ this fall.

Congratulations goes out to James on his win. A big ‘thank you’ also goes out to the crew at Gimli Film Festival for putting on all of the Manitoba and Canadian shorts this weekend.


15th Annual Gimli Film Festival To Screen Shorts July 24th And 25th

The month of July is upon us and that means one thing: Gimli Film Festival is back!  In many of the Canadian short films presented this year, Manitoba will have played a part in them in some form or another. You will even have a chance to see former household tools that have taken on new lives as musical instruments.

Gimli FiGimli FF logolm Festival will take place July 22-26, 2015 in Gimli, Manitoba. This year marks the festival’s 15th year in operation and is Manitoba’s premiere film festival. It is best known for its feature film showings on Gimli Beach. On July 24, a variety of Canadian shorts will be held at the Gimli Lutheran Church Theatre from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  For more of a Manitoba focus, the theatre will also host the Manitoba Short Film Series on July 25 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., as well as Manitoba Youth Short Films along with TIFF Top 10 Student Films earlier that day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Short Film Fan caught up with Aaron Zeghers, the festival’s film programmer, to get some more insight into the shorts planned for the weekend. For a list of the scheduled shorts, click on this link: http://gimlifilm.com/calendar/online/?filter-1735=9284


Short Film Fan: Why were these six Canadian short films chosen, in particular?

Aaron Zeghers: The six Canadian films were culled from our open call.  We had tonnes of films submitted from all corners of the country and it was a difficult job to narrow it down to just one single program.  Many of the films have a Manitoba connection, which I thought would be interesting for the local audience; even though all but one of the films are made by filmmakers living elsewhere.

  • Vancouver film maker Catherine Parke will be in attendance at the screening with her film Very Good Dirt. Her film sifts through the sentimental memories of a long-lost Manitoba town and contrasts them to the practical life of the farmer who now owns and works the land. The resulting film is a poetic meditation on the meaning of place, all set in the great emptiness of the Canadian prairie.
  • Back again is Calgary-based film maker Cameron Macgowan whose film Liebe played as part of our Canadian program last year.  His latest film Backstreets follows a young drag racer who has to choose between his love of racing and his love for a young woman.
  • Former Winnipegger Megan Turnbull has what I think is her best and certainly most personal film to date: Of Them.  When both her grandmothers are diagnosed with early dementia, Turnbull felt a strong compulsion to return to Winnipeg and make a film about their lives. And the resultant film is a truly beautiful and touching piece of personal cinema.
  • From the NFB comes a world-class animated film Me and My Moulton by Norwegian-born Canadian film maker Torill Kove, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2015. In the film, a seven-year-old girl whose parents are hopelessly unconventional modern architects envies other normal Norwegian families of the sixties. There is unexpected drama the summer she and her sisters ask her parents for a bicycle!
  • Newfoundland director Justin Oakey crafts a truly east coast tale of two rival fishing communities forced to take shelter from a storm together for one night. In Flankers, tensions boil but the rival east coasters are forced to set aside their disputes when a conflict arrives.
  • Closing out the program will be Manitoba power house film maker Mike Maryniuk’s latest film that premiered at the last TIFF. Home Cooked Music profiles Lorne Collie, an imaginative inventor and craftsman from the Interlake region who makes whimsical stringed instruments out of unlikely items: shovels, rakes, baseball bats and stop signs become beautiful and functional guitars, violins, banjos, and fiddles. Through weathered doc footage and hand-crafted animation, this film offers a folksy, one-of-a-kind portrait of Collie’s spirit and talent. Both Mike Maryniuk and Lorne Collie will be present for the screening and available for questions and demonstrations of his musical instruments after the screening!

SFF: Will there be any discussions about these six shorts or a ‘fan choice award’ of some kind?

AZ: There is no Audience Choice prize this year for the Canadian shorts (there is for the Manitoba shorts). But, yes; Catherine Parke, director of Very Good Dirtand Mike Maryniuk and his subject Lorne Collie will all be in attendance and available after the screening for a Q&A!

SFF: Will any of the Manitoba short film makers be on-hand for the Manitoba Short Film Series?

AZ: Guaranteed there will be a number of Manitoba short film makers in attendance for the Manitoba Short Film Program. I know Jaimz Asmundson (Ed Note: of the Winnipeg Film Group) will be there. But, guaranteed most of the film makers will probably be there for a Q&A after the screening.


We wish Aaron Zeghers and everyone involved at Gimli Film Festival all the best. For more information about the programming, ticketing or accommodation, go to their website at www.gimlifilm.com. You can also like them on Facebook and follow the festival on Twitter @GimliFilm for instant updates.

Enjoy the shorts and have fun at the festival!


Manitoba and Canadian Shorts to Shine at Gimli Film Festival

Planning to head out to Gimli, Manitoba between July 23 and 27 for the Gimli Film Festival?

Make sure you visit Gimli Theatre (Venue 1) on July 25 for the ‘Manitoba Short Films & Global Choice Awards’ at 2 pm.  Fifteen Manitoba-made short films will be screened, with an introduction by film maker Curis L. Wiebe and a Q & A session with the Winnipeg Film Group‘s Dave Barber. Click on the link to view the short film listings: http://www.gimlifilm.com/films-archive/2014/manitoban-short-films-global-audience-choice-award/

Want to see more Canadian short films after that? The Aspire Theatre (Venue 3) will be the place to be on Sunday, July 27 at 12 noon for shorts produced by various Canadian film makers. Full listing of films can be found by clicking: http://www.gimlifilm.com/films-archive/2014/canadian-short-films/

There will also be international shorts by Icelandic film maker Runar Runarsson and from the TIFF Film Circuit.

Gimli Film Festival is in its 13th year and presents feature films, documentaries and shorts from Manitoba, Canada and the world. The festival hosts films at four indoor film venues, as well as on its famous beach screen. Seminars and workshops are also scheduled during the festival. Check out http://www.gimlifilm.com/ for more info. You can give Gimli FIlm Festival a ‘like’ on Facebook and follow them on Twitter: @GimliFilm

(News source: Gimli Film Festival website: http://www.gimlifilm.com)

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