The final episode of the 10th season of CBC`s Short Film Face Off was broadcast on July 29th and it all came down to three excellent filmmaker finalists waiting to hear who the winner was of a handsome $40,000 film production prize made possible by Telefilm Canada and William F. White International. New this season, William F. White contributed an extra $2,500 to each runner-up.
On tonight`s episode, the viewing audience had one more chance to see Roman Tchjen (Parent Teacher), Renuka Jeyapalan (A Bicycle Lesson) and Koumbie (Hustle & Heart) all reassembled onstage before the big winner was announced.
After each short was rescreened, Telefilm Canada’s Francesca Accinelli and host Steve Patterson presented this year’s $40,000 filmmaking prize award to Koumbie. Congratulations, Koumbie! Congratulations also goes out to Roman and Renuka for each picking up $2,500 from William F. White.
It is hard to believe that another season of Short Film Face Off has come and gone. It felt like the contest had just started last week. This is perhaps a testimony to the amazing caliber of short films that were in this year`s competition. Watching a short film can be compared to reading a short story, and the shorts on this year’s Short Film Face Off prove that Canada is truly blessed with creative and skilled storytellers. Timeliness and relativity in their content can also make short films attractive to an audience, and this season’s featured short films certainly had no problems with reflecting the rich diversity that makes up Canada`s population.
Rest assured that after watching this 10th season of Short Film Face Off, Canada`s filmmaking and storytelling future is in very good hands. Looking forward to Season 11!
The third installment of Short Film Face Off‘s 10th season aired on July 22nd. Three more filmmakers hit the stage in their quest to take home a $40,000 film production prize made generously possible by Telefilm Canada and William F. White. Viewers were also asked to cast their ballot for the winning film, which will be announced on next week’s season-closing episode.
Tonight, Koumbie was first up with her film, Hustle & Heart. Mike Fly’s short Come To Bed was next followed by Noel Harris’ Touch. Hustle & Heart looked at the relationship between two football players; a frustrated couple argues about a weeknight routine in Come To Bed; a single mom in Touch needs a babysitter for her kids so she can go to work and avoid being evicted.
Hustle & Heart garnered 12.0 points to advance to the final, while Come To Bed and Touch tied at 11.5 points.
Hustle & Heart was a good insight into the stresses and fears that could potentially happen when an attraction to someone is not reciprocated by the other. The friend who rebuffed the advance handled the situation well, considering that the two friends played in a macho sport like football.
Come To Bed was a cheeky poke at how routine a couple’s life can get. It was funny to see the husband/boyfriend speak in frustrated garbles and there was a nice nod to today’s technology when the wife/girlfriend suggested he look at his ‘Fitbit’ instead of his watch.
Touch was an intense examination of poverty and family. It was hard to see the mother struggle with trying to find a babysitter, but it was gratifying to see her get help in the end. It was at first difficult to determine what the man’s relationship was to the family, but the daughter made it clearer later on. The caress of the girl’s back by the uncle was a bit tough to watch and was of some concern with the show’s panelists Mohit and Nadia. However, Noel explained his backstory to that scene very well. In the end, the caress could be seen as an uncle’s affection for his niece as he faces an uncertain future the next morning.
Short Film Fan’s Prediction: With three films that were powerful and well-made in their own right, it is difficult to pick just one winner. However, Short Film Fan predicts Renuka Jeyapalan’s A Bicycle Lesson to win next week.
Tonight’s episode of Short Film Face Off was broadcast on July 15th and featured the second round of Canadian filmmakers vying for the $40,000 film production prize from Telefilm Canada and William F. White. While two of the films focused on experiencing a key moment in human life, the third film looked more at the experiences of two dolls’ not-so-pleasant lives.
Letter To My Future Self by Robert Randall was the first on the bill, followed by Renuka Jeyapalan’s A Bicycle Lesson and Trevor Kristjanson’s Boy Toys. In Letter To My Future Self, a teenager struggles with disappointment after reading a letter that she wrote to herself as a child; a young woman teaches her mom to ride a bicycle in A Bicycle Lesson; two dolls in Boy Toys feel the abuse and manipulation caused by their female and male handlers.
A Bicycle Lesson won tonight’s round at 13.5 points, with Boy Toys coming in second place with 12.5 points and Letter To My Future Self taking third place with 10.5 points.
Letter To My Future Self was mostly serious with some humorous moments about that one key stage in life many of us experience: a breakup of a teenage dating relationship. It was heartwarming to see the teenager open up and share her thoughts to her younger self. The conversation’s tone between the two girls felt good as they were speaking to each other not as elder against younger, but more as equals.
A Bicycle Lesson also dealt with a life stage, but this time it is the stage when aging parents need help from their older children. The film did a great job at highlighting the struggle the young woman had with this situation: how do you juggle your own personal life with the need to help your parents? It would be a question that could not be easily answered as it was evident that the relationship between the two women was obviously strained.
Boy Toys offered a hilarious revelation into the life of two “Ken” dolls as they experience all sorts of abuse and embarrassing situations caused by the kids who play with them. It was especially funny to see the awkward positions the dolls took after being thrown onto the ground; that scene in particular could make anyone cringe and should make a kid think twice before treating his or her toys so roughly.
Ten years seem like a long time, especially in the world of television. But for short film fans, ten years of watching Canadian shorts on TV has become a cherished tradition. The tradition continues this weekend when the 10th season of CBC’s Short Film Face Off will be broadcast for the next four weekends in July. The show’s slogan nicely sums up what viewers can expect this month: “four nights, nine films, one winner, you decide.”
At the end of this tenth season, a $40,000 film production package will be awarded to the winner of Short Film Face Off. The package is split up two ways: $30,000 is contributed by Telefilm Canada with an additional $10,000 from William F. White International Inc.
The first episode of Season 10 aired on July 8th, with Steve Patterson returning as host and Nadia Litz, Mohit Rajhans and Eli Glasner resuming their roles as panelists.
On tonight’s episode, we were introduced to Gavin Seal (Case Claus’d), Roman Tchjen (Parent, Teacher) and Jessie Short (Sweet Night). In Case Claus’d, a young boy investigates the true giver of his Christmas gift; a teacher and a parent disagree on how a student should defend himself in Parent Teacher; a young Metis woman begins a journey of cultural reconnection and personal exploration in Sweet Night.
Parent, Teacher moved on to the final round with 13.5 votes, Case Claus’d garnered 12.0 votes, while Sweet Night picked up 10.5 votes.
This tenth season of Face Off started off with three very profound shorts. The message in Case Claus’d that ‘facts don’t matter when you want to believe in something’ can easily be adapted into the adult world just as much as a child’s world; believing in a goal when the odds (i.e. facts) are against you is common in adult lives.
Parent, Teacher was in a sense a clash of cultures and parenting styles. For years, schools and parents have argued over the best way to teach a child to fend off bullying and mistreatment. The argument between the teacher and parent in this short made felt intense and realistic.
Sweet Night was a very timely film in its themes of Aboriginal cultural reconnection and sexual identity exploration. It felt like the LRT ride symbolically represented Andy’s journey down these two paths.
For Canadian short film fans, perhaps one of the most anticipated yearly television broadcasts is CBC’s Short Film Face Off. Taped in front of a live studio audience in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Short Film Face Off features nine Canadian filmmakers and their short films in which one winning filmmaker is awarded a generous filmmaking prize package. Hosted by Steve Patterson, the shorts are judged by a studio panel of three Canadian film professionals and the final winning short film is voted by the show’s viewers across Canada.
This year marks Short Film Face Off’s tenth year of showcasing these diverse and talented filmmakers’ short films to a vast Canadian television viewing audience. This is a huge milestone for the show; especially since it is unique in its format, niche in its content and is on-air for just four weeks of the year.
Short Film Fan reached out to Peter Hall, Senior Manager, Production Services at CBC Atlantic to get some insight into the history of Short Film Face Off, the reason for its longevity, and how the show has been received by the filmmakers and the viewing audience.
Short Film Fan: How did you come up with the idea of Short Film Face Off?
Peter Hall: At CBC Halifax, we were working closely with quite a few short film producers and directors. We supported several awards in the region to help emerging filmmakers get their films produced. There were so many great films being made that we wanted to give them greater exposure and we knew the CBC audience would be the perfect place. We also knew this would be fresh programming because most people have few opportunities to see short films.
SFF: What were you hoping or expecting to achieve with Short Film Face Off, and were those hopes and expectations met?
PH: We have far exceeded our expectations. Here we are ten years later and we have broadcast close to one hundred short films on television and introduced that many emerging Canadian directors to a whole new audience. Our intent was to showcase short films and provide a platform for directors to tell their stories from communities across the country. I am thrilled we are still doing that.
SFF: Short Film Face Off is now in its 10th season. How do you account for this milestone?
PH: Short Film Face Off is a very accessible program. Our host, Steve Patterson, does a great job to make filmmaking easy to understand and to appreciate for the television audience.
But really, the single most important aspect of the program is the quality of films that directors bring the program. They tell unique stories about Canadians and Canadian life and where else are you going to find that?
We also have had terrific support from Telefilm Canada over the years. This program fits perfectly into their mandate, and they have been an integral part of the show’s success.
We also have industry support from William F. White who offers an equipment rental package to our winning filmmakers.
SFF: How has the program changed since its first season, and what kinds of changes to the show do you foresee in the future?
PH: The program itself has not changed very much. Our format is pretty well the same; really the biggest change that we have seen is in the quality of films that are submitted every year. Typically there are close to two hundred films that are sent to our juries across the country and every year it seems they get better and better. Technology has certainly been part of that with the development of computer animation and effects but I think we are seeing films from some very talented filmmakers who know and love their craft.
SFF: Do you have a memorable moment from the show, either on or off camera?
PH: I always love to see the directors interact with Steve for the first time on the set. Steve can be somewhat unpredictable (in a nice way) so understandably it can be unnerving to anticipate what he may say or do. Once a director was describing in detail how, with much difficulty, they had borrowed a Volkswagen to shoot a scene. It turned out to be quite a long story and at the end Steve laughed and said, “Well that story was longer than the whole film”.
SFF:What has the feedback about the show been like from the filmmakers and viewers?
PH: For the most part, filmmakers who come to Halifax for the program love the experience. They really appreciate having their film shown to a national audience and talking about it with industry professionals. But we have noticed the friendships that are made between the filmmakers.
When in Halifax the directors are able to meet others from across the country and there are great conversations and discussions about filmmaking. It is a singular opportunity for them to together and they do so in the studio and after hours in the pub. I think some lasting friendships have begun at Short Film Face Off.
Our best viewer feedback comes from the voting. I am always amazed to see the number of votes and the fact that they come from every province and territory.
SFF: How do you visualize Short Film Face Off’s role on CBC 10 years from now?
PH: I would like to see the program expand into a longer series. Film is the dominant art form of our time and that is unlikely to change in the next 10 years and beyond.
SFF: Do you have any other comments or thoughts you would like to share about Short Film Face Off or Canadian short films, in general?
PH: I would like to tell film and television audiences that there are many fantastic Canadian short films being made in this country. Not only are the films wonderful to watch but the people making them are the future of filmmaking in Canada; they will be the ones to protect and celebrate the future Canadian culture.
Short Film Fan Commentary:
Indeed, there is an incredible wealth of short films out there made by Canadian filmmakers. These shorts are fun to watch with memorable and relatable story lines that add to an already rich Canadian film and television culture. Although they may be found on the Internet and at film festivals, Short Film Face Off is perhaps the most interesting, informative and exciting place to view Canadian shorts.
Viewers who have never seen a Canadian short film before will be impressed with the quality and variety that make their way onto Short Film Face Off each year. If you are not a Canadian short film fan now, you will be after watching the show. It will be exciting to see how this 10th season will unfold. Catch the first episode on July 8 at 7 p.m. local time.
Thank you to Short Film Face Off for connecting Canada together through short films, for bringing Canadian filmmakers into the spotlight and for making Canadian short films more accessible for everyone to enjoy and appreciate. Congratulations on your 10th season!
Summer is typically the time of year when we can slow down a little and relax outside, whether at the cottage or at the beach. Summer is also an opportunity to watch new blockbuster movie releases from Hollywood or to catch up on old favourites via downloads or rentals through cable TV. If you are looking for the latest in Canadian short films, however, look no further than CBC-TV’s Short Film Face Off. Now in its ninth year, Short Film Face Off comes to you for four weekends in a row with nine filmmakers hoping to win one fantastic filmmaking prize.
The sought-after prize is a $45,000 film production package with $30,000 coming from Telefilm Canada and an additional $15,000 contributed by William F. White International Inc. The prize will be awarded at the end of this season’s fourth and final episode.
Face Off went through some changes since it last aired in the fall of 2015. Firstly, the show’s broadcast dates were moved to the summer months of June and July. Secondly, William F. White became the newest contributor to the prize awarded to the show’s winner. And, thirdly, filmmaker Nadia Litz made her debut as one of the show’s panelists.
This newest and ninth season of Face Off took place on June 18th. Steve Patterson resumed his role as host of the program. Joining Nadia Litz on the panel of judges were veteran Face Off panelists Mohit Rajhans and Eli Glasner.
Tonight’s contestants were Jennifer Walden (Painted Girl), Mark Slutsky (Never Happened) and Ross Moore (The Woman in White). Painted Girl looked at the transformation of a young woman by the arrival of her grandfather’s painting kit in the mail; two business colleagues attempt to wipe away the memory of their affair in Never Happened; a young girl and an older man talk about their sibling rivalries in The Woman in White.
Painted Girl picked up 11.5 votes, while both Never Happened and The Woman in White earned 13.0 votes. After a tie-breaker huddle by the panel, Never Happened won and became the first short film of the season to advance to the final round.
These three shorts were a powerful way to start the ninth season of Face Off. It was very encouraging to see the woman determined to keep going with her painting despite the abuse she suffered in Painted Girl. With her strong memories of her grandfather and a growing talent in painting, it came as no surprise that she connected with the subjects that she painted. In Never Happened, you can definitely feel the anticipation and attraction between the two colleagues. Using their phones to delete the affair from their memories was a clever commentary on how technology has become pervasive in our personal lives. The Woman in White showed us how deeply sibling relationships impact our lives in some way. However, it also reminded us to remember the good times we had with our siblings when an unexpected turn happens to that relationship.
A well-deserved ‘congratulations’ goes to Jennifer, Mark and Ross. Good luck to Mark in his quest for the $45,000 production award. Visit the CBC Player to watch the entire episode again or each film separately.
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
Earlier 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.
These 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 Atlantic News teleprompters, Yukon’s Nina Reed (Nervous Poo), Toronto’s Patrick Hagarty (TheGolden 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.
The final installment of this season’s Short Film Face Off on CBC Television was broadcast on October 4, in which the winner of a coveted $45,000 film production prize was announced at the end of the program. The prize was a combination of a cash award of $30,000 from Telefilm Canada called the Telefilm Canada Short Film Face Off Award, as well as a $15,000 equipment rental package from PS Production Services and SIM Digital. The viewing audience had the final say in which film would win by voting online or via telephone after the September 27th broadcast.
We were re-introduced to the three film makers who were chosen as finalists by the studio audience and panelists throughout the series. They were Alan Powell (‘Sunday Punch’), Adam Goldhammer (‘Jesse’) and Alan Miller (‘In Passing’). All three finalists had one last chance at showing their films, and the panel offered some final parting thoughts about each film.
Before the winner was announced, we were treated to a visit by Jasmine Oore, the Short Film Face Off champion in 2009. She gave us a sneak preview of her new film, ‘There’s Been A Terrible Mistake’ that she made with the prize money she won that year. The film was based on Oore’s personal experience regarding the aftermath of a car accident that she and her partner were involved in.
Finally, and after much waiting, Francesca Accinelli, Director of National Promotion from Telefilm Canada, joined Steve Patterson with envelope in hand containing the prize cheque. Alan Miller’s ‘In Passing’ was announced by Steve as the 2014 Short Film Face Off winner. Congratulations, Alan.
I had a great time watching Short Film Face Off this season. All of the featured film makers were talented, and their stories were unique and enlightening. I appreciated hearing commentary and analysis from Eli, Michelle, and Mohit about each film. These comments were helpful in teaching the audience about the technical aspects of film making. Steve’s humour kept everyone upbeat, and I liked how he kept the studio audience engaged by asking random members to give their own opinions. I’m looking forward to watching next year’s competition.
A big round of applause goes to the staff and crew who made the show possible. I hope that a 30-minute short film program could be produced and broadcast on CBC that would feature interviews, sneak previews and ‘how to’ tips about Canadian short films. This could be one way to keep these films and the industry visible in the public eye before the next season of Short Film Face Off airs. Any thoughts?
This weekend, the last remaining three competitors on CBC’s Short Film Face Off vied for the final chance at winning the Telefilm Short Film Face Off grand prize of $45,000. Three more fascinating shorts by Canadian film makers were featured on September 27, with one even earning perfect scores from two of the panelists.
In Round 3, we were introduced to James Stewart (‘Foxed!’), Adam Goldhammer (‘Jesse’) and Lisa Rose Snow (‘Two Penny Road Kill’). The films had themes that can hit home for many. The animated ‘Foxed!’ looked at the frustrating relationship between children and parents; ‘Jesse’ examined a young woman’s life impacted by her autistic brother; ‘Two Penny Road Kill’ focused on how good relationships can happen even to lonely people. If you missed the episode or would like to watch it again, please click on the CBC Player link here: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/Short+Film+Face+Off/
‘Jesse’ by Adam Goldhammer was the third and last film to move on to the final round coming up on October 4th. It garnered a stunning 15.0 stars, including perfect scores of 4.0 from Michelle Latimer and Eli Glasner. According to host Steve Patterson, no other single film in the show’s history had ever earned two perfect scores from a panel. ‘Foxed!’ by Stewart garnered 13.0 stars, while Snow’s ‘Two Penny Road Kill’ finished third with 11.0 stars.
In each of these films, you could really feel for the characters. The little girl in ‘Foxed!’ wanted so desperately to communicate with her mother, just like many adults who struggled with their parents as a child or who still struggle with them as adults. ‘Jesse’ revealed how one family member can have a deep influence our lives and how we cope with those influences. ‘Two Penny Road Kill’ showed that it’s OK to let new people into one’s solitary life.
During the scoring and review of ‘Jesse’, panelist Mohit Rajhans suggested the film could have been “two or three minutes shorter”. This was met with objection from a baffled Michelle Latimer. It would have been interesting to know where he would have made those cuts. According to the rest of the panel and an audience member, everything in the film was where it should have been.
The viewing audience had the chance at picking the grand prize winner by voting via telephone or through the show’s website at http://www.cbc.ca/shortfilmfaceoff/ until the end of Sunday. We won’t know which film won until the show’s broadcast on October 4.
A big congrats goes out to James, Adam and Lisa for making these films. Good luck goes to Adam, as he moves on to the final round of Short Film Face Off.
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):