Short filmmakers long on talent

The second annual Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival wrapped up June 9 after unspooling the interesting fruits of the labors of filmmakers from over 32 countries. Over 1,000 entries were received....

The second annual Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival wrapped up June 9 after unspooling the interesting fruits of the labors of filmmakers from over 32 countries. Over 1,000 entries were received.

Here are this year’s winners: Best short went to Nowhere Man, directed by Johannes Stjarne Nilsson of Sweden, a film in which tongue-in-cheek narration documents the body part-by-part disappearance of a businessman behind his ‘solid mahogany desk.’

David Vainola’s chilling Curiosities won for best Canadian short. Fridge by Scotland’s Peter Mullen – a compelling stomach-knotter wherein two alcoholics pull off a strangely heroic rescue of a small boy – captured the award for best drama.

A Close Shave by Nick Park of the u.k. took best animation, upholding Aardman Animation’s stellar rep for claymedy. The Polish/German film I Had A Friend by Jacek Blawut, the moving story of a Foreign Legion soldier who lost a leg in Sarajevo, won best documentary, with Ireland’s Lionel Mill receiving an honorable mention for Talking Trees.

The Village Trilogy by Ontario’s Laura Taler was named best experimental. Fluffy, by American Doug Aberle, a very personality-infused entry despite its minimalist cgi style, captured best children’s short, and confirmed everything your mother ever told you about dog germs.

And best achievement in cinematography (Canada) went to Quebec’s Luc Beauchamp for Le Lion et L’Agneau, a breathless race to the crossroads of humanity.

Despite parties every night, the guerrilla filmmaking symposium was well attended, serving up a variety of art and commerce-related panels featuring the likes of Canadian filmmaker Mort Ransen and writer Donald Martin, and short filmmakers from around the globe, including Larry Russo, an nyc-based filmmaker who cofounded the Shooting Gallery film studio and is currently producing a shorts showcase series for tv called Short Cuts.

Attendance at this year’s festival was estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 and generated revenue of about $15,000. Attendance at last year’s festival was 4,000 and raised $10,000.