Angie Driscoll on why shorter is better

The interim artistic director of the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival tells Playback about industry highlights and Canadian standouts at this year's festival, commencing June 5.
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Angie Driscoll is confident that all a good story needs is 30 minutes or less to tell.

“To me, short films are the apex of film, and that art form – the more concise, the more efficient, the shorter you can tell a story, it’s almost more spectacular,” the interim artistic director of the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival tells Playback Daily, ahead of the festival, which launches June 5.

Industry programming at this year’s festival includes a master class with Jean-Marc Vallee (C.R.A.Z.Y., Cafe de Flore).

The festival is also introducing industry roundtables during the four-day Short Films: Big Ideas Symposium.

The roundtables, explains Driscoll, are like speed-dating sessions for filmmakers, where they sit down for 10 minutes with buyers and distributors to pitch and talk about their personal projects.

Returning for a second year is the Feedback Loop, also part of the Symposium, where a panel of industry experts, including a publicist, festival programmer, distributor and short film buyer provide creative and commercial feedback for eight of the films in the festival.

The short film festival offers in all 32 programs, including 12 competitive programs.

New to the programming slate this year are the 260-minute The Night Shift, which Driscoll says is an amalgamation of the previous three midnight programs, and Christmas in June sidebar.

There’s also spotlights on Copenhagen-based, student-run film school Super 16 Anarkino and German animation house Studio Film Bilder.

Some Canadian standouts, says Driscoll, include Sex of Others, written by Eric K. Boulianne; Score (pictured), written by Lawrence Cote-Collins, which Driscoll says “involves a slide show that you will never forget,”; and Liar, written by Adam Garnet Jones.

In programming the festival, Driscoll says the team approached the submissions with the same mindset as any film audience member.

“How do you fall in love with a film? My personal criteria involve innovation and surprise and seeing things I’ve never seen before. I think it’s all about appreciation and seeing something novel, something that makes you think about something in a new way, or that evokes something you feel already,” explains Driscoll.

And connecting with short film is what she says is a festival goal for filmmakers and cinema-goers alike.

“Unless you’re at a festival or online, you’re probably not going to encounter short films other than advertising, music videos or trailers.  Once people are exposed, they get the bug and their eyes are open to the possibility of really efficient short storytelling,” she says.

“I love that investment of time, there’s nothing that can be taken for granted. And if a short is too long, it’s painfully obvious, whereas a feature, you go with it a lot longer than I think you would tolerate in a short,” she adds.

The Worldwide Short Film Festival will take place June 5 to June 10, 2012.