The 2nd Annual 2010 Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival had its gala opening Wednesday night with the T24 Project nicknamed “Twenty Four without Kiefer”. The T24 Project is a film assignment where a small group of student filmmakers are given a topic and must complete a film in a 24 hour time span. The topics were based on life and stories in and around Toronto. This nights screening included the finalists in this competition.
It is enough of a challenge to be a budding film maker, but these brave folks took on the extra challenge of having to do it with these time and resource limitations. The result were, not surprisingly, a bit of a mixed bag of quality, but it was also interesting to see what solutions they came up with, filming under such restrictive circumstances. What most of the films lacked in technical expertise was made up for in creativity.
Along the Lines of Connectivity: Please Mind the Gap – Directed by Karen Forhan, this award-winning short served as an intro to the evenings lineup, and was the strongest film of the evening but was not actually part of the T24 Project. The 5-minute film was a montage of how we are disconnected from each other even in the confines of a crowded public place.
Torontonian – Tells the story of an out-of-work businessman trying to find work in the big city. Once he gets what he wishes for, it leads to a very funny twist.
Homesick - A disenchanted young man takes two roommates in a high rise apartment hostage. This was a very unsettling film with a good performance by the actor playing the home invader.
05:00 AM – Three people are out in the city at 5 am for very different reasons and merge together in the same place. One is homeless, one is going to work, and the other is coming home from a night of clubbing.
You know you’re from Scarborough when – A comedy about life in Scarborough and how it relates to soup.
Jail City (Part 1 & 2) – Two slacker guys wake up in the future to find out that Toronto has become “Jail City” and they must kill someone they know to fix the future.
Glow of the City – This was mock documentary about a young man who sleepwalks from Thornhill to downtown Toronto. This film has some funny moments with some very good actors, that could have been really good if they had more time to work on it.
The JCP – The JCP stands for the James Cameron Project which is also a mock documentary on the filmmakers making a film for the T24 Project. It follows two filmmakers – one serious, and one just obsessed with James Cameron but knows nothing about filmmaking. This short had the cleverest concept of the evening because anyone who has worked on a group creative project like this knows what it is like to have someone’s incompetence potentially ruin the project. A very funny film.
Expert.Ordinary – 5 stories of people who are connected by a social media web site. Of all the T24 films this evening, it was the strongest entry. It was well made with such strong editing, cinematography and good lighting, that it showed many of the other films to be lacking.