The TIFF Bell Lightbox always offers an exciting and diverse array of cinematic programming, but there are two things in particular coming up this week to which I’d like to call your attention. First of all, you know how every time you watch the Oscars, and the Short Films categories come up (both Live Action and Animated), you’re all like, “Whatever… I don’t even know what these are”? Well, your perpetual ignorance is about to come to an end (forgive me, minor segment of the population who actually sees these things every year). You can go see all the Oscar-nominated Live Action and Animated shorts in two separate programs at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this week on Wednesday (today) and Thursday.

Second of all, the upcoming Family Day long weekend (thanks, 2007 McGuinty provincial government!) is an occasion for the TIFF Bell Lightbox to present an entirely free weekend of programming. Yes, that’s right, every single film showing at the Lightbox on Saturday, February 18th and Sunday, February 19th is completely free, thanks to Bell. It’s a great opportunity to see some fantastic cinema and save a few pennies at the same time.

Other than these two main attractions, regular programming also continues, with new installments in the ongoing series on French mid-century auteur Robert Bresson: this week features Les Anges du péché (1943) a twisted morality tale about religion and the relativity of optimism. Also screening is Lancelot du Lac (1974), which will feature comments by University of Toronto cinema studies scholar Brian Price.

The series on new voices from the African diaspora continues this week with Kinyarwanda (2010) and a collections of shorts, African Phantasms: New African Short Films . The series on Soviet-era science fiction from behind the iron curtain (on which our own Bennett O’Brian thoughtfully ruminated) continues this week with Eolomea (1972), which hails from my personal favourite (don’t ask why) of the Eastern Bloc countries, the GDR.

Lots to see and do at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, as usual. Spend the Family Day weekend with your family* (*term used loosely) and enjoy some cinematic treats.

Original artwork by Bennett O’Brian.