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Short Cuts Canada Programme 5 is a promising collection of films that, at the core, illustrate something powerful about relationships. Whether its a relationship with a stranger, society, false friendships, or even the relationship to our cultures, Programme 5 offers a bundle of short films that show that immediate connection between what’s inside with the outside world. Many of these films are first person narratives, taking on the form of a true to life telling. The lines definitely blur between fact and fiction in these stories, which makes for an interesting viewing experience as we immerse ourselves in the lives of others that co-exist with our own.

Impromptu —  10 minutes

Chuck is simultaneously watching his daughter and preparing dinner, when he receives a stressful phone call. His wife, Sylvie casually announces that she invited an onslaught of her co-workers over for dinner. Impromptu, which is directed by Bruce Alcock, is almost stressful to watch because you truly feel for Chuck. We’ve all been there, when plans suddenly go awry and mess our original plans that seemed to have been falsely cemented in our minds. However, Alcock demonstrates that sometimes the chaos can have a beautiful outcome, as if to transform fate.

CRIME: Joe Loya – The Beirut Bandit — 2 minutes

This short film is Joe Loya’s non-fiction retelling of his first heist as a bank robber. His voice is calm and nostalgic in his story of realizing his true calling as a bank robber. The animation, directed by Alix Lambert and Sam Chou has an accomplished film noir feeling to it. The film is definitely entertaining and is clearly an entry to a broader story to Joe’s telling of his life.

Numbers & Friends — 7 minutes

Numbers & Friends follows a young man from Europe who forms a fantasy baseball team after moving to North America. The short film, directed by Alexander Carson, is narrated in essay-style by the man in a reflective yet present tone. His story of difference and change puts in perspective the love that we have for things, like numbers, only to realize that this is a mask for something else.

The End of Pinky — 8 minutes

The End of Pinky is an adaptation of noir fiction by Heather O’Neill; a story about characters in Montreal who meet at a strip club to come to terms with their past. Director Claire Blanchet allows O’Neill to narrate the adaptation, creating a truly personal and soft-spoken touch to an otherwise spooky story. This short film translates superbly on screen – the visuals are stunning and the pacing of the movie is truly reflective of an intense mystery novel.

Roland — 11 minutes

Roland is a nervous and timid craft store employee, who is otherwise very helpful to his customers. However, on one fateful night, Roland’s paranoia grows when he is confronted with a rather forceful man who insists he uses the staff washroom. Afraid that he will lose his job, Roland enters a face off with the man. Trevor Cornish’s short film is a unique mixture of witty and creepy – your anxiety will grow right along with Roland as the night’s events will keep you guessing the employee’s fate.

An Extraordinary Person — 29 minutes

Sarah wakes up from a bad hangover, with the events of the night before extremely ambiguous. After getting a ride with a friend, she is forced to go to a bachelorette party where the guests are the people she has despised the most for years. After letting out a well-kept secret, Sarah transforms the friendships in the room for better or worse – however, from there she seems to take her own path of unexpected encounters and lessons. Monia Chokri’s directorial debut is thoughtful about subject like friendships and unexpected connections with strangers. It will leave you smiling, but in a sweet way.

Is Short Cuts Canada Programme 5 essential TIFF viewing?

Yes. There are some really interesting adaptations here and allusions to other artists/figures in society. The collaboration work in CRIME: Joe Loya – The Beirut Bandit was especially unique.

Short Cuts Canada Programme 5 screening times

Short Cuts Canada Programme 5 gallery