The Shorts Not Pants Film Festival returns for its 11th year with a carefully curated selection of outstanding short films from 20 countries: 27 Narrative, 21 Animation, and 9 Documentary short films; 20 of those being Canadian.
As I am unable to watch all the films, I have chosen 5 films from all three categories to give you a ‘taste’ of the excellent calibre of films the festival will present.
I Promise You Paradise | Directed by Morad Mostafa
Country: Egypt | Narrative
Following a violent incident, Eissa, a 17-year-old African migrant in Egypt, strives to beat the clock to save his loved ones whatever it takes. The film was based on “saw “a real moment in bustling streets of Cairo that [the filmmaker] couldn’t forget of an African teenage boy and Egyptian teenage girl riding a motorbike with a baby… clinging to each other… as they are escaping from one place to another.” A poignant film about migration and the risks people take for a chance at a better future.
Tiny | Directed by Ritchie Hemphill, Ryan Haché
Country: Canada | Animation
This contemplative stop-motion tells the story of Nakwaxda’xw Elder Colleen Hemphill’s childhood. As she retells her story, Colleen notices how different her way of life was when she was young, and how much more harmonious her community was with nature. The film celebrates Colleen’s life and identity of by sharing the gift of her presence and stories.
A History of the World According to Getty Images | Directed by Richard Misek
Country: Norway | Documentary
Getty Images is one of the largest commercial archives in the world. Many defining images of the last century – images that form a part of our collective memory – now only exist behind Getty’s paywall. This film is a smart commentary and study of property, profit, and power, made out of archive footage sourced from Getty’s online catalogue.
Making Babies (Faire un enfant) | Directed by Eric K. Boulianne
Country: Canada | Narrative
After many years together, a couple decides to have a baby. Throughout their relentless efforts, the partners try to maintain their love and unity. This is a raw film about the roller-coaster ride of emotions that two fading lovers can experience. The film is gritty, it is vulgar, but in the end, it is also an ode to love and solidarity.
The Sprayer | Directed by Farnoosh Abedi
Country: Iran | Animation
In the land occupied by the sprayers’ army, no one has the right to grow any kind of plants, but one day one of the soldiers finds a seed buried deep down in the dust, and his curiosity is just the beginning of something extraordinary. An excellent, smart and creative film about war, its impact on civilian life, and the hope for a future where all life is valued.
In addition to the 3 days of film screenings, Shorts Not Pants will offer two workshops. On Saturday, November 18 at 10:30am, industry veterans will share their insights during an engaging panel discussion, on the subject of making, selling films, getting distributor attention, breaking into the broadcast/streaming arena, and hearing from programmers about the ever changing film festival landscape. Then on Sunday November 19 at 10:30am, a talk on PR and Social Media in the world of film will be offered.
Shorts Not Pants will take place in Toronto from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19, 2023, at the Carlton Cinema. For festival schedule and ticketing information, please visit shortsnotpants.com.