At the Phi Centre, Not Short on Talent gives Canadian film a place to shine
Short films often present relatable characters, interesting plots and engaging stories that aim to hook the viewer and ignite their interest. Except that, unlike features, shorts have only a fraction of the time to do it. Every second of every shot counts.
At the Phi Centre, Not Short on Talent brings together 10 successful short films produced by Canadian talent from across the country and exhibits them on a loop for all to see.
“You have to look at the big picture,” said Danny Lennon, film curator at the Phi Centre and programmer at Prends ça court!. “It’s a year-round screening event, so 10 films per month. And it’s just another excuse to show brilliant work that’s being made in Canada right now that, even if the Internet exists, and even if festivals exist, lots of people don’t get to see.”
The films are varied in their genres, themes and visual styles, and yet the one common aspect across all films is their powerful message. This month’s selection happens to highlight multiple works from Quebec artists.
“We’re showing the films, but it’s also an initiative with Téléfilm Canada,” said Lennon. “It’s also the people behind the film that we want to showcase. The directors, the director of photography, the editor, everything. It’s not only the film as a whole, it’s the people behind it.”
La Voce by David Uloth is a story of a pig butcher who falls in love with his favourite stripper. It is a film that subtly edges over the line of surrealism, weaving a realistic story of lost love and hopelessness with abstract themes of slowly losing one’s identity. A must-see for the cinephile that enjoys stylized works and reading between the lines.
On the other hand, Maurice, by François Jaros, crashes the viewer back to reality. When Maurice is given only a few months to live, he must continue living the time he has left while embracing his own impending death. He opts to choose a day to end his life so that he doesn’t become a burden for his children. Jaros was the winner of the Best Fiction Short Film award at the Gala du cinéma québécois 2016.
In She Stoops to Conquer by Zack Russell, a struggling actress dons a mask for a talent show, and keeps it to go clubbing. There, she meets her doppelganger, and engages in a strange dance. Her identity begins meshing with the character she portrays, and the audience is left wondering who is really calling the shots. Russell won for Best Live Action Short Drama at the Canadian Screen Awards 2016.
Lennon believes it is important to highlight local talent, because it remains obscure to many.
“The short films, there’s so much content right now in the world that it gets lost. So we’re bringing that content to one place, there’s not a zillion films, there’s 10 films,” said Lennon.
The films are being shown from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is free.