BC's Best Shorts

2014 Films

Small Screen Sensations: BC Web Series

Friday, November 14, 2014 7:00pm

Web Series are taking over and these are some of BC's latest and greatest. Be warned, after an hour with these series, you will be hooked!

Under the Hud | Director: Ryan Pears | Season One, Episodes 1-3

Life can be tough. Especially if you’re a video game character like Carl and Frances – two Principal Commanders in the first person shooter “Ring Planet.” Facing death, gunfire and relentless teabagging at the hands of their players, they’re also forced to deal with the fact they’re stuck in this game indefinitely. Together.

Convos With My 2 Year Old | Director: Matthew Clarke | Episodes 1-3

Actual conversations with my 2-year-old daughter, as re-enacted by me and another full-grown man.

Polaris | Director: Emma Peterson | Season One, Episodes 1-2

The Actress Diaries | Director: Lisa Hughes | Season Two, Episodes 1-2

The Actress Diaries is a mockumentary comedy set in downtown Vancouver, Canada. The comedy follows the everyday hilarities of the hospitality gig, and the overly ambitious adventures of two aspiring actresses: Australian Lisa Kimberley Hughes and her number two, Canadian Kate Bateman.

Visually Effected

Friday, November 14, 2014, 8:30pm

A fan of visual effects and animation? Come join us for our screening celebrating BC's talented visual effects and animation artists.

Sunny Side Up | Director: Ben Noonan | 2 min | Animation

Beauty is always present. Once realized it can be fleeting but will return.

Fallow | Director: Breanna Cheek | 4 min | Drama, Animation

Life in a small Canadian prairie town.

Goodnight Sun | Director: Edward Yoon | 3 min | Comedy, Science

A mother reads her son a bedtime story about the Sun, and how the scientific process of turning into a red giant star will incinerate and destroy the Earth and all life as we know it.

Malaise | Director: Daniel Beaulieu | 2 min | Science Fiction

An abandoned corridor. The distant echo of fleeing footsteps. Orange shag carpet. MALAISE. With the entire crew lost to an unknowable entity, Kappa, the sole survivor, makes a desperate break for the escape pods. As Past and present swirl together she fights for survival during the final moments of the S. S. Carnicus. Malaise is a retro-futuristic short set in the bowels of an abandoned vessel. An exercise in tension and catharsis, this film is inspired by the classic science fiction works of Ridley Scott, Andrei Tarkovsky and Jean-Claude Forest.

Awards won: CG Student Awards (Canada division)

Anxious Oswald Greene | Director: Marshall Axani | 15 min | Fantasy-Comedy

In a desperate attempt to cure his crippling anxiety, Oswald Greene visits a fantastical clinic to have his fate thrown into the hands of a blind nurse, a talking fly, and an eccentric doctor with a knack for rhyming.

Awards won: Best Canadian Shortworks Award, Whistler Film Festival 2013

The Horizon Project | Director: Scott Belyea | 25 min | Science Fiction

Survivors of a biological pandemic find refuge with Horizon Corporation, a company spearheading the global rebuild.

Written in the Earth: Our Stories

Saturday, November 15, 2014, 7:00pm

A screening dedicated to our stories as told through documentary. A poignant look at who we are, and the land we call home.

Very Good Dirt | Director: Catharine Parke | 13 min | Documentary

Very Good Dirt sifts through the sentimental memories of a long-lost town and contrasts them to the practical life of the farmer who now owns and works the land. The resulting film is a poetic meditation on the meaning of place, all set in the great emptiness of the Canadian prairie.

Selected for Telefilm Canada's: Not Short on Talent Cannes 2014

Little Moccasins | Director: Ken Matheson | 10 min | Documentary

In a windswept grasslands grave yard, elementary students of the Strathcona Tweedsmuir school gather to honor First Nations children that between 1889 and 1924 died while attending the Dunbow Indian Industrial School near Calgary. Subjected to neglect, malnutrition, disease and abuse, many  were buried in unmarked graves on the school grounds and largely forgotten. Struggling to come to terms with the dark history of the residential schools  in Canada, the students embark on an emotional journey to give voice and an identity to those First Nations children that were buried and forgotten there long ago.

Dear Guardians | Director: Ian Mackenzie | 7 min | Documentary

Since 2002, the Guardians have held an integral role at the Temple of the Burning Man festival. They have remained largely invisible, holding space from the shadows. Until now. From award winning director Ian MacKenzie comes this meditation on the nature of Guardians.

Sayachapis | Director: Mar Y Sol | 20 min | Documentary

So powerful a message so courageous of Sayachapis to share his story of survival as a 1st Nations person. Forced into a residential school for 1st Nations here he learned of hard labor, starvation, rape, strapping, bones breaking and unimaginable horrors imprinted in his brain. Ten years he was called 52. Surviving the school was one thing, what about after? Prisons, hospitals, discrimination and rejection. He survived and now today, 30 years on his healing journey he looks back. "I'm still alive and still O.K."

Transience: A Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 15, 2014, 8:30pm

Life, death and all that is between. Come celebrate life with us as we look at films that will make you laugh, cry, and then wonder how we managed to fit werewolves into the whole thing.

In the Deep | Director: Nimisha Mukerji | 13 min | Drama

Jodi's mother passed away five years ago, and since then, her father has pretty well stopped living himself. Arriving unannounced on his doorstep one day, with shattering news of her own, Jodi is determined to make the most of the time they have left.

Take Me Home | Director: Kim Tran | 17 min | Drama

Lily is a long-suffering insomniac, trapped between a traumatic past and an uncertain future. Her best friend Emma pulls Lily from her seclusion for Emma's first art exhibition. During that evening, Lily will have to confront Edgar, a mysterious man, and reconnect with her old friends Emma and Jansen. At the end of the night, nothing will remain the same. Lily must make the decision to either move forward with her life, or stay mired in the past.

Dead Hearts | Director: Stephen W. Martin | 17 min | Horror Romance, Fantasy

A young mortician will give his heart away to find true love. A whimsical, gothic bedtime story filled with love, loss, taxidermy, Kung fu, and biker werewolves.

Awards won: Best Horror Comedy Short, Screamfest 2014

Retrospectives and New Perspectives

Sunday, November 16, 2014, 6:00pm

A double screening where we showcase four new exciting films and then look back at the four past winning films of the VSFF. Come back to the future with us and pay tribute to the incredible talent of BC filmmakers.

My Daphne | Director: Sandi Gisbert | 11 min | Drama

A stressed-out single mom is forced to see what her parenting choices will lead to, when her young daughter transforms into a teenager and then an old woman over the course of one argument.

Awards won: Best Hair & Makeup, Golden Egg Film Festival, Los Angeles

Sahar | Director: Alexander Farah | 14 min | Drama

Inspired by the tragic three year-long Shafia Murder Trials in 2009, Sahar explores the taut family dynamics and binary oppositions facing a Middle Eastern family living in Canada. Nadim’s parents struggle to accept the carefree and westernized lifestyle of his sister Sahar. With tension high and tolerance low, the household remains as a standstill, waiting for her to come home.

Through the Pane | Director: Pauline Egan | 15 min | Drama

Two lonely souls meet by chance through their facing apartment windows. Then begins a playful conversation through handwritten notes and daily window dates. But will their fears and assumptions sabotage their potential of finding true happiness?

Awards won: 7 excellence awards at Best Shorts, San Diego (incl. Best Direction, Best writer/script, Best lead actress, Best lead actor)

Bed Bugs: A Musical | Director: Matthew Kowalchuk | 15 min | Musical Comedy

Just when flannel-clad Tracy Polokowski thinks her 'Yes' day has come, her hipster boyfriend breaks up with her, she discovers she has bedbugs, and she's ostracized by everyone she knows...Maybe the love she's been looking for was right inside her mattress.

The Light of Family Burnam | Director: Marshall Axani | 15 min | Drama

As terminally ill, ten-year-old Wyler Burnam plans for his upcoming funeral with the help of his juvenile grandfather Richard, his father, Michael, struggles with the fact that his son will soon be gone. Having already experienced the loss of his wife a few years earlier, Michael is helpless to the fact that the people he loves most are slowly being torn from his life. With little time left, Michael is forced to finally open up in the hopes of becoming the father that Wyler needs, and in doing so it may be his last chance to embrace the lighter side of death, find some redemption within himself, and fully enjoy the time he has left with his son.

VSFF Best Film Winner, 2009

Everything’s Coming Up Rosie | Director: Jereme Watt | 13 min | Animation, Drama

Inside Rosie’s mind she sees herself as beautiful, intelligent, and fun…to society though, she is seen only as autistic. Rosie is determined to break through the stereotype of her condition and communication barriers ‘U’ and ‘I’ take for granted.  A short and sweet tale that blends live action and animation with a unique take on what you think you know about someone who is different.

VSFF Best Film Winner, 2010

Henry’s Glasses | Director: Brendan Uegama | 20 min | Drama

In an internment camp in 1945, an eight-year-old boy has a mystical gift that makes the extraordinary happen. Even to the old and devastated Mr. Yamamoto, this gift may hold the power to make a skeptic believe.

VSFF Best Film Winner, 2012

The Bouake Hustle | Director: Misha Kleider | 14 min | Documentary

The Bouake Hustle is a glimpse into everyday life as seen through the eyes of a local hustler in West Africa. The documentary is set in Bouake, a bustling West African city of over a million people. Bouake has no prisons, no police and no courts; it is a lawless anarchy that has been smashed by civil war and rent by grinding poverty. Paradoxically, the vast majority of people in Bouake are beautiful in the deepest way there is; they are kind, loving and generous with all that they have. This film is a testament to the true colors of Bouake's people, whom fate has put to the ultimate test.

VSFF Best Film Winner, 2013