BC's Best Shorts

VSFF 2009 Films

Emerging Shorts Program

Tucker | Capilano University | 10 mins.


A teen-mother must care for a rapidly aging child who has an agenda of his own.

Paper Cut | Vancouver Film School | 4:25

Paper Cut

The everyday life of an office can really crumple you up. This is what a bored employee is about to find out, when a normal day of work turns into a fight for his identity and ultimately his life. All because of one little, harmless papercut.

Max | 7:40


A traditionalist animator gets an unexpected visit by an auditor, which rapidly spirals out of control. Max mixes traditional animation techniques with digital rotoscoping and motion graphics for a nervewracking jaunt into the life of an animator.

Surviving in the Cracks | Langara College | 15 mins.

Surviving in the Cracks

In March 2004, the BC government closed three Vancouver safe houses designed to protect vulnerable children from the sex trade. The kids that lived in these three houses were suddenly displaced to inferior arrangements and some returned to life on the street.  From this injustice a movement was born that was unsuccessful in keeping the safe houses open but, over the past five years, has been a support group for kids in trouble. In late 2008 this group partnered with university researchers to produce a theatre project written from the real-life experiences of troubled youth. As the filmmaker follows these groups during the final weeks of rehearsal the project is hanging by a thread, threatening the continuity of the cause and the credibility of the groups involved.

Iran: A Nation of Bloggers | Vancouver Film School | 2:20

 A Nation of Bloggers

Iran: A Nation of Bloggers explores how the digital world allows many Iranians access to ideas and freedom of expression they haven’t had for close to thirty years.

Latte America | BC Institute of Technology | 10 mins.

Latte America

If you ordered Latte America at the coffee bar, you would ask for “a single shot short, backwards.” Your barista would stop picking at his nose-rings long enough to film an action comedy entirely in reverse, in a single shot. That’s right – all the action, all the dialogue, all delivered backwards, in one take. It’s cinematic history, and it’s very hot. Don’t burn your lips.

Missing Alice | Vancouver Film School | 9:14

Missing Alice

A delusional man revisits his childhood friend in Wonderland only to uncover the awful truth that changed his life forever.

Descendant | International Language School of Canada | 4:14


Death is as real as life…

Nature on its Course | Emily Carr University | 2:30

Nature on its Course

Nature on Its Course is a short mixed media animation about a careless hunter who takes more than he needs.

Perfect Wave | Simon Fraser University | 9 mins.

Perfect Wave

On a warm August evening, Rio and Lou come across a mysterious abandoned handbag. The contents of the bag: psychedelic drugs, an exotic postcard, an intense handwritten journal and a photo of the beautiful owner - paint the picture of their perfect summer love: Fabiola Sorensen. With their hearts and minds open to all experiences, they set off to find her.

The Escape of Conrad Lard Bottom | University of British Columbia | 8 mins.

The Escape of Conrad Lard Bottom

The Escape of Conrad Lard-Bottom is an 8-minute dark comedy where, following the deaths of Conrad Lard-Bottom’s three brothers, his mother decides to imprison Conrad Lard-Bottom in order to protect him from the outside world. After seven years, Conrad goes insane, and decides to “dispose” of his overprotective mother, but he quickly learns that escape is more difficult than he imagined.

Not Another Damn Musical! | Art Institute of Vancouver | 8:45

Not Another Damn Musical!

Not Another Damn Musical follows Leopold Gunthry, a mild-mannered news reporter who can only express his most heartfelt feelings and emotions through grandiose musical numbers, as he struggles to find a place for himself in a cold and passionless world.

World's Best Shorts Program

Next Floor | Canada | 11:37

Next Floor

2009 Genie Award for Best Live Action Short Drama
2008 Cannes International Critics’ Week Best Short Film (Canal + Award)
2008 Atlantic Film Festival, Edmonton International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Whistler Film Festival Best Short Film

During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with cavalier servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this absurd and grotesque universe, an unexpected sequence of events undermines the endless symphony of abundance.


Subject #164 | UK | 2:31

Subject #164

2009 Ffresh Student Moving Images Festival Awards Animation Nominee

Filmed in the early 60s, this laboratory documentary follows a newly discovered and apparently unintelligent Neanderthal humanlike specimen, which is found through testing to have amazing logic solving intelligence.

Small Change | Australia | 7:30

Small Change

2009 Tribeca Student Visionary winner
2008 Bin Short Film Festival Best Director winner
2008 Angelus Student Film Festival Triumph of the Spirit Award
2008 Palm Springs Shortsfest Best Student Live Action Short 2nd Prize

A man struggles without his wife, a little girl loses a tooth and a boy reacts the only way he knows how…small change can make all the difference.

Lies | Sweden | 13:30


2009 Sundance Film Festival International Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking

Three perfectly true stories about lying.

Jerrycan | Australia | 13:46


2009 Sundance Film Festival Honourable Mention
2009 Hamburg International Short Film Festival Arte Short Film Award
2008 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize
2008 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Best Short Fiction Award
Vladivostok International Film Festival Best Short Film, "Pacific Meridian"

Five bored kids with nothing to do decide to blow something up. Paper, scissors, rocks seals the fate of Nathan, who risks everything after he is bullied into making a life and death decision.

About Face | Canada | 5:57

About Face

2009 Yorkton Film Festival Golden Sheaf Award

One boring day at work, lowly office drone Bob Zimmer receives an invitation to sign up for a new “interactive reality” version of his social networking site. With nothing better to do, Zimmer agrees. Immediately, the Agent appears. While Zimmer pauses to figure out what has just happened, and checks to see if anyone else sees what he sees, the newsfeed notifications begin.

Atem | UK | 5:05


2009 Ffresh Student Moving Images Festival Best Animation

A mesmerising and emotive journey through creation.

Megatron | Romania | 14:41


2008 Cannes Palme d’Or

It's Maxim birthday. He's 8 years old. He lives with his mother in a village quite far from the nearest city. For his birthday, his mother takes him to a McDonald's restaurant.

This Way Up! | UK | 8:37

This Way Up!

2009 Oscar nominee for Short Film (Animated)
2008 Ottawa Animation Festival National Film Board of Canada Public Prize

Laying the dead to rest has never been so much trouble.


September | UK | 20:23


2009 London Short Film Festival Best Film
2009 BAFTA Best Short Film

Caught in an in-between world of flyovers, grass verges and dead-ends, where the motorway hum serves as a constant reminder of the speed of other lives, Marvin is not going anywhere. Into this forgotten corner of English countryside and motorway services arrives an extraordinary adolescent, changing his world forever.


Professional Shorts Program

Pier Pressure | Borrowtime | 8:20

Pier Pressure

It’s a cold, dark and stormy night. And day. Detective Belding is a man on a mission. He’s looking for the stooge that murdered his partner, Regan Wright. Right in front of him. The culprit: Spuds Mulligan. After a midnight affair in a seedy motel, his old flame, Lana Harrington gives him some information about a man who keeps things ‘close to his heart.’

State of Yo | Apt 9 Productions | 8 mins.

State of Yo

2009 Kitsilano Film Festival Grand Prize winner
2009 Cine-Asie’s National Portrait Contest National Award winner
2008 Vancouver Asian Film Festival 3rd Place Canadian Short Film Award winner

Harvey Lowe won the worlds first yo-yo championship in 1932. He experienced the early loss of his father, political and economic unrest, and a brain tumour. The yo-yo, which made him famous, helped him regain his identity.

God’s Squad | LadyBug Productions/Black Sunrise Pictures | 3:37

God's Squad

The leader of a door-to-door Jehovah’s Witness sect, Elsebeth Staford and her husband Jeremy are on a mission from God. Elsebeth and Jeremy have “alternative” ways to communicate their practices and beliefs to new friends.

Postcards | 5 mins.


Postcards was filmed on a high speed SLR camera as roughly 2400 still photos, then merged together to form a live action film.  No motion camera was used in creating it.  A woman strolls through the tired streets of a city, searching for a secret left behind by her family a generation ago.   Her only guide is a set of postcards, written by her grandmother years ago, hinting at a past that many people would choose to leave locked away.  The journey she takes draws her into a physical and emotional passage through darkness and light, until she finally discovers what her mother and grandmother worked to keep hidden from her for over 30 years.

Let’s Play Boccia! | 14:01

Let's Play Boccia!

Let’s Play Boccia! is a glimpse at the lives of three Canadian Paralympic athletes. Paul Gauthier, Alison Kabush and Caroline Vietneks are all part of the Canadian Boccia Team. Under the leadership of Coach Herb Torrance, they will represent Canada in the Americas Championships in Montreal on October 24-29, 2009. Their dedication to the sport is admirable and undeniable.  Let’s Play Boccia! is more than just a documentary about throwing balls or shooting them down a ramp. It’s about finding inner strength and living with dignity through many of life’s challenges and adversity.

Tofu Meets Greens | Storybubble Pictures | 3:33

Tofu Meets Greens

Tofu Meets Greens is a community building experiment that brings together elements of Vancouver's dance, food, and music scenes.  It features David and Diane of Night and Day Dance, music by Denzal Sinclaire, food from Superior Tofu and the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and, best of all, some swingin' dancin' on Granville Island.

Kodiak | Ninelight Pictures Inc | 12 mins.


2008 Leo Award for Best Edit of a Short Drama; 2008 Portable Choice Award

Lucky Doucette, a young man who must find the resolve to play in the biggest ball hockey game of his life, the day after his longtime girlfriend has left him.  A close exploration of the backbones of Canadian culture, Kodiak is a story about love, passion and understanding set again the backdrop of an urban Vancouver setting.

For the Birds | Malcontent Pictures | 2:16


2008 Somewhat North Of Boston (S.N.O.B.) Film Festival Best Short

The film is a humourous example of obsession. A Scottish man narrates how he has kept up a rather odd obsession. Over one hundred years ago, there was an expedition to Antarctica. While there, they performed one specific “experiment.” The narrator explains that since he is a descendant, he must continue and expand the experiment, despite how controversial, or ridiculous this project is.

The Light of Family Burnam | Awkward Moment Productions | 15 mins.

The Light of Family Burnam

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.

Centigrade | Yellowcrow Film Conspiracy


2008 Cinequest Film Festival Best Narrative Short
2008 Leo Award winner for Best Short, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Sound Design, Best Make up
New Hampshire Film Festival Best Short winner
Method Festival Best Actor winner
Fastest Live Action Short to break iTUNES Top 10 downloads (US, UK & Canada)

'THE ROAD TO HELL BEGINS HERE.' Centigrade is a contemporary thriller about a Man who lives in an old, busted up camper trailer... but wakes up one morning to find himself (and it) rolling down the highway. Towed by a mysterious black pick-up truck, the Man is taken hostage aboard this rolling nightmare and will have to use his wits in order to survive.