BC's Best Shorts


Alchemy and Other Imperfections | 11:21

Alchemy is a dark fable about a man and woman who have become hermits in their own marriage, until the woman takes one last desperate measure to erase the pesky memory that ruined their lives.

Awards won: 2012 Leo Awards Best Short, Best Screenplay, Best Production Design; 2011 Crazy 8s Film Race; 2012 Director’s Choice Award, Balticon SNFF


I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors | 15:01

I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors is director Ann Marie Fleming’s animated adaptation of Bernice Eisenstein’s acclaimed illustrated memoir. Through an artful blend of Eisenstein’s drawings, inventive animation and the author’s own voice, the film weaves together personal and global history. Eisenstein explores her own identity from a past that her parents, both Auschwitz survivors, don’t especially want to talk about. Using the healing power of humour, the film probes the taboos around a very particular second-hand trauma, leading us to a more universal understanding of human experience. The film explores identity and loss through the audacious proposition that the Holocaust is addictive and defining. I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors shakes up perspectives and conveys to a new generation the continuing legacy of the Second World War, which seared the word “genocide” into our collective consciousness. This is a poignant and wry exploration of grief, love, acceptance and resilience, through the enduring quality of family bonds.

Awards won: Best Animated Film Award, Reel to Real International Film Festival for Youth; Special Mention for the Short Film Competition Jury Prize, Hong Kong International Film Festival

Le Jeu des Soldats (The Soldier Game) | American Film Institute Conservatory, Canary in the Cannon Productions | 15:00


Antoine, an imaginative boy living in Northern France at the outbreak of World War II, defends the family home after his father is drafted to the Maginot Line. Fueled by precocious naivety, a rusty old cannon, and accomplices -- war veteran Grandpa and imaginary friend Napoleon Bonaparte, Antoine discovers just what protecting his family really means.

Awards won: 2012 Leo Awards for Best Cinematography, Overall Sound, and Sound Editing, 2011 BAFTA/LA Student Film Award

A Fine Young Man | 13:00

They've been looking for someone like Pete. Someone honest, upstanding and true. Someone they can put their faith in.

Awards won: 2011 Leo Awards Best Short Drama, Best Direction, Best Performance by a Male, Best Screenwriting in a Short Drama

Hop the Twig | 9:43

When little Audrey’s potted plant dies, the tot’s deepest fears take over her wildly growing imagination. Classic animation meets a classically told child’s fable in this visual stunner.

Awards won: 2012 CBC Short Film Face Off, 2011 Leo Award, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects in a Short Drama.


White Collar Poet, Episode 1 | 6:30

White Collar Poet tells the story of Richard Scribe, a wealthy and successful white collar pro turned poet, whose personal life has just crashed worse than the 2008 stock market. His stunning, successful wife Gloria has left him for an aloof, starving artist named Tim.  A shell-shocked Rich has an epiphany that money isn’t everything and realizes there’s a repressed poet inside him itching to get out. Inspired, Rich makes it his personal mission to get in touch with his artistic side and ‘enlighten’ the rest of the financial district with his poetry.  Or is this a subconscious attempt to get his estranged wife to notice him and win her back?


The Money Pet | 10:25

The Money Pet is a modern day fable loosely inspired by Aesop’s mid sixth century BC tale of “The Goose that laid Golden Eggs”. It is the story of a slacker and his relationship, or lack thereof, with his pet dog. Blending the classic theme of greed with the current setting of today’s economic climate, The Money Pet is a hilarious take on the age-old adage that warns us not to kill the Golden Goose.

Listening to a Sense of Place | Simon Fraser University | 15:05

Using sound as a catalyst and form of ethnography, storytelling, and expression, we invite you to listen to the sounds of the Broughton Archipelago, a community along the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.  Hear the stories of Billy Proctor, a renowned pioneer in the community and understand the importance of historical, contemporary, and environmental listening. This film reveals that the sense of belonging to place is intimately connected to the act of listening to it.


Fags After Dark | Simon Fraser University| 13:20

Unfounded hatred, tragedy, and a love that was deemed unworthy meet in a park after dark. A young homosexual man, Michael, makes a last ditch attempt to make amends with his partner, Jamie, who he has alienated through his own shame. He is intercepted by a group of young men: Cam, Ron, and Mike. What starts as something that could be written off as school boy bullying quickly escalates into something much more insidious and through a series of hate fuelled events three lives are ended in one night, in a dark park.

Chained | 11:12

Peter and his father are hiding a terrible secret within the walls of their remote rural home. When Peter's teacher brings up his repeated, monthly absences from school, he notices some physical signs of abuse. This unwanted attention prompts his teacher to make an unexpected trip to their house. The secret Peter and his ailing father have protected for so many years is now in danger of being irrevocably exposed…


FTW | University of British Columbia | 4:49

Mallory is determined to win the local 100 meter qualifier, even though no one believes in her, not even her Mom.


Swift | Emily Carr University | 4:39

A young girl and a red fox follow each other in nature through the seasons. Everything in their environment is seen as potential sustenance. A striking animation, Swift is a playful story about the organic cycles of life and the mental associations that the survival instinct can trigger.


O Tharraleos (The Courageous One) | Twelfth Hour Films/Bean Brother Films | 2:49

A young boy is immersed in his sidewalk art, while suffering terrible criticism from three older gentlemen. He must work through these put downs so that he can eventually create his work of art. In the end, as in Plato’s allegory of the cave, the boy realizes that perception is not reality.

Henry’s Glasses | Black Tree Pictures | 19:45

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.


Cruel & Unusual | The Virtual Stage | 9:10

Bound and gagged in a dingy dungeon, undercover officer Sawatzky finds himself at the mercy of his tormentors. They taunt their captive with sick and demented new techniques to make him talk; these seasoned veterans in the art of torture know no limits. Just as their boss gives them the green light to unleash a living hell upon their captive, their prisoner is rescued. Traumatized by the event, and armed with the knowledge of unconventional torture techniques he never could have dreamed up on his own, Sawatzky embarks upon an unorthodox campaign of pressure tactics the likes of which his precinct has never seen. Evocative, a 1960s era action film, and stylized in the genre of James Bond, Cruel & Unusual is a comedic examination of the bizarre workings of the male-type mind.


Wait for Rain | Motion 58 Entertainment | 13:53

A warming planet has made water scarce, food a rarity, and wearing plants like jewelry fashionable. James, a hapless office worker, becomes obsessed with nurturing his plant in order to obtain the respect of his peers and risks everything to not Wait for Rain.

Wait for Rain is a futuristic comedy about James the pitiful office worker who must sacrifice himself to get the attention of the girl he desires.


Goodbye | 3:00

Joel was always the cautious one — watching his brother Chris takes the risks. When Chris gets sick, the brothers plan a road trip to experience the best things in life together one last time, forcing Joel to reassess how he looks at the world.

Behind the Curtain | Vancouver Film School | 12:01

Behind the Curtain is a short documentary exploring the art of circus in west coast Canada shot with a vintage aesthetic, and explores the psychology of the performer and the audience. The documentary uses 3D motion graphics and match-moving to help enhance the aesthetic of the film and help push the story forward.


The Vessel | Crazy 8s/Awkward Moment Productions/Capri Studios | 11:55

A mysterious operative lets nothing stand in his way as he uses a unique device to manipulate anyone getting between him and his main objective. It soon becomes apparent these encounters are anything but random, each leading him closer to the high-tech facility where his target is being detained.

Liz | University of British Columbia | 9:15

When ten-year-old Kevin learns that his best friend, Liz, is moving away, he decides to run away with her so that they can be together. However, during the course of the night, Kevin slowly realizes that a life on the run is not what he wants for the girl he cares so much about.


Progress Parade | Simon Fraser University | 6:20

Progress Parade was created using found footage from educational films that were released from the 1930s to the 1960s in North America. States and private corporations commissioned these films with the intention of promoting their vision of progress through technological innovation and capitalist enterprise. Each segment of footage used in Progress Parade is conceptually linked to the one that precedes it and the one that follows. This Eisensteinian montage technique is intended to illustrate how those living at different moments in time maintain similarly illusory notions of progress; notions that are intended to rationalize actions, which might otherwise seem absurd.

Think Brilliance | Vancouver Film School | 0:57


An idea who wants to be brilliant, but...


Peach Juice | Public Ritual | 7:45

While on vacation at the seaside, a young boy becomes attracted to his aunt.

Why Does God Hate Me? | Capilano University | 15:00

A coming-of-age comedy about Matthew, a 14-year-old boy living in a very religious town, whose best friend Ester tries to "cure" him of being gay. But a trip to San Francisco shows Matthew that he might not be the one who needs curing.