Blind Vaysha (NFB)
Dir. Theodore Ushev
With one eye that can only see the past and one that can only see the future, a girl is tormented by two irreconcilable realities. Vaysha’s left eye sees the past; the right sees the future. Is it black magic? Old women in village try to heal her with potions and such… they fail. They say, “in her eyes, the present did not exist”.
This animated film, based on short story, is reminiscent of batik paintings. In 8 minutes, Usher creates a very engaging story. The film asks us to look at the world around us, which in turn, affects how we live our lives.
Emma is a 14 year-old girl with alopecia, hair loss due to an autoimmune disease. When her condition begins to worsen, Emma and her mother talk to her school principal. At first, Emma is concerned about what her friends will think if they notice her hair loss. After treatment does not work, Emma decides to take control of the situation. To her surprise, her friends are fully on board with her decision.
The film is shot in black and white to enhance the mood of the film. It is a film about self acceptance and resilience in the face of difficult times.
Canada’s Top Ten Shorts Programme 1 screens on Saturday, Jan 14th at 3:30pm.
Dir. Thyrone Tommy
This is a drama about an ambitious marine navigation cadet on the verge of cracking during his final exams. He makes a mistake due to his memories of a childhood trauma. He is given an exam retake. This time, he has no anti-anxiety pills. Will he pass?
Although an interesting premise, at 20 minutes, the film feels too long halfway through. It has a polished look but not this is not enough.
Dir. Heather Young
This is the portrait of a single mother pregnant for 2nd time — with twins — while hoping to rekindle her relationship with the father of her children. Over the course of the short film we overhear the woman leave messages for the children’s father about various appointments, even the twins’ first birthday celebrations. She tries to break ties but she calls again wanting to talk because she is “missing” the relationship they once had.
The woman is both mother and father. Like many single mothers, she is tired with no emotional, moral, or financial support. A poignant film that appears to blur the line of fiction and documentary.
Dir. Terril Calder
This stop-motion animation short is written and narrated by award-winning author Joseph Boyden. The film takes us through a time portal as modern-day indigenous twenty-somethings Annie and Gordon attempt to help two children. It soon becomes apparent these children need help escaping the terrors of a residential school.
The stop motion animation work was all done by Terril Calder. The short film was based on a live performance at another film festival. It is a beautiful film about a painful part of many Indigenous people’s lives and history.
Canada’s Top Ten Shorts Programme 2 screens on Saturday, Jan 14th at 6:00pm.