Canadian Film Fest 2015: Short Films In Review

Canadian Film Fest 2015: Short Films In Review

The Canadian Film Fest (CFF) is the place to find some of Canada’s most up-and-coming filmmakers. Beside many feature films, CFF also offers a variety of short films of various genres and for all tastes. Here, we give you a glimpse of some of what you can see along with various others at this year’s festival.

Burn The Tapes

Directors: Nick Kewin and Brit Kewin. Cast: Martin Malinski, Jaqueline Vogl, Darleen Degrieck, Shaena Patton.

Joe and his new wife, Naomi, live in a small town haunted by the disappearance and murder of a local man.  Joe has been recording his dreams on casettes for decades.  Naomi offers to transcribe these casettes. One day she listens to a tape that describes a scene that may be too close to the death of a disappeared man. Maybe these recordings not dreams after all. What is Naomi to do?

A little disjointed but the effort is in showing the mix of dreams and real life.  Burn The Tapes screens along with  Late Night Double Feature.


Director: Ron Leach. Cast: Zion Forest Lee, Hardee Lineham, John Tench, Joshua Teixeira, Michael James Regan.

A young man is being beaten by a drug-dealer bully, but someone comes to his aid. This vigilante shows up at friend’s house to get help as he was hurt during the fight. In a short flashback, we  see how the event unfolded.  We come to understand why he calls himself Gaybasher.

This short also has good production value. The vigilante story can be credible, but leaves a few gaps. Gaybasher screens along with Nocturne.

Job Interview

Directors: Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll and Tim Moore. Cast: Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, Dan Beirne, Gwynne Phillips.

Dan shows up fora job interview, which seems to be going great. During the interview, however, the interviewer gets a call and someone comes in with some VHS tapes from years before showing Dan in various compromising positions. The tapes appear to go from bad to worse. Except for the third tape, which is the last straw. What the interviewer does next will surprise you.

This funny film is cheeky and a little over the top. It can only make you laugh, really. Job Interview screens along with Barn Wedding.

This Is Not What You Had Planned

Director: Christopher Warre Smets. Cast: Kristian Bruun, Natalie Lisinska, Elizabeth Whitmere, Jefferson Brown.

Two couples; one night. Sarah comes to Jack’s apartment for dinner, but that does not go well. Another woman alone at a movie theatre starts a conversation with Hank, who is also alone at the movies.  Both couples’ conversations revolve around sex and the myriad of interactions between men and women. The conversations and interactions between these couples pretty much take us into the messy parts of all romantic relationships.

Irritating at parts, in the same way misunderstandings and fights between couples can be.  A very well-written short with a strong cast. A piece of everyday life; well done. This Is Not What You Had Planned screens along with Ben’s At Home.

The following films will screen as part of the Homegrown Shorts series.


Director: Rouzbeh Heydari. Cast: Ann Pirvu, Jen Pogue, Mckenzie Ball, Ted Jefferies.

A mother will do anything to save her child. In a dark, autumn night, a mother begs the help of a young couple to save her baby at all costs.

This is a very effective spooky story.  Nothing gets missed. Short and to the point.

Some Things Won’t Sleep

Director: Leah Johnston. Cast: Alexis Milligan, David Christoffel, Alyssa Cross, Jordan Poole.

We find a woman digging what looks like a grave in the middle of the night, crying and remembering her time with her husband. We go back in time, to that morning. She sees something that will make her do the unthinkable for the sake of her family. But her evil deed keeps haunting her.  What it turns out to be will give you the creeps.

Another well executed genre short. It has good build up until the end. Well produced and well acted.


The Time Traveller

Director: RT! Cast: Huse Madhavji, Emmanuel Kabongo.

It begins with the voices of a man and woman talking about time traveling. She asks, “what if a man visits his past and future?”  We suddently jump into another vignette. Here, Thomas comes into a store and confuses the owner to be someone else, whom he calls “professor”.  The more Thomas asks this “professor”, the store owner begins to have ‘flashbacks’ or are they misplaced memories? The “professor” begins to recall some of these so-called memories.  He begins to remember  his travelling but is this in the past, the present, or the future? “Only the present matters in life.”

Interesting concept. The film demands some attention and is a  little convoluted. It is, however, engaging enough to keep you attentive.  Good production value,  as well as, good camera work and editing.

Lunchbox Loser

Director: Virginia Abramovich. Cast: Sarah Davis, Ella Ballentine, Zane Davis, Adrianna Di Lielo, Elijha Hammill, Brian Hooper, Masha Nadtotchii, Arcadia Kendal, Chloe Lederman, Sammy Jo Higgins, Makayla Mantley.

Lunch hour at an 80s middle school is just not fun for Natasha, who prefers to eat in the girls’ washroom until the hall monitor gets in her way. Having to eat in the cafeteria, Natasha has to find a place for herself. But popular girl, Missy is just not nice enough to let Natasha be.

An endearing and cringe-worthy story.  We can all relate to the anxiety of middle school even if popular. Great acting all around. And definitely, funny.

All film screenings take place at the Royal Cinema. For more information on Canadian Film Fest’s full film listings, schedule and box office information, visit

This post was written by
Heidy has a love of fine art history, films, books, world issues, music and science, leading her to share her adventures on her website ( , and as a contributor at other outlets. She loves sharing the many happenings in Toronto and hopes people will go out and support the arts in any fashion possible.

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