Canadian Film Festival 2017: Highlights From The Homegrown Shorts Program

Posted in Canadian Film Fest 2017, Festival Coverage, Movies by - March 20, 2017
Canadian Film Festival 2017: Highlights From The Homegrown Shorts Program

Grocery Store Action Movie
Director: Matthew Campbell
Writer: Chris Wilson, and Peter Carlone

Synopsis: A man in line at the grocery store suddenly realizes he’s forgotten the crackers. Now, in a “24 style” race against time, he has to risk life and limb in order to run back for crackers before losing his place in line.

We are taken on a trip in search for the last item on  Alex’s shopping list… how can he and his girlfriend impress their new ‘besties’ without the right hors d’oeuvres? As his girlfriend stays on the phone with him, Alex fights his way to the aisle for the missing item but alas! the evening is not completely saved.

Although a bit ‘over the top’ in its premise, this is a very entertaining film. For those who have send plenty of action films, this is a send-up of movie clichés… it works. The premise is not only funny but relatable. The leads are believable in their respective characters. Good production overall by the crew at Crazy 8s.

Rating 3.5/5

I Love You So Much It’s Killing Them
Director: Joel Ashton McCarthy
Writer: Joel Ashton McCarthy & Mike Doaga

Synopsis: A pitch-black comedy about Vivian, a lonely serial killer whose three loves in life are math, accounting, and killing random people. This all changes when she meets Alex, the man of her dreams.

Vivian is not your typical ‘nerdy girl’; she thoroughly enjoys hearing the sounds of a crushing skull. As Alex catches her eye, she believes she has a new goal in life and a new reason to commit her gruesome acts: she does it for Alex.  She begins to gift him items she acquires during her nighttime ‘hunts’.  She even risks getting caught by the cops one night.  Soon enough, Vivian discovers that he might not be worth all the effort. To her surprise, all the gifts she has given Alex come to her salvation.

As a female viewer, I like Vivian’s character… although I could use the she meets a guy and finds a new reason for killing kind of theme. Nonetheless, the ending of the film redeems Vivian for me. This is another film by the Crazy 8s crew that is well produced, and well-acted.

Rating 3/5

The Bakebook
Director: Suri Parmar
Writer: Suri Parmar, based on her story

Synopsis: A modern-day animated fairy-tale, in which a woman overcomes the death of her lover through her passion for baking.

We meet a woman trying to cope with her grief after losing her partner. Although there is no dialogue, through the various vignettes, it is evident she constantly reminisces about him and their times together. She then remembers the Baking Book he gifted her one day to lift her spirits. The woman finds solace in baking and in the
good memories.

Although the story could be flushed out more, it is a bittersweet one. I particularly like the animation style and the lack of dialogue… a lot is said through the animation and music.

Rating 3/5

Sleeping In
Director: Denis Dulude
Writer: Denis Dulude, based on a short story by Eric Godin

Synopsis: Marie and Michel have been in love for a very long time. This morning, Marie is awake, Michel is still in bed; he’s sleeping in. A yearning he has had for many years. It’s fall, his favourite season… It’s the perfect weather for sleeping in.

At first, it seems like just another lazy morning for Marie and Michael. As the film progresses, it is evident this is not just another lazy day for sleeping in. There is a layer within the story that only makes sense towards the end of the film. I will not say more, so as not to take away from it. The mood sets the tone for how the film will unfold.

Minus the score, I liked the pacing of the film. It is a good length, well cast, and well produced.  The story is not as simple as it sounds, and it certainly makes sense given its context.

Rating 3/5

Director: Winnifred Jong
Writer: Winnifred Jong

Synopsis: A short comedy about communication. Vicki buys milk and finds telling her grandmother is the hardest part.

How complicated is it buy a carton of milk? In Vicky’s case, not as simple as it sounds thanks to her grandmother misunderstanding what Vicky is saying over the phone. The truly funny part is that ‘milk’ in Cantonese sounds very similar to ‘soil’ and ‘rice’.

Definitely a comedy of errors; this is a laugh out loud funny story. Although I do not speak Cantonese, I can see how this type of (mis)communication happens in everyday life. The film delivers in a short time; well done.

Rating 3.5/5

The Homegrown Shorts Program screens this Saturday, March 25th, at 12pm at Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre.

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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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