Fathers, friends, and classmates. These are just some of the characters that viewers can see in this year’s Toronto Youth Shorts. These shorts depict young people or people who are young at heart. And these characters navigate relationships within our outside their generation. Of course, some of these shorts can be good while others can be slightly better.
Zac Kara plays the titular character in Haaris Qadri’s Kashif. Here, he finds himself in between being loyal to his father, a convenient store owner, and his dealer best friend. There are a lot of echoing images here but handles them deftly. Each minute helping determine which relationships get stronger.
Family also matters in Madelyn Rideout’s The Sex Act, which takes place presumably during 1975 . Here, a young girl (Hanna Anderson) has limited choices when it comes to sex education. So she provides herself with a second – teaching sex ed to her classmates. The visuals compensate for the script’s quality.
Mari De Sanctis’ Father By Law makes bittersweet beauty out of a sad situation. Absentee father Dale (William Russ) insists that his daughter (Annie Clark) do a father-daughter dance with him during her wedding. This short exemplifies this idea that moving images are better than still ones, as the former fleshes out Dale characteristics.
Jason (Luke Hamiton Ford) is the protagonist in Lemon Tree. The title refers to an empty gesture that his school does during a recent tragedy. Anyway, he realizes that an awkward encounter between him and another student has a larger narrative. The cinematography here makes the environment seem tackier than it already is. And the same applies for its jokes that attack politically correct culture.
Lastly, there’s Spencer MacPherson in Emily Stranges’ Retrograde, where his character, Mason, faces temptation at an after party. The script here is pretty bland and needs more polishing to make its characters sound more human. But MacPherson does his best though, and it’s always nice to discover interesting new faces.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Comedy, Drama, Short
- Release Date: 4/20/2021
- Directed by: Emily Stranges, Haaris Qadri, Madelyn Rideout, Maria De Sanctis, Scout Stolpmann
- Starring: Hanna Anderson, Luke Hamilton Ford, Spencer Macpherson, William Russ, Zac Kara
- Produced by: Eman Pathan, Emilia McCarthy, Ivana Strajin, Jack Walterman, Sean M. Cullen
- Written by: Emily Stranges, Geoff McFarlane, Haaris Qadri, Madelyn Rideout, Scout Stolpmann