This year’s virtual edition is great! I hope the producers will continue to offer some parts of this show online. Eventually, when the pandemic is over, some events will have to consider how to carry on going forward. Those used to waiting in line for entry to the theatre should still get that aspect of what a film festival represents. Those who have come to love just logging into a website and streaming the content to their big screen television shouldn’t be cut short either.
However this event (and any other) progresses will require time to tell, and either way, I think going online is perfect for all the shorts that are out there. Film Festivals who think they aren’t popular and put them in low seating arrangements are quite literally cutting themselves short! Fair play gets those filmmakers noticed. Of the shorts I’ve seen, the following are worth watching! They are listed in no particular order.
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At first, I wondered if Dibbuk, a film by Dayan D. Oualid, is the French spelling in reference to the famous Dybbuk Box. The hints are there. This short fabulously shows what goes on in a Jewish Exorcism ritual. It’s not The Exorcist by any means with gross out and haunting detail. It feels like a real portrayal of what goes on when Eli (Michaël Charney) is believed to be possessed by the devil!
Part of the ritual includes bringing the “Minyan,” an office with ten people of Israelite confession, to act as assistants, prayer guides and so on. Although some cleansing can easily take a day to perform, others require many more–depending on how powerful the evil is. Or in this case, perhaps offering up yourself to the devil. It’s hard to say as this short is light on dialogue.
The reveal tells all, and it’s a delightful short which I was able to instantly figure out because of my knowledge of the paranormal. Even for those who don’t know a thing, the draw is in giving viewers insight to what a different religion does for removing evil.
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I see great things in store for the Burghart Brothers in Suspense. They deliver high flying tension in a simple premise. Two airplane pilots are forced to eject when something goes wrong with their jet. Just where they’ve landed, we have no clue! But insert a crazy laugh (from a source which I won’t spoil) and only the light of a blood-red moon, the suspense only mounts! We don’t know what’s going on because the credits roll as the chaos is still going on.
Jelani Talib and Robert Rhappage III deliver solid performances in this minimalist horror creature feature.
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I can relate to Parker Finn’s Laura Hasn’t Slept because burning the midnight oil every day can lead to health problems. Well, mental health that is. In this case, the titular character goes to a psychiatrist to talk about her nightmares and perhaps get help. Caitlin Stasey delivers an engaging performance as a girl who believes she’s becoming unhinged, and we believe that she’s genuinely gone off the rocker.
Lew Temple plays the calm doctor, but in what we get may well be Dr. Philip K. Decker from Nightbreed. But we’ll never know! This short has the potential to be expanded on.
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From actor to director, Finn Wolfhard’s Night Shifts shows he’s well on the way to being able to work behind the scenes. This well-to-do comedy shows what happens when old high school friends drift apart and unexpectedly reconnect. The humour is just perfect in how it’s delivered in-narrative. Add on top tight closeups to put us into that situation, just what a gas station cashier and would-be thief has in common is much more enlightening than running into an old flame decades later.