Each year a curated programme of short films from across Canada and around the world screen in Sarnia and are eligible for the coveted SWIFF Audience Award and a $500 cash prize. Our selection for SWIFF8 will be unveiled later this fall.

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canadian programme 1


The Archivists

Dir. Igor Drljača

Acclaimed filmmaker Igor Drljača (The White Fortress, also screening at SWIFF) charms with a romanticized dystopian take on an oppressed society, which sees a group of nomads reconnect with their humanity through music and artifacts.


Twelve Hours

Dir. Paul Shkordoff

Paul Shkordoff turns his camera on a timely subject in this sharp, intimate observation of an overworked health care professional trying to catch a breath at the height of the pandemic.

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Dir. Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah, Araya Mengesha

Toronto-based actor-director duo Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah and Araya Mengesha craft an urgent take on the racial injustice movement that erupted across the globe over the summer of 2020 in this activist comedy.



Dir. Albert Shin

Albert Shin (In Her Place, SWIFF 2015) returns with this haunting drama shining a light on South Korea’s high suicide rate. The touching story finds two strangers unexpectedly connecting while looking for companionship in death. Winner of VIFF's Best Canadian Short Film Award.

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Angakusajaujuq - The Shaman's Apprentice

Dir. Zacharias Kunuk


An atmospheric ride rooted in legend, this gorgeous stop-motion animation from acclaimed filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat) tells the story of a young shaman embarking on a journey through the spirit world that will test her very fortitude. 

canadian programme 2

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Nuisance Bear

Dir. Jack Weisman,

Gabriela Osio Vanden

Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden capture a polar bear’s entrance and exile from a small town in this breathtaking piece of documentary filmmaking that quietly observes the clash of community and wildlife in Churchill, Manitoba. 


The Horses

Dir. Liz Cairns

After most of her stable had to be euthanized, a young woman is desperate to find a companion mare for the sole remaining horse. This quietly affecting drama by Liz Cairns, a Berlinale Talents alumna and graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors’ Lab, recently won VIFF's Best BC Short Film award.



Dir. Marie Valade

A wonderful piece of animated storytelling that is at once playful and nuanced in its study of a woman’s complex relationship with her body. Marie Valade stuns with surrealist illustrations of the female form featuring a soft colour palette and enviable range of visual creativity that radiates femininity and nurtures body positivity.

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Dir. Arshile Egoyan

When Andrew's mother disappears without a trace and leaves the differently-abled young man in his grandmother's care, his estranged aunt rushes back to the family home in a bid to restore order and unity in Arshile Egoyan's powerful, performance-driven chamber drama.


Like the Ones

I Used To Know

Dir. Annie St-Pierre

December 24, 1983, 10:50 p.m: Julie and her cousins ate too much sugar, Santa Claus is late and Denis, alone in his car, is anxious about setting foot in his ex-in-law's house to pick up his children in this disarmingly charming coming-of-age dramedy that is as squeaky as it is poetic.

international programme

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A Young Tough

Dir. Pengwei David Wang

When not listening to his parents’ constant bickering, young Ran spends his time coveting other kids’ Gameboys and blowing up insects on the rooftop of his building. David Pengwei Wang draws from his memories of growing up in 90s Ontario in this mesmerizing coming-of-age piece about a boy finding a kindred spirit in the midst of family dysfunction.

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Egúngún (Masquerade)

Dir. Olive Nwosu

Returning to her hometown of Lagos for her mother’s funeral, a young woman realizes she must confront her past to find grounding in her present. Set against the lush ceremonial backdrop, Nwosu (BAFTA Pigott 2020 Scholar and Alex Sichel 2020 Fellow at Columbia University) infuses the elegant drama with achingly nuanced emotional charge and a distinct feminine touch.



Dir. Cássio Domingos

Hawalari is patrolling the rainforest near his village when he comes across a wounded explorer desperate to track down the rest of Hawalari’s tribe. Set in the heart of Brazilian Indigenous territory, this tautly calibrated period drama sharply reframes colonial trauma through an intimate brush between two young men.

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The Infantas

Dir. Andrea Herrera Catalá

A mother-daughter stand-off ensues when Ruth, a Latin hairdresser, decides to sponsor the Dominican float at the Barcelona parade for an opportunity to present her tomboyish daughter in her best princess attire. Brimming with life, music and defiance, Andrea Herrera Catalá astutely captures the inevitable clash of wills within the ebb and flow of a mother-daughter relationship.



Dir. Lana Bregar

In the wake of her mother’s passing, a teenage girl struggles to connect with her grandmother in their shared grief. Set on a farm in the Slovenian countryside, this tender, minimalist drama engages all our senses while gently probing the themes of generational disconnect and recalibration of family dynamics.