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.
SWIFF8 Canadian Shorts Program will take place at 1pm on Saturday November 5th at the Imperial Theatre. It will feature a live Q&A with some of the filmmakers in attendance.
Dir. Carol Nguyen
Three generations of women come together in this touching coming of age story about a little girl’s first brush with mortality. Winner of TIFF’s 2022 Share Her Journey Award, Carol Nguyen crafts a tender family drama that observes the passing of a matriarch through a child’s lens.
The Flying Sailor
Dir. Wendy Tilby, Amanda Forbis
Inspired by true events of the 1917 Halifax harbour explosion, this animated drama by the Oscar nominated duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis employs breathtaking visuals and unexpectedly introspective lens as it reimagines a sailor’s unique near-death experience.
No Ghost in the Morgue
Dir. Marilyn Cooke
Running out of options, a young medical student takes an internship in the pathology department, where she must navigate a strange new subterranean world that forces her to confront her own demons. Deftly bridging comedy and drama, Marilyn Cooke delivers a nuanced character study with a touch of morbid delight.
Dir. Daniel Warth
While documenting an artist’s meticulous work on a mystery project, Untold Hours packs some unexpected twists and turns in its observation of the creative process. Daniel Warth expertly plays with storytelling cues in this cheeky meditation on creative control and dedication to craft.
Municipal Relaxation Module
Dir. Matthew Rankin
Ken, a Winnipeg City bureaucrat bravely steps out of his accounting bubble to share his ideas about a certain bench. This razor-sharp vignette from the mind of The Twentieth Century’s Matthew Rankin imagines the complex innerworkings and bench-scaping politics of the Winnipeg City planning department.
Dir. Asia Youngman
A teenage girl struggles to fit into her new suburban neighbourhood while being taunted by the resident mean girl. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Okanagan Lake, this retro teen drama invokes the legend of the Ogopogo monster to interrogate greater socio-cultural politics and Indigenous legacies.
Dir. Kaho Yoshida
A young woman disillusioned with the dating scene reclaims her need for intimacy and pleasure. Leaning into neon pink colour accents and heightened sensory palette, Kaho Yoshida fully engages sight and sound to immerse the viewer into this animated exploration of femininity and sensuality.
Dir. Aziz Zoromba
Teenage brothers Simo and Emad are a handful for their single immigrant father, constantly trying to one-up each other around the house, on the soccer field and in the virtual world. Winner of TIFF’s 2022 Best Canadian Short Award, Simo is a kinetic and touching take on brotherhood and the weight of cultural identity.
Dir. Duván Duque Vargas
Marital tensions come to a head when a couple accepts an invitation to vacation with the shady potential client the husband is contemplating taking on. An explosive, richly nuanced family drama that masterfully mines the corrupt socio-political context to examine the finer points of a relationship hanging by a thread.
Dir. Crystal Kayiza
Crystal Kayiza delivers an astute and achingly tender road drama that follows a young Ugandan-American mother as she uproots her family and embarks on a journey to their new home in Oklahoma. The camera breathes with its characters as it adopts the eldest daughter’s impressionistic gaze to capture the emotional weight of the life altering voyage.
Dir. Thanasis Neofotistos
With her precious cargo safely stored and a new set of orthodontics in place, Vanina has her hosting face on and is ready for take off. Lena Papaligoura is a powerhouse in Thanasis Neofotistos’ sharply calibrated and darkly humorous character study of a woman slowly unraveling high up in the sky.
Shadow of the Butterflies
Dir. Sofia El Khyari
Sofia El Khyari employs a heady mix of mesmerizing hand-painted watercolour illustrations and a haunting score to deliver a soul-stirring piece of minimalist animation that sees a young woman in a forest deeply moved by the beauty of butterflies in motion.
Dir. Sandulela Asanda
A 16-year-old girl embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help and support of her best friend. Sandulela Asanda charms with this quirky yet pointed teen comedy that lays bare the trials and tribulations of female self-pleasure otherwise glossed over in the overtly traditional cultural context.
Dir. Ahmad Saleh
A striking stop motion animation that lays bare a mother’s grief under the shroud of night. Casting a poignant emotional spell, Ahmad Saleh reimagines an environment devastated by war and death, using raw materials and a subdued, minimalist colour palette to evoke the emotional stillness of paralyzing loss.