Meet Christian Kelley, KCFF Shorts Programmer

By Chengcheng Ma


Christian Kelley is KCFF’s Shorts Film Programmer for the ‘Canadian Shorts’ and ‘C is for Canada’ categories.  KCFF’17 will be his fourth year in this role. His responsibilities involve watching Canadian short films throughout the year, both at other festivals and from the KCFF’s submission pile. “All I ever want to do is talk about movies” says Christian.


“It is all about very careful curating and scheduling” for the sophisticated and thoughtful KCFF audience – and it’s not always easy catering for all tastes. Compared to a single feature film screening, the shorts program can provide lots of diversity within the standard 90-100 minute time-slot and normally has something for everyone. “That is why shorts are terrific”, Christian explains, “comedy, documentary, drama, all of it.”

And he doesn’t consider short film production a stepping-stone to feature films; less real estate doesn’t necessarily lower the quality of storytelling. According to him, not every idea should be a novel and that’s why short stories exist. For example, Christian selected Adam Humphrey’s ‘Baseball’ for KCFF’16: “It still blows me away…extremely sad and funny in 5 minutes.”

There is no common thread to Christian’s favourites, “each year every movie in the shorts program is my favourite.” However, he is always surprised by the rareness of comedy submissions: “9 out of 10 submissions are dramas or thrillers. That is totally fine but it still surprises me.”

As always, Christian is really excited to review this year’s submissions. “I have no idea how many we will screen” he comments, “but the main focus will be the audience engagement and satisfaction.”


2017 submission deadlines are quickly approaching!

Features, Canadian Shorts, and C is for Canada films are due by December 2.  Local Shorts and Youth Shorts are due December 30.
Christian Kelley

Christian Kelley is a programmer for the Kingston Canadian Film Festival and Calgary Underground Film Festival, board member with Toronto’s Outdoor Picture Show and has previously worked with Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival. He’s directed a couple things you haven’t seen and has been on the cover of Vogue (Italia) twice.

Chengcheng Ma

Chengcheng Ma is a Marketing Intern for the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. She is an M.A. candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, specializing in Film and Media. Along with the academic background of Language and Literature, and Journalism and Communication (both are bachelor degrees of Tsinghua University), she has been trying to break disciplinary boundaries in her research on contemporary cinematic culture.