22 Nov 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.”