This program continues to distinguish itself by showcasing the latest extraordinary Canadian cinematic experiments. Its primary goal is to provide a space to cherish bold practices that go beyond the conventional in both form and narrative to transcend the expectations of audiences. Entitled BEYOND, this program features nine shorts that engage innovatively and courageously with immediate causes, such as the consequences of economic stress, the challenges of mental illness, and women’s rights in Iran.
MOTHER’S SKIN – Director: Leah Johnston
Newfoundland, 1971. A neglected six-year-old girl struggles to cope with her mother’s depression and her father’s alcoholic rage.
CHASING BIRDS – Director: Una Lorenzen
When the world turns upside down, we have a choice to firmly hang on to old ideas in fear or embrace the new view. Chasing Birds is a symbolic story about a little girl who playfully chases a bird throughout a chaotic and transformational period.
FOR ROY – Director: Vivian Cheung
Legend says folding a thousand paper cranes will give a person one wish. For young Celeste, it was for her dying father to be there on her birthday. Inspired by the true events of one Chinese-Canadian family, using the power of imagination and the art of origami, she grapples with the reality of losing her father in the hospice.
OVERGROWN – Director: Calilleah Scott-Grimes
Elderly Margo is devastated by her sudden eviction. When she stumbles upon a dead mouse under the floorboards, she begins to reconsider what is treasure and what is trash.
OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY – Director: Daniel Karan and Emma Macklin
A short film about a mentally ill undergrad student desperately trying to get help from her school.
DREAM ON LÉON – Director: Roger Gariépy
Léon is old; his body is letting him down. And so, he sleeps. Yet above all, Léon dreams. Of love and sausages, of freedom and running wild. A real dog’s life.
BLOOMING – Director: Zach Closs
The story of a young couple linked by trauma and cryptic tattoos, across summer, fall, and winter.
SPLIT ENDS – Director: Alireza Kazemipour
A bald girl and a young boy with long hair whose car has been confiscated due to lack of proper hijab are trying to solve their problem with the Tehran Morality Police without paying a fine.