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The future of film is here

The future of film is here

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September 1st, 2020
The future of film is here

This week’s CanCon recommendations are specially curated by Eric Bizzarri, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Future of Film Showcase (FOFS). Founded in 2014 with his friend Shant Joshi, FOFS is a short film festival based in Toronto for Canadian filmmakers aged 40 and younger, which aims to foster the next crop of emerging Canadian filmmakers by providing a platform that celebrates innovative storytelling that can deliver powerful stories, even on small budgets. This year, FOFS has partnered with CBC to make its programming available to all Canadians for free on CBC Gem until September 4. This week, Bizzarri has selected three of his favourite Canadian films including one FOFS short to give you a sneak peak into into this year’s festival.

No Crying at the Dinner Table (15 minutes)

Carol Nguyen’s short documentary, an Official Selection of The Future of Film Showcase (FOFS) 2020, is an excellent film about generational trauma and the lengths to which we’ll go to dissect the root of our grief. Carol interviews her own family, and connects with them in a way I’ve never seen before — by truly allowing them to be who they are. There is no performative nature to this film. It’s all so real. As an audience, we feel Carol carrying the burden of losing her cultural tradition. I’m profoundly impressed by the way she confronts these emotions and attempts to rebuild the connection between her immediate family members. It truly is difficult to paint a well-rounded story in a short film. Carol does this and more, as she evenly introduces and engages with fully formed subjects, as each share their own stories of loss, and eventually come together in an emotional conclusion. — Eric Bizzarri

Stream on CBC Gem for free until September 4, 2020.

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Closet Monster (90 minutes)

This is a stunning, vibrant and impressive feature debut from director Stephen Dunn. I’m inspired by his story about a young man coming to terms with his sexuality while becoming a victim of male-on-male abuse. Male assault victims are not often discussed. As an assault survivor, I was incredibly moved by Stephen’s intimate yet disturbing portrayal of toxic masculinity through dream-like sequences and bizarre fantasy elements that speak more about the human psyche, specifically a young man’s mind and the effects of his decisions, relationships and experiences. Connor Jessup’s lead performance is careful and sincere, while Bobby Shore’s camera work brings the audience into claustrophobic spaces and tackles intimate areas with brevity. Closet Monster’s originality and honesty shine through as Stephen creates a hypnotic, abstract narrative that chronicles the trials and tribulations of assault through brave and harrowing discoveries of identity. I believe this is a Canadian film worth watching, and one that will give emerging filmmakers the confidence to create. — EB

Stream on CBC Gem for free until September 4, 2020.


More recommendations specially curated by Canadian artists:
Mahalia Melts in the Rain (11 minutes)

Mahalia Melts in the Rain is one of my favourite shorts. Directors Carmine-Pierre Dufour and Emilie Mannering present a moving and striking film about a young girl facing a very harsh reality of being labelled as different. As children, we are sometimes become unaware of our society’s imbalances. In this film, a young girl quickly becomes very aware of it. Determined to fit in, Mahalia assesses her surroundings and looks for ways in which she can be like the other girls. Kaiyonni Banton-Renner is fantastic in the lead performance. Every shot is considered and impactful, making its themes extremely well pronounced throughout the piece. A strong film on racial differences from a child’s lens — a perspective we aren’t often exposed to. — EB

Watch Mahalia Melts in the Rain on Crave.

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