Free screenings of Canada's best short films, including the childhood love story Josef et Aimée from award-winning, Toronto-based filmmaker Ben Shirinian
MONTREAL, Dec. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The Shortest Day returns for a second year across the country—including in Toronto, Ottawa and Sudbury—on December 19, 20 and 21, 2014, with an outstanding program of new, classic and award-winning shorts by some of Canada's most talented filmmakers. This year's free event—a fun way for families and movie-lovers to celebrate the lead-up to the winter solstice on December 21, the shortest day of the year, and usher in the holiday season—features 27 shorts organized into three thematic programs: Kids Under 8 (56 minutes), Family (88 minutes) and Comedy (13+, 99 minutes).
The free screenings will be held in more than 60 venues across the country—not just in movie theatres but in cultural centres, community spaces, schools, hospitals and public libraries, making the event accessible across Canada to as many movie-lovers as possible.
In Ontario, Shortest Day programs will be screened, notably, at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa; the Carlton Cinema and Royal Cinema, in Toronto; and the Science North science education centre (Vale Cavern space) in Sudbury.
The Shortest Day was started in 2011 by the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) in France to celebrate an art form that has moved in exciting new directions. Presented in more than 50 countries, the Shortest Day is sponsored in Canada by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Quebec's Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) and Telefilm Canada.
Celebrating Canadian filmmakers and short film
Among the shorts from Ontario to be screened during this year's Shortest Day is Josef et Aimée (Family program; French with English subtitles), directed and co-written by Toronto-based filmmaker Ben Shirinian. Ben Shirinian's diverse portfolio includes award-winning films (such as Lost in Motion I and Lost in Motion II) that have screened at film festivals around the world, including the Toronto International Film Festival, winning such prizes as Best Cinematography at the Canadian Society of Cinematography Awards and Best Editing at the AICE Awards. Recently, Shirinian was commission to be film director for Opera Atelier's critically acclaimed production of Handel's Baroque masterpiece, Alcina, which opened the company's 2014-2015 season.
"We are thrilled to be a part of The Shortest Day this year with our film Josef et Aimée," said Leslie Gottlieb, executive producer at Krystal Levy Pictures and co-writer of Josef et Aimée. "This is a wonderful initiative that provides filmmakers with a great opportunity to showcase their work to a large audience across the country. There is such a diverse and exciting line-up of short films this year, and we are honoured to participate in an event that celebrates Canadian filmmakers and the short film art form."
Josef et Aimée recounts the magical childhood love story of two children sent into hiding in the south of France during World War II. A visually breathtaking work, the film was shot entirely on green screen and brought further to life using a combination of miniature sets, CG animation and visual effects. Josef et Aimée was shown at Telefilm's Not Short on Talent market screenings at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and is currently doing the film-festival circuit.
The following works from the Ontario and Nunavut regions are also being presented during The Shortest Day:
- The Amautalik (Kids program), by Iqaluit-based Neil Christopher, captures the look of old stop motion films while introducing viewers to several interesting characters from Inuit myths and legends;
- A Mile in These Hooves (Comedy program), directed by Toronto-based filmmaker James Brylowski, tells the story of two foster brothers who set out on a mission to break the world record for the longest journey in a two-person costume;
- Nunavut Animation Lab: The Bear Facts (Family program), from Nunavut filmmaker Jonathan Wright, tells the story of a self-important colonial explorer as he emerges from a sailing ship and plants a flag on the Arctic ice, as a bemused Inuit hunter looks on; and
- Sunday Punch (Comedy program), by award-winning filmmaker Alan Powell, originally from Toronto but now living in London, U.K., is about a couple whose morning argument lands them on Domestic Fight TV.
To learn more about The Shortest Day
The microsite (www.theshortestday.ca) includes the campaign trailer, as well as provides a list of the films in the program and up-to-date details about screening venues and times across the country.
You can also get real-time Twitter updates via the hashtag #ShortestDay.
About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) it's 75 years of innovation and leadership in social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, and most recently, groundbreaking interactive works. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 10 Webbys, 9 Canadian Screen Awards, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.
About the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles
SODEC is a government corporation overseen by Quebec's Minister of Culture and Communications. It supports the creation and growth of cultural enterprises throughout the province. SODEC is a true driving force for cultural development in Quebec. SODEC brings together the passion of artistic creation with the power of economic development and provides cultural enterprises with a range of solutions designed to nurture Quebec creators and promote the production, distribution and exportation of their work. Follow SODEC on Facebook, Twitter and visit www.sodec.gouv.qc.ca.
About Telefilm Canada
Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada's audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/telefilmcanada.
SOURCE: Telefilm Canada
For further information: Media enquiries: Sources: NFB, SODEC, Telefilm Canada; Laura Sosin, Jive Communications, (416) 873-0784, [email protected]