Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival: Nerve Endings • Ups and Downs of Human Interaction

Now that we’ve looked at the Borders & Barriers grouping as well as the Blurred Realities group, let’s look at the last two brackets of films that were showcased at this year’s Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival.

With Nerve Endings, filmmakers were able to play around with the horror genre. However, when giving artistic filmmakers room to roam free with creativity, one can’t expect an ordinary recycled homage with gratuitous violence. These filmmakers took eerie and off-putting elements and paired them up with their unique visions and styles of filmmaking.

On the whole, the horror shorts were solid. There were a few that were absolute stand-outs, however the majority of the collection were sure to leave viewers with a sense of fulfillment but nothing to write home about. The shorts that fumbled in this category were films that had trouble telling their story. It was either an issue with poor writing and monotonous pacing or it was a technical glitch, namely with the audio. A lot of potential was shown here but there is definitely room to grow as storytellers and filmmakers with this batch of budding talent.

Ups and Downs of Human Interaction had similar problems. There were a few short films that reigned victorious but a large bulk of the shorts had trouble either telling an interesting story filled with captivating characters or the film needed more tweaking in an editing bay. The shorts that shined had great formulas and wonderful sense of humour.

In this first vlog, I go into more detail about the films that were included in the Nerve Endings collection.

And in this vlog, I critique the short films in the Ups and Downs of Human Interaction grouping.

Also, for those wondering, here is the list of award winners:
T24 – The Want
Boarders and Barriers – Diaspora
Blurred Realities – Damian
Nerve Endings – Possession
Ups and Downs of Human Interaction – My Brother’s Keeper

Achievement in Post Production – Marianne
Achievement in Production – Possession
Achievement in Screenwriting – Bad Luke
Cultural Relevancy Award – My Brother’s Keeper
T24 Visual Thesis Award – S2
Non Fiction Direction – Oil and Water
Fiction Directors – Diaspora
Festival Director’s Choice – Unwind 

Congratulations to the winners but also, congrats to the filmmakers for getting their work shown to an enthusiastic audience. Even if I wasn’t crazy about certain short films, I’m very glad these individuals are getting recognition and learning experience.

Another big thanks to Henry Wong and his gang behind this incredible festival. It has been a blast reviewing these short films and I certainly can’t wait until next year.

Hope everyone has a great week ahead of them. Take care!

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