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The Golden Ticket - 2014 Canadian Film FestThe Golden Ticket

Director & Writer: Patrick Hagarty
Cast: Michal Grajewski, Carlo Rota, Sarah Allen, Melanie Scrofano, Kris Siddiqi, Benjamin Ayres, David Huband, Steve Lund
Runtime: 9mins

What happens when life takes a turn for the worse, but miraculously there is a solution to all your problems? Patrick Hagarty’s The Golden Ticket explores that possibility by putting the spotlight on Brad (Michal Grajewski), an average guy who ends up having a seriously bad day. It takes a special sort of genius to be able to pull off a witty, free-flowing comedy with a time constraint, and Hagarty is just such a creative. With just nine minutes to play with, he has created a comedy that will keep you planted on your chair as you watch this simple man “Speedy Gonzales” his way through his rubbish day (Yes, I used a Looney Tunes reference). Grajewski has always been a great artist, and he steps it up a notch in The Golden Ticket, creating a character that one cannot help but love. The cinematography is sophisticated, the music and sounds are well chosen, and the supporting cast is just brilliant. This piece is hands down one of my favourite short films.

Rating: 9/10

De Puta Madre: A Love Story - 2014 Canadian Film FestDe Puta Madre: A Love Story

Director & Writer: Catherine Black
Cast: Catherine Black, Pierluca Arancio
Runtime: 16 mins

De Puta Madre follows a woman (Catherine Black) who is disappointed with her life. To escape her boredom, she dives into a fantasy world where an ex lover (Pierluca Arancio) kidnaps her, a scenario she needs to fight her way out of. The film is a rather interesting take on “love” and the inner psyche of the human mind. Catherine Black has certainly put together all the elements necessary to make a solid love story: great performances, soothing music, and a beautiful setting. The story is a little difficult to grasp at first, but it weaves itself together towards the end. One truly beautiful piece of filming occurs when the camera focuses on hummingbirds. The title may imply it to be a love story of sorts, but it is more so about a woman’s need to break out of a static life and the distance the mind will travel to help achieve that goal. This certainly is a film that leaves one thinking at the end.

Rating: 7/10

GumShoes - 2014 Canadian Film FestGumShoes

Director & Writer: Reese Eveneshen
Cast: Colin Paradine, Christina Aceto, Steve MacDougall
Runtime: 9mins

Detective work isn’t something for the foolhardy. It requires planning, research, observation, and many more skill sets. Reese Eveneshen’s GumShoes follows Detective John Fracas (Colin Paradine) as he sits in a bar and explains his job to a fellow female patron. The film dives into the psyche of a police professional, tapping into the stresses and complexities of the job. The film has a dark, vintage vibe to it, capturing the subject matter that surrounds the film. The cinematography is brilliant, especially in some of the later scenes. The hope is that this film will become a larger, feature film, and it certainly has enough context and material to make that happen. What starts off as a smooth conversation turns into a jumping-off-Mount-Everest scenario. One can certainly appreciate the eye the filmmaker has in crafting the short film, which leaves one curious from start to finish.

Rating: 8/10

Survival Guide - 2014 Canadian Film FestSurvival Guide

Director: Phil Connell
Writer: Gen Scott
Cast: Annie Rutherford, JoAnn Nordstrom, Brandon Watson, Evangeline Dryburgh, Frances Stecyk, Red Carlsen, Scott Walker
Runtime: 14mins

When eleven-year-old Fleur Flannery (Annie Rutherford) is left behind after a Girl Guide meeting, she must fend for herself and stay safe, especially with a child abductor about. This film is set on a chilly 1987 night, and the vintage look is very much captured through the costumes, surroundings, and objects used. If one looks closely, they will appreciate the minor details that people tend to look past; for example, the 1980’s vehicles used. The story is gripping, but feels a tad incomplete. The tense moments within the film could have been pushed a little more, further developing the characters. Annie Rutherford is a talented young actress and it will be a treat to see more projects from her down the road. The production is quite sophisticated, especially for a short film. There is certainly a base here to create a larger, feature film, and I can’t wait to see more from this creative team!

Rating: 7/10

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