"Head" Above the Rest at Short Film Fest
by Eugene Hernandez
The annual Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto concluded over the weekend in Cananda after welcoming 12,000 people to its event (a jump of 20 percent from last year). "The Truth About Head" won the award for Best Canadian Short at the festival, presented by Canadian Film Centre. The movie's director Dale Heslip was awarded a $25,000 cash prize at the ceremony. Heslip's film was also a winner at the recent Cannes Film Festival. The honorable mention for best Canadian short went to Brad Peyton for "Evelyn: The Cutest Evil Dead Girl." And the cinematography prize for a Canadian short went to Rosa Zacharie for "Une Eclaircie Sur Le Fleuve" (Clearing Skies).
The festival's audience prize, open to all shorts, went to Johnathan Hayes for "The School." Armen J. Kazazian won the screenplay contest for "Gold."
Lionel Bailliu from France won the award for best live-action short for his film "Squash." The honorable mention in the category went to Paolo Ameli from Italy for "Rosso Fango" (Mud Red). In the documentary category, Stefan Nadelman's "Terminal Bar" won the top award while Stephane Elmadjian's "Freedub 1" was the honorable mention recipient. The best animated film winner was Virgil Widrich's "Fast Film" with an honorable mention for Chris Hinton's "Flux." And in the experimental section, Richard Fung won the prize for "Islands." Winners in the festival's animation and live-action categories are eligible for Academy Award consideration.
Jury members at the festival included Shannon Kelley from the Moreila International Film Festival in Mexico, Bronwyn Kidd from Flickerfest in Sydney, Danny Lennon of the Prends Ca Court! Film series in Montreal, filmmaker Stephanie Margenstern ("Remembrance"), and Richard Crouse, author and host of the TV series "Reel to Real."