Film fest to showcase short pieces by 12 directors; is Burlington about to become Hollywood north?

By Staff


January 11, 2014

If the idea of short, short films – some not much longer than a television commercial, appeals to you Burlington’s first ever Short Film Festival might interest you.

The list of films, there are 12 of them being screened in a two sessions schedule on the same evening.

The evening, Friday January 17th ,  begins with a 6:00 pm reception at the Burlington Art Centre.  

Session 1 is made up of six films which run from as short as 4 minutes to 16 minutes.

The line up is:

Promise – 8 minutes:  Longing to be reunited with her dead husband a grieving widow visits his grave for one last goodbye when a phone call changes her life. Directed by Collin Chan & Johnny Chocolate

Wanderlust – 4.5 minutes: A young boy searches near and far for his purpose. Directed by Mike Martins

Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay will present her 11 minute short film on the a day in a record store.

Allusion – 11 minutes:  So many out-of-the-way things had happened lately that Alice had begun to think that things indeed were really impossible. “Allusion” is the story of a day in the life of a girl who works in a record store and the odd people who visit during the day. Directed by: Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay

New Domain – 11 minutes: A commentary on Generation Y relationships online.  Directed by Andre Rehal

Wade’s World – 16 minutes: Wade faces the long awaited trials and tribulations of being an imaginary friend when his best friend, 29 year old Dan, falls in love. It ain’t easy being imaginary. – Directed by Matthew Yipchuck

Kids Town (Episode 5) – 12 minutes:  12-year-old Brian Russell is the new kid in town, again. As he navigates another set of unwritten rules of the school yard Brian finds himself tangled in the strings of small town politics when he clashes heads with the Mayor’s son, the local press owners youngest, and the Librarian’s pretty daughter. A family series as much for adults as their children, KID’S TOWN is about young love, friendship, small town civics, power struggles and the universal need to figure out one’s place in the world. – Directed by Mikelle Virey

The organizers scheduled the program to allow for  break; a chance to mingle with people, meet some of the directors and decide which films should be award winners.

Session 2 opens with Tasha and Friends – 15 minutes:  Local children’s show host, Tasha, decides to shut the show down. Her puppet co-stars, however, want to shut her down…permanently.  Directed by Greg Kovacs

Alfredo Salvatore Arcilesi director of For Clearer Skies.

For Clearer Skies – 7 minutes:  A man struggles to decide whether or not to pursue survival as his race nears extinction. Directed by Alfredo Salvatore Arcilesi

One More For the Road  17 minutes: A married couple go on a road trip to rekindle their marriage, leading to disastrous results. Directed by Navin Ramaswaran

4 – 11 minutes:  Four alternative versions of one young man deal with various conflicts in their everyday life – all involve confronting someone about something that has been taken from him. Directed by Mike Chantaj, Sydney Cowper, RJ Kemp and Cameron Veitch

Yeah Rite – 6 minutes:  An atheist and a blind priest perform their first exorcism. – Directed by Michael Penney

Shhh – 12 minutes: Shhh is a fantasy/horror short tale about a young boy, Guillermo, who uses his imagination to overcome his bully: a hair-eating monster. Tired of being scared, Guillermo eventually takes matters into his own hands. It’s only then that we realize the monster might not be as fictitious as one may have thought. Directed by Freddy Chavez Olmos, Shervin Shoghian

The Burlington Short Film Festival plans to pay the directors for their participation.

The Short Film festival organizers have committed to having every film producer getting paid and will announce the awards at the end of the program – then it is a short walk along Lakeshore to SB Prime (on Elgin across from the Queen’s Head) for the after performance party.  A media release from Tottering Biped, part of the organizing group, said: “In a move that is a departure from major international Festivals such as TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) where no fees are allocated to the films, the Tottering Biped Film Festival will be compensating Artists for their work.

Will the organizers of the event come up with a party that compares with what takes place at Cannes or Toronto’s TIFF?  One never knows.  A year ago even the idea of a film festival in Burlington would have been resulted in polite snickers but Burlington is changing and we are seeing a much different cultural community that wants to be recognized and at the table where cultural policy is determined.

A great party might be just the thing to make an impression.

Tickets, which include the pre-screening reception and after party, are available either in person at the Burlington Art Centre (905) 632-7796 or via paypal

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7 comments to Film fest to showcase short pieces by 12 directors; is Burlington about to become Hollywood north?

  • parrking

    Editor’s note: This was an email that was sent to the editor. There has been so little information on the film festival participants that we wanted this to be available.

    We saw your article on the Gazette online and it’s great to see the city of Burlington support the arts and culture with the upcoming film festival. I’m writing in because the film I co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced, Promise is being played at the festival this year. As a resident of Burlington it’s great to be able to attend a festival in my hometown.

  • …. ah film …
    In the 1980’s I worked on an experimental 56 min documentary about hunting, aptly called ‘In the Eye of the Hunter, with a newbie Ryerson Film grad. After two years of shooting & editing, we launched our film at a trendy bar in Yorkville, (Toronto), and then it ran on Cable 10 for 2 months with an interactive phone line. Lotsa fun. My cohort in crime went on to become one of the best set-dressers in the business (before moving to Portland). I’ve not undertaken a similiar project since. Shooting 16mm film was expensive back in the day, even with ‘free’ editing facilities at the NFB … Different today of course because of digital developments. Burlington does not have any kind of ‘film community’ that I’m aware of. That said, the Creative Xchange & Media Factory in Hamilton are focused on ‘new media’. … We’re all media babes. It’s natural that production will, eventually, occur here ~ as elsewhere.

  • Timothy Jordan

    Are any of the films actually from Burlington? or are we only showcasing talent from other cities?
    Editor’s note: No detail on where the directors come from. Does Burlington have any film makers. We will tell you the day after the event – which is when we will know – the flow of information on this event has been limited.

    • Yes. Kid’s Town was filmed all over the Oakville and Burlington area 🙂

      • mlh

        FYI ~ link to Ki’d’s Town ~
        12 episodes of 12 minutes, made exclusively for the web.

      • Timothy Jordan

        But Kid’s Town is completely an Oakville production. The Executive Producer – Jeff Knoll – is an Oakville city counsellor.

        There are a lot of films that have recorded in small or large in Burlington, but there are very few where the production was based out of there.

        It was my hope that this festival would give a voice to Burlington filmmakers in their hometown.
        Editor’s note: One of the purposes of festivals of this sort is to introduce new ideas to the community and community is not defined by a line drawn along Burloak or Tremaine roads. Community is a concept that Burlington has yet to fully embrace.

      • jason


        I really don’t see the point you seem to be trying to make here about where these filmmakers are from. The Toronto Film Festival is located in Toronto but Films everywhere are welcomed.