The Long and Shorts of It

With almost 100 different short films from around the globe having been selected for inclusion into the Dawson Film Fest, the style and substance of the films can vary dramatically. It’s always a challenge, albeit a fun one, for DCISFF director Dan Sokolowski to curate them for the themed screenings. Northern films, emerging Yukon artists, and kids productions notwithstanding, showings entitled The Confluence, Up River, Beyond the Aurora, or Strange Things Done, while reflecting a collective Yukon unconscious, have to accommodate a portfolio of films with wildly diverse themes and cinematic approaches.

The final Breaking Up showing of the festival, which took place Easter Sunday at 7:30 p.m., was no exception. They were a microcosm of the entertaining and often moving works seen throughout the Dawson Film Fest, and also of the variety and wealth of imagination in the approaches taken by the filmmakers.


Bounce, This is Not a Freestyle Movie by Quebecker (and football/soccer enthusiast) Guillaume Blanchet is a masterfully edited sequence shot around the globe over the course of two years, as we follow the bouncing ball; I Was a Teenage Girl, Apparently by Lyn Elliot and Nina Frenkel is a moving and wry animated film about a woman re-reading her old diary, and time-shifting to try to talk some sense into her teenage self; Blair’s Last Day by aAron Munson of Alberta shows an IMAX projectionist on his final day operating the massive analog system before digital projection renders him unemployed; Tengri by Alisi Telengut of Quebec is a highly-stylized animation inspired by wind burial, an old Mongolian funereal tradition stemming from Shamanism; Tomorrow after Yesterday by Behzad Moloud , Iran is a creative and gripping drama about a car thief caught in a bit of a cosmic cloverleaf; The Mail Lady by Kirby Hammond of Manitoba is a moving documentary about the unusual and complex relationship between a mail carrier and a client on her route; La Canadienne française by Quebec’s Sarah Pellerin and Charles Grenier is an amusing story of a Torontonian’s pseudo-romantic encounter with a French Canadian girl in a Montréal laundromat; Mynarski: Death Plummet by Matthew Rankin of Quebec is a unique historical micro-epic about a doomed airman during World War II, combining shot theatrical footage with abstract animation; and The World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt of the USA is a charming and thought-provoking animation about a little girl being taken on a  tour of the world-to-be by a cloned version of her future self.

– Danny Dowhal