Friday, 12 June 2009

Worldwide Short Film Festival 09: They're Baaa-aaack!


They're back! Wallace and Gromit, two very recognizable faces on the screen at the WORLDWIDE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (WWSFF)and for lovers of the Academy Award-winning Aardman Animation Studio, star in a tasty murder mystery. Someone has been systematically killing off bakers one by one. A dozen are dead, but 13 makes a bakers dozen. As a baker whose mission it is to deliver "dough to door", will Wallace be unlucky number 13? What of his trusty sidekick, Gromit? Will man's best friend nose out the details? Hmmmm....

The program may be called SHORTS for SHORTIES, and recommended for ages 6+, but funny is funny and I had a great time screening this section of WWSFF . This year, the festival is celebrating animation, and Shorts for Shorties has animated films for children from Canada and around the world: Cuba, France, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Two of my favourites come from the Jungle Beat series by South Africa's Sunrise Productions. Watching I BELIEVE I CAN FLY and YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS ANYMORE I had to literally put my hands over my mouth so my neighbours didn't think I was in hysterics. In the first of these two 5-minute shorts, a baby Ostrich tries desperately to fly. His determination is as admirable as it is foolish. It is also hilarious watching him try different and innovative methods to make himself airborne. Learning life lessons isn't easy for any of us, is it?

Ah...LOVE. What crazy thing have you ever done in the name of love? Well, I'm sure you will be able to relate to this romantic Springbok and his attempts to woo a lovely gazelle. It all has to start with an introduction, right? What better way than to say it with flowers. Easier said than done in this belly-laugh of a film.

In just 3 minutes, Canadian director, Jonathan Ng manages to combine funky music (by DJ Kid Koala) and a delightful break dance battle between two kids with different abilities. I enjoyed the lesson, but also the constructing and deconstructing of the animation. JUST ANOTHER FLOOR KIDS BATTLE. Well done!

Several of award-winning artist JON IZEN's work, BLACK AND WHITE are scattered throughout this program. Each film is 1-minute in length and features Steven and David, two squares who think they are the funniest things on two legs. They are like an old vaudeville act, but for children. At present, Jon is directing THE VERY GOOD ADVENTURES OF YAM ROLL IN HAPPY KINGDOM!

Join Jon after the screening of SHORTS FOR SHORTIES for a DRAWING WORKSHOP (2-3:30 PM) where kids will learn how to create cartoons. Space is limited to 30 participants. Registrations is on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11:15 AM when the venue opens on June 20th.

PLEASE NOTE: The Shorts for Shorties film program is FREE for children under 12! Rated G. The Drawing Workshop is $10 with your Shorts for Shorties ticket.

Click here for the complete Shorts for Shorties line up and details about the Drawing Workshop.

Screening Date: Saturday, June 20th, 12:15 PM at the ROM


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