YoungCuts Film Festival: Youngblood


Extra! Extra!: Now playing at YoungCuts Festival

YoungCuts Film Festival traffics in talent

Though the Montreal Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and others all have their student film shorts programs, they tend to be overshadowed by big-name features. So it’s nice that the kids have a place to call their own.

The YoungCuts festival, now in its third year of exponential growth, is a showcase for up-and-coming young filmmakers around the world. It’s a flashy little festival, complete with high-powered sponsors and, this year, an opening gala (tonight, Thursday) in honour of colorectal cancer prevention. Over the following days, several programs of short films in all genres – stop-motion, drama, comedy, experimental, you name it – will screen at Cinéma du Parc. Like any festival, it’s a dog’s breakfast for sure, but from what I’ve been able to get my hands on, things are looking good.

It’s easy to spot some of the fresh talent, and not surprisingly, a lot of it comes from film schools around the country, but there are exceptions to that rule. The Vancouver Film School makes a game show set in the Soviet bloc with Who Wants to Be an Amerikan, in which a potential immigrant must become all-American in thought, word and deed. The film is stylish and seamless. Concordia Film Production’s Smilin’ in the Rain is an ingenious little musical about the benefits of oral hygiene on romance. The Capilano College Film Centre brings us Bleed Between the Lines, which is a funny little jaunt about a tortured writer who finds unlikely inspiration for his latest manuscript.

There are a couple of stylish little numbers that deserve special mention. American Deluxe depicts an unusual day in the life of William Geronimo, ad executive, as he decides to loose the ties that bind, and is a fresh, stylish, visually arresting take on our culture’s obsessions. And then there’s the gem of the screeners I’ve seen, The Bullet, a musty, dusty and flawless little western directed by one Tanner Adams, who we’ll be seeing more from in the future, even if he is a little too much in love with his credit sequences. Then, there’s Veerapol Saivichit’s gangster-gothic Message to Blind Flower, in which family troubles come back to haunt. Or drop by an eerie, bleak family dairy farm Down Under for some livestock erotic in The Cow Thief. Finally, antiquated black-and-white Super-8 stock is put to good use in the mysterious, alluring documentary Tinkerers Sharpening Service. Of course, this is just a small selection -the only way to sort it all out is to go to the screenings and see for yourself.

YoungCuts Film Festival
At Cinéma du Parc, Aug. 17-23
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