June 30, 2022
WRITTEN BY: JOSEPH
Before this year’s edition, I was unfamiliar with the Future of Film Showcase; However, after having the pleasure of checking out some of 2022’s entries, I see that film's future is in very good hands. Each entry was unique and unafraid to play with styles and themes while also pushing some sort of boundary.
There were experimental entries, such as Premium Pornography, which takes the cake for being the most humorous. It’s a weird and nonsensical short that captures a very 90s style, both in tone and how it was filmed.
There were also multiple animated entries, including the musical Petal to the Metal, in which director Emily Pelstring captures a certain something by using a multitude of vibrant colors flashing through a synthy soundtrack. The remarkable Premonition: On the Eve of Signing Treaty 6 really stunned me, though. Director Barry Bilinsky uses gorgeous animation to tell the story of the early treaties with First Nations tribes while a voiceover recited a Cree poem. It's a beautiful rundown of a part of Canadian history.
Perfecting the Art of Longing and Abuela are both films that tackle the subject of aging in very different ways. Perfecting the Art of Longing is an experimental documentary that follows a quadriplegic rabbi in a long-term-care facility, bedridden in a hospital as a result of a severe stroke. It's a touching story that analyzes his life and how quarantine forced him to be alone for extended periods of time. Abuela, on the other hand, has a less intense and more straightforward narrative as it tells the story of a grandmother trying to relate to her English-speaking granddaughter. In its limited runtime, it shows how something as simple as cooking and food can break through language barriers and bring us closer.
Ultimately though, there were two short films that stood out to me the most. Eve Parade was the most instantly captivating. It is constantly switching gears, demanding your full attention. It follows Eve, a woman suffering from mental illness, being walked to the hospital by neighbors and family. As these characters interact with each other, Eve breaks the fourth wall and speaks of the wrongs suffered by so many with similar struggles. It’s a bold road to take, and one that I think really works to cement its point.
Then, there's my personal favorite, Little Sky. It follows Sky, a successful transgender drag performer whose abusive past leads them to a confrontation with their father. This film is a testament to the binds of friendship and chosen families, and how they often become the main source of comfort for those who identify as part of the queer community. Although the subject matter is heavy, it also shows the potential for new life and the hope that can be brought out by the positive people in our lives.
The time and effort put into each of these entries was evident; a great example that, even with a limited budget, you can still make special projects with professional quality. There was a short for everyone throughout this program because the number of themes touched on was so immense. All involved should be proud of the work they've done, and I'll be looking forward to checking out next year’s festival.
Be sure to check out some of these films and more at https://gem.cbc.ca/collections/future-of-film-showcase.
Director: Simon Ruscinski
Runtime: 13 min
Petal to the Metal
Director: Emily Pelstring
Runtime: 3 min
Genre: Experimental Premonition: On the Eve of Signing Treaty 6
Director: Barry Bilinsky
Runtime: 4 min
Genre: Animation Perfecting the Art of Longing
Director: Kitra Cahana
Runtime: 12 min
Genre: Documentary Abuela
Director: Rebeca Ortiz
Runtime: 11 min
Genre: Drama Eve Parade
Director: Rebeccah Love
Runtime: 20 min
Genre: Drama Little Sky
Director: Jess X. Snow
Runtime: 13 min
Photo Credits: Future of Film Showcase