For commercial movies, 2000 was a dud. For local feature films, same. For this year's sublime, homegrown moments, look to brevity. Look to the filmmakers who created our shorts.
- Richard Fung
Fung's family chronicles have always been deft, wry and sophisticated. Sea In The Blood is all that and more. This tape tells the story of the illness that took his sister, and of his own fear in the face of it. A wise, heartbreaking confession, and his best work yet.
- Aaron Woodley
Woodley's Bed And Breakfast is one of the best Canadian shorts i've seen in years. He's crafted a dark, domestic comedy that turns a quaint B&B into something out of the Brothers Quay. Somebody green-light this man.
- Liane Balaban
Screenwriter Tricia Fish invented Mooney Pottie, the dreamer at the heart of sleeper hit New Waterford Girl. But, in a performance of grace and teenage wisdom, Balaban made the girl flesh. With the right material, she could be It.
- Semi Chellas
For years Chellas has poked her shame-shock sensibility into screenplays for others. This year she wrote and directed a short called Three Stories From The End Of Everything, and proved she's got an artist's eye to match that unerring ear. Like Woodley, Chellas could soar with a little carte blanche.
- Charles Officer
This year the brother with the imposing name appeared in Clement Virgo's Love Come Down, premiered his redemptive short drama, When Morning Comes, and directed the most affecting of 25 quickies made by directors in town for the Toronto film festival. Next year, the world.
- Kelly Langgard
Taking over Toronto's Images festival is like adopting a teenager - rewarding, but not for the meek. Langgard made bold, smart moves in her first year out, including hiring the inestimable Mike Hoolboom as artistic director, juggling 10,000 mandates and still keeping the vibe fun.
- Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby
In one of this year's Images discoveries, Vey and Battersby lifted the shopworn diary video genre out of its own crusty navel. Their 17-minute Rapt And Happy made the everyday entrancing. It's like drinking a pyjama party.
- Marlene Rogers and Ines Buchli
Rogers wrote and Buchli directed Foxy Lady, Wild Cherry, a snapshot of teen girl mortification to match anything Jane Campion's done. Rogers and Buchli understand the essence of a great short film - one telling moment, in all its detail.
- Brian D. Johnson
Johnson's book Brave Films, Wild Nights chronicles the 25-year history of the Toronto film festival. It's a history full of shining moments and dubious acts, committed mostly by people still alive and litigious. Somehow, Johnson turned Rashomonic chaos into a great read.
- Scott Mclaren
Mclaren's On The Fly instant-vid festival kept blowing up bigger and bigger this year. Now branching out across the nation, it's giving newbies a shot at stardom, and established filmmakers the chance to kick back and freestyle.
The Toronto Film Industry Keeps Sputtering Along, Producing Strong Feature Films Every Now And Then - New Waterford Girl Is This Year's Best, If Over-Hyped, Example. But Our Shorts Are Still Miles Better Than Our Features.
How About Next Year We Halt The Eternal Moan About Stifled Distribution, And Admit That We're Not Making Very Good Films? How About We Quit Forcing Filmmakers Through "Development" Meetings With Culturecrats Who've Never Actually Made A Film? How About Each Year We Give One Or Two Of Our Most Talented, Promising Filmmakers Enough Money To Tell A Story, Then Get Out Of The Way And Let Them Tell It?Cameronb@nowtoronto.comCAMERON BAILEY'S Top 10 Movies
- After LifeHirokazu Kore-Eda
- Topsy-TurvyMike Leigh
- Erin BrockovichSteven Soderbergh
- The AppleSamira Makhmalbaf
- Crouching Tiger,Hidden DragonAng Lee
- Not One LessZhang Yimou
- TrafficSteven Soderbergh
- BamboozledSpike Lee
- Chicken RunNick Park, Peter Lord
- Mr. DeathErrol Morris