Programmers’ Picks are back and our first pick is by Short Film Programmer Stephanie Berrington! We’ll be sharing all three of our Programmers’ Picks so stay tuned and make sure to add these to your list!
dir. Iryna Tsilyk
Exquisitely shot and bold in its metastorytelling approach, director Iryna Tsilyk’s documentary follows single mother Anna and her four children as they document their lives under siege in Ukraine.
Eldest daughter Mira dreams of becoming a cinematographer. As bombs descend on neighboring homes, the family construct, act in, and edit stylized scenes of dangerous predicaments they’ve lived to tell. Mira’s re-creations ratchet up the drama, using local soldiers, tanks, and even her own grandmother to tell terrifying tales of survival. Meanwhile, Iryna quietly captures their more quotidian moments during their shoots and in between takes—scenes that include Mira’s siblings squabbling over line readings, cozy dinners by the fire, and Anna’s compassionate gaze as she watches Mira apply to film school.
Eventually, the two projects fuse into a single vision that gorgeously encapsulates the extremes of war, both its explosive trauma and its mundane peripheral existence in everyday life. With miraculous insight, The Earth Is Blue as an Orange observes a family—and a filmmaker—cope with war using their cameras, working in tandem to create meaning out of meaningless conflict. Buy your Festival pass or individual tickets to watch on GFF On Demand here!
With Canadian borders still closed, let us take you on a quick trip around the world, from Iran and Milwaukee to Shoal Lake 40, Bulgaria, South Africa and… the future!
The films in this program play with the traditional idea of the road as freedom, as a symbol for movement and mobility and progress, as public spaces where folks of any class, race, gender, etc. are free to travel, interact, and congregate on. Between pandemic-induced panic and widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism, our experience of the streets, as sites of social encounter and exchange, has taken on new meanings to many in the last few months. These films remind us that not all people are free. Thurs, July 23 | 6:30 PM CDT | GFF Live Stream w/ Filmmaker Q&A. Buy a Festival pass or individual tickets to stream on GFF On Demand July 22-26.
dir. Calvin Thomas / Yonah Lewis
The latest feature from Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis (The Oxbow Cure) centres on Katie (Kacey Rohl), a young woman who has become a literal poster child on her university campus: recently diagnosed with cancer, she’s the focal point of an online funding campaign for both herself and other cancer-related causes. The only problem is, it’s all built on a lie: Katie isn’t sick, and never has been. And as her story slowly begins to unravel, she disastrously decides to double down, unable to give up the real-life fantasy world she’s constructed for herself. – TIFF Buy your Festival pass or individual tickets to watch on GFF On Demand here!
dir. Milos Mitrovic / Fabian Velasco
A tenuously linked group of nobodies trudge through their woeful existence in dreary Winnipeg. A sickly middle-aged man in a failing marriage, a stand-up comedian whose sets are met by utter indifference, a stoner couple who share only trivial exchanges, and a young loner unsympathetic to his caring mother are each living lives lost in translation, detached from their surroundings and the people around them. – VIFF Buy your Festival pass or individual tickets to watch on GFF On Demand here!