Shorts 2021


A prerecorded Virtual Artist Talk with the filmmakers is included with each film program you watch on VIFF Connect. FREE!

  • All films available on demand March 4 – 14, 2021, via VIFF Connect and can be watched internationally
  • Purchase single-program tickets, or a pass to see all 6 features and 26 shorts
  • Once you start watching a film program, you will have 48 hours to finish watching

Program 1:
Your Worst Enemy

In This Land We’re Briefly Ghosts
Director: Chen-Wen Lo
Drama  /  Burmese  /  Myanmar, Taiwan, USA  /  2019  /  16 mins

Myanmar, 2013. A 12-year-old Burmese child soldier, imprisoned for deserting battle, is forced to either kill her older brother, a fellow deserter—or die alongside him. Based on actual events.

Song Sparrow
Director: Farzaneh Omidvarnia
Animation  /  No Dialogue  /  Denmark, Iran  /  2019  /  12 mins

A group of refugees flee in search of a better life. They pay a smuggler to take them across borders, in a refrigerated truck; however, the freezing temperature of the truck turns their hope for a better future, into a fierce struggle for survival.

Snake Trail
Director: Shicong Zhu
Fantasy  /  Chinese  /  U.S.A. /  2020  /  17 mins

Urged to complete the traditional Chinese death ritual as her mother’s only daughter, but without the legal documentation to prove her kinship to the woman who gave birth to her—a girl finds herself in an institutional conundrum.

La Danza Delle Streghe
Director: Maud Pugliese
Drama, Dance  /  No Dialogue  /  Canada, France  /  2019  /  4 mins

La Danza Delle Streghe is an all-women dance piece that explores the question of woman’s objectification, bringing together women from diverse backgrounds to share in ritualistic movement, trance, and a reclamation of themselves.

The Death of Winter
Director: Latonia Hartery
Historical Drama  /  English  /  Canada  /  2019  /  9 mins 
Vancouver Premiere

In 1830s Newfoundland, an adulteress’ life hangs in the balance as a court weighs her guilt for the crime of murder.

The Art of Dieting
Director: Hannah Smith
Animation  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  2 mins 
Vancouver Premiere

This film depicts the journey of a young woman who struggles to lose weight, after seeing a large poster for weight-loss diet pills. After looking herself up and down in her window reflection, she sets off on a course to change her lifestyle.

Director: Christina Lande
Drama  /  Norwegian  /  Norway  /  2019  /  19 mins 
Vancouver Premiere

Iben, an elderly teacher living alone in a small Norwegian community, tries to help a struggling student; but an accident puts her in a difficult position when the other villagers demand her dog be put down.

Program 2:
Be Like Water

êmîcêtôcêt – Many Bloodlines
Director: Theola Ross 
Documentary  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  11 mins

Two women are on a path towards having a child together, through the fertility treatment process. The film follows the couple’s experience of building a family, while grappling with differences of race, culture, class, and gender roles.

Ritu Goes Online
Director: Vrinda Samartha
Documentary  /  Hindi (English Subtitles)  /  India  /  2020  /  16 mins

A homemaker with no business background launches an entrepreneurial venture, becoming a success story and inspiration for a young generation in India.

The Grass Ceiling
Director: Iseult Howlett
Documentary  /  English  /  Ireland  /  2019  /  15 mins

In Iseult Howlett’s directorial debut, three successful female athletes explore how being physically courageous, unapologetically competitive and deeply passionate in team sport can unlock a freedom to truly occupy one’s own skin.

Hum and Do No Harm
Director: Inder Nirwan
Documentary  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  5 mins

Vanessa Richards is a community leader, activist, and a lover of music. She uses songs as a medicine, but now due to COVID it’s too dangerous to sing. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, she must answer the call and find a new way to bring music without doing harm.

Hot Flash
Director: Thea Hollatz
Animation  /  English  /  Canada  /  2019  /  10 mins

Hot Flash is a journey into the funny, uncomfortable, and sometimes maddening world of an aging professional woman navigating a culture that puts great emphasis on physical appearance.

Director: Nasrin Golreyhan
Drama  /  Arabic (English Subtitles)  /  Iran /  2020  /  12 mins 
Vancouver Premiere

A woman journalist finds a baby girl in a war-torn city. The borders are closed to the girl, and she will be killed if she stays in the city. This film is about people who need peace—but are on the battlefield.

Sombrio Surf
Director: Tara-Lee Novak
Documentary  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  3 mins

Born and raised as a squatter on Sombrio Beach, Leah Oke overcomes unthinkable tragedy to become one of Canada’s first female pro surfers.

Program 3:
All About Love

The Bath
Director: Anissa Daoud
Drama  /  Arabic (English Subtitles)  /  Tunisia, France /  2020  /  15 mins 
Vancouver Premiere

Imed, a young father—finding himself alone for a few days with his five year old son due to his wife’s business trip—will have to confront his deepest fear.

Felt Love
Directors: Angeline Vu, Arlene Bongco
Animation /  English  /  U.S.A.  /  2020  /  7 mins

A young boy learns to understand the depth of his mother’s love, despite the distance her dedication may create.

Synthetic Love
Director: Sarah Heitz de Chabaneix
Comedy  /  French (English Subtitles)  /  France  /  2020  /  24 mins 
Vancouver Premiere

Diane realizes that the man she fantasizes about, shares his life with someone very peculiar.

On Falling
Director: Josephine Anderson
Documentary  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  14 mins

Three women reflect on their willingness to sustain broken bones, concussions, and organ damage as professional mountain bikers, driven by the rush of control that comes with completely letting go.

A Living Sculpture
Director: Diana Chire
Drama  /  English  /  U.K.  /  2019  /  8 mins

A young French horn player explores both pros and cons of her relationship with an artist.

I think it’s enough, isn’t it?
Director: Emily Shir Segal
Documentary  /  Hebrew (English Subtitles)   /  Israel  /  2020  /  4 mins

An homage to a loved one, and the tragedy of not being able to pay last respects.

Director: Camille Hollett-French
Drama  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  16 mins

Set in the not-too-distant future, FREYA will make you second-guess your relationship with technology, social media, and The State.

Program 4:
Break The Sky

The Road
Director: Vanessa Wenzel 
Documentary  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  14 mins

The girls of Stardale Women’s Group share their perspective on Canada’s history of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls; the intergenerational impact of colonialism; and what it’s like to be a young First Nations girl today.

This is Not a Love Letter
Director: Ariel Zucker
Documentary  /  English  /  U.S.A.  /  2020  /  6 mins

A videopoem that celebrates the resilience of women in a culture full of body politics, seen through a young woman’s retelling of her abortion.

El Color Negro
Director: Andy Hodgson
Documentary  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  4 mins

An empowering, spoken word exploration of the value and meaning of blackness.

Director: Sepideh Yadegar
Documentary  /  English  /  Canada  /  2020  /  11 mins

Themes of identity, belonging, and creative expression weave through the visual and musical journey of Kim Villagante (a.k.a. Kimmortal) to find their place in Vancouver’s hip hop music scene.

Without a Whisper – Konnón:kwe
Director: Katsitsionni Fox
Documentary  /  English  /  U.S.A.  /  2020  /  27 mins

Without a Whisper—Konnón:kwe is the untold story of how Indigenous women influenced the early suffragists in their fight for freedom and equality.

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