Fantasia’s International Science Fiction Short Film Showcase is the perfect opportunity to highlight a short sci-fi film. The audience knows what they are in for, and this being a selection rather than a compilation, each short is only as long as it needs to be. The mix is always surprising, although I couldn’t help but be reminded of my old time-travel trend of Fantasia 2014 (I still have great memories of Time Lapse).
Let’s get into it, shall we? Overall, great selection.
- Be My Guest (director: David Jermym). If you need money, you can rent yourself out using mind transfer. In dire straits, Tim has been doing this but suspects that “Tim” might be having an affair with his wife Claire. Good short, nothing too extreme. I think it had the time to do more of a twist in the end.
- Greater Good (director: Andrea Ashton). A soon-to-be mother receives news from time travellers that her daughter is responsible for the murder of many. I understand that this was done over a couple of days as part the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge in New York City. Still, the performances felt sub par and the premise fell flat because of it.
- One Day the Sun turned Black (director: Joe Lueben). Yes, the sun has become dark and deadly for pale skinned people. To survive outside, white people must undergo a pigmentation process. This premise was inventive and more than a little provocative. The story could’ve done more.
- Exit Strategy (director: Travis Bible). Two brothers met after a long time. One brother has generated a time loop to try to save the other. This is attempt #137. This was well executed and the performances were great. I was sold from the start.
- El Aleteo del Colibrí (director: Meritxell A. Valls). After a fateful evening that ends in an accident, a gas attendant gets to relive the day to see where he went wrong. Another time travel paradigm with a critical difference. It’s really well crafted with great performances.
- They Wait For Us (directors: Lucas Shrank, George Thomson). A care worker is convinced that the comatose woman is trying to tell him she is awake. As short as it is, this one is rather convoluted and takes its time getting to the point. I don’t believe it’s as good as it thinks it is.
- Spin (director: Leticia Bellicini). A man and a woman are attacked. The man follows the perpetrator but infinite possibilities seemed to open up for him. A bystander lets him know he’ll get used to it. The infinite possibilities in a maze of stairs and elevators will make your head… you know. I liked this one, and really would have liked to see it again.
- Expire (directors: Chris Biggs, Magali Magistry). A young woman lives in a world where air is no longer breathable and oxygen canisters are a commodity. However she’d rather face the dangers outside just so she can join other survivors. Cryptic, but visually striking. Fantasia calls this one EXHALE for some reason.
I’d recommend most of these with minimal reservations. Sometimes the best way to discover if you like something new is by getting a taste of it with short films from new directors. Most audiences should find something they like this way.
That will do for now.