A-Z Short Films

These films were selected for our in-person festival scheduled for April 2020, has been cancelled. To view our November 2020 Online Edition’s programming, click here.

Elaborate scenes of an animated video game play out as a proxy for a sibling rift. Will brother and sister be able to combine forces to bridge the gap between them and overcome the obstacles presented? Through an adventurous game they learn to work together to succeed.

Inspired by the Burgmansia, a plant which looks like a trumpet’s mouth and can only be pollinated by the exceptionally long beak of a hummingbird, Angel’s Trumpet is a symphonic ode to millions of years of evolutionary beauty.

The Annunciation is a brief yet momentous occasion plucked from the classic biblical motif in which the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will conceive and be the mother of Jesus. A captivating, incredibly short work produced by Wim Wenders. Yes, that Wim Wenders.

Over the span of one day, Awa is confronted with an opportunity to explore a powerful connection beckoning her to the bush. Honouring her ailing grandmother, Awa ventures into New Zealand’s dense woods to find Rongoa, a traditional medicine.

Living in a small village in Iran, Azadeh wants to hop on a bus to see her father in the hospital, in what might possibly be the last visit. When her mother and brother forbid her from leaving the house, she must take matters into her own hands to outwit her domineering family. In this emotionally poignant drama, issues of control and perseverance define the resolve of two siblings who have the right to say goodbye.

In 1967 a young paperboy befriends an Indian elephant that has been relocated to his small town in Nova Scotia. Balakrishna’s experience in this foreign and freezing environment is documented with loving animation, found footage, and the deep reflection of childhood memory.

A rambunctious exploration of bold colours and rich textures driven by chaotic electronic music, Bird Milk exhibits some of the classic techniques taught in R2R’s Handmade Film workshop.

An arrogant young man dares to enter Baba Yaga’s living house of bones. Seeking to be forever young, the man mocks and tries to trick the old witch, only to be caught by his own vanity. What emerges will forever fill the night with terror. Some say this is how Dracula came to be!

Eleven year-old Sammy, the youngest sibling in her Chinese-Canadian household is obsessed with hockey. Inspired by her idol, Barry Wong, the first professional player of Chinese descent, she dreams of playing for a Vancouver team someday. However, her responsibilities at home and annoyingly childish older brother’s bullying get in the way—not to mention hockey is mostly reserved for boys, not girls!

Percy Cat is looking forward to a relaxing day in “Cat Lake City” – a vacation paradise for cats. But the place is not as expected. Not even the spot on the towel is as safe as he thought…

A young woman’s daily life neatly unfolds as her relationship to clothing over the seasons pay homage to the microscopic beauty that surrounds us. The clothing she wears becomes the protagonist of her memories are the mementos kept in her soul.

A pair of unlikely travellers encounter a young man on the highway who seems to have forgotten that he can be seen.

The awkwardness of young love rears its cringe-inducing head during a game of spin the bottle. Disco Still Sucks is a stylized stop-motion period piece set in a typical Canadian basement where personal embarrassment plays out the old fashioned way: in real life.

Two Wotjobaluk Elders have begun teaching their grandson the vitally important lessons that will equip him with the necessary tools to maintain the survival of his culture. His classroom is the expansive country of his ancestors. Is he ready for this challenge, and will he know what to do when the time comes?

From the early stages of learning to draw, to finding artistic freedom in form, hand drawn portraits document the effects of time as the subject washes away with age.

Deep in a Norwegian forest there is an old man living an orderly and quiet life. Closed off from the rest of the world, he spends his days with his lifelong friend, a troll. The folklore of the northern trolls dates back thousands of years. Gentle and delightful to watch, Forget-Me-Not evokes a warmth rarely enjoyed in the cinema.

Sufjan Stevens’ “The Hidden River of My Life” sets the scene for an experimental music video which uses elements of 2D animation, rotoscope, and live action to illustrate a cosmic, yet deeply intimate exploration of humanity: our past, our present, and the places we might go—all in the span of a few minutes.

A tranquil day on vacation turns into a surrealistic journey... It begins when a bee that almost drowns in Don Jose’s drink is eaten by a duck. A mind bending Escher-inspired chase kicks into high gear.

A little girl dreams on the sidelines of an icy hockey rink as this poetic hand-drawn reflection expands, evoking the spirit of the arena and Canada’s time-honoured pastime.

Summer is coming to an end and Léa needs space to grow and breathe to find her own identity. Yet her brother's heart condition constantly reminds her that life hangs by a delicate thread. Marking one year without their father, the family is challenged to find the space to move on. Director Emilie Mannering returns to R2R after co-directing last year’s award winning Mahalia Melts in the Rain.

This animated documentary is told from the perspective of street performers in Brazil who create an intoxicating and vibrant story through instant human connection and humour. These jugglers bring colour to the often bleak and monotonous big city.

When her family packs up to move from Ontario to Vancouver, Jenny and her cherished bunny, Lucky, embark on an unforgettable adventure across the Canadian Prairies.

Deep in a lush forest, a conclave of wild animals meet for an impromptu nocturnal opera, conducted by a squirrel. Once again France’s Illogic Collective demonstrates that they are a force of nature in the world of computer generated animation.

Everyday objects move as if their human counterparts were using them, except there are no humans. The domestic dance of life unravels on its own in this stop-motion animated gem.

Inspired by her architect mom, a precocious young girl with a creative spirit is determined to build great things. Joined by her pup, the little girl sets out to make the most magnificent thing for her best friend – a dog house. However it may not be as easy as she thinks. This is a timeless tale about perseverance and hard work, and provides a perspective on the power of love and selflessness.

When a cat brings home its catch of the day, a dead bird, it’s a sign of affection. Feelings of mourning and inspiration strike a young artist’s understanding of this special gift from her beloved cat, Muffin.

In a refuge in Morocco, time seems to stand still for the 750 stray dogs waiting to be adopted; their lives following a precise, prison-like routine. They groom, they growl, they feed, and relax in the sun. Then the routine happens all over again the next day.

In this youth and Elder documented portrait of Kugluktuk, Nunavut, Inuit students speak to what their culture means to them in celebration of their traditions, culture, and landscape.

In Rapid Lake, Quebec, Darius Matchewan plays his drum and spends most of his days riding his bike with his friends. In this intimate and self-directed doc we are offered a glimpse into how the Algonquin culture brings Darius joy.

On a day like any other, a young girl spins her loom. When an apple falls from the tree, she bites into it, finding a tiny worm inside. Pitying the poor creature, she rests it on her wheel. The worm begins to spin by doing a magic dance, creating abundance for the girl. When her father discovers this secret, he exploits the worm’s magic for his personal gain and a power struggle ensues. This tale has many versions and reaches to the Persian dynasty of the third century C.E. It is thought to tell the story of Persia’s affluence derived from its silk-making secrets.

When internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22, he impacted the history of his people forever. With help from his family, he carved a totem pole in Old Massett. It was the first in almost a century. On the 50th anniversary of the pole’s raising, Haida filmmaker and R2R award winning alumnus, Christopher Auchter revisits that day in 1969, when the entire village and three generations of Eagle and Raven clan gathered to celebrate the event that signaled the rebirth of the Haida spirit. Resplendent with animation, emotional interviews, and original archival footage, Now Is the Time captures the iconic pole raising in the old way.

Post takes centre frame as a stop-motion collage of cultures and historical events flash through the faces and moments that made their way onto our stamps.

A raccoon finds a flashlight in the woods and illuminates an entire new world beyond its nocturnal life.

Two chronically ill children speak about the daily challenges associated with their diseases. Sanguine, shows them to be optimistic in what is an apparently difficult situation. This intimate and colourful documentary delivers a rare formal aesthetic using visual representation.

Upon hearing a myth about falling stars, young Amna’s curiosity is sparked. When night falls on her Qatari village, she secretly sets out on her father's boat despite the fact that girls are forbidden to do so. With the assistance of her older brother, Sultan, Amna will take a risk to chase the fabled comet.

In this mesmerizing and contemplative stop-motion animation, featuring adorable singing animal, director Niki Lindroth von Bahr (The Burden, R2R ‘18) returns with a lullaby for an impending disaster.

After a monster climbs out from under his bed, a sleepy boy goes on an adventure to find his stolen stuffed animal. Teddy Bear Rescue presents a thoughtful look at our fear of the unknown, and is a reminder that sometimes our dreams can be scarier than reality.

Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland practice the Inuk art of throat singing in their small village of Kangirsuk. Their hypnotic voices document the four seasons of this Arctic land.

Beeps and blips punctuate etched and handmade images unfolding on 35mm celluloid—a well-realized example of handmade film, a workshop we offer at R2R.

Scratches on celluloid film painted over by handb become a dazzling spectacle of abstract play. Combined with quirky sounds, TV makes for an experiment in viewing that captivates and inspires.

When Sherry and Larry find each other, a romance fit for a storybook begins. They get married, buy a house, and settle into their new found happiness. Then, one day, a peculiar woman informs Sherry that her happily ever after will grow by one: a son! Nine months later, it’s not a boy but a girl who appears, adding so much joy to their fanciful life...until she doesn't. At 10 years old she proclaims that she is not a she at all. The admission leaves Sherry and Larry reeling, feeling as though they've lost their only child. Will they find the courage to live beyond the classic narrative and write a new story… one of love and acceptance?

World-renowned animator Regina Pessoa recounts a personal letter she wrote to her uncle, proclaiming her love and appreciation of the eccentric man who became her artistic inspiration. Uncle Thomas, set in Portugal, is also a moving tribute to a poet of the everyday who was obsessed by numbers and calculations. This is Pessoa’s most personal work to date. An important film that celebrates love and difference, it is also shortlisted for an Oscar for Best Animated Short.

Riding a bike through a mysterious landscape, a lonesome toad searching for water finds its way to a deserted city where magic is found in the crevices.

Nalvana believes all of her friends have some type of superpower. She has friends with super speed, friends who can jump so far she thinks they can fly, and friends who are better than her at a million other things. As Nalvana tries out each of her friends’ superpowers with no success, she wonders if she might be the only kid in town without a special talent. But then her mom shows Nalvana that she is unique and special—and that her superpower has been right in front of her all along.

The cycle of life and death plays out amongst a cast of unique porcelain puppets in a dense forest, reminding us that life exists by merely a thread. In this film's strange beauty also lives the magic of filmstock's grain, a rare treat for stop-motion aficionados, which also references Estonian and Mexican folklore. The story is universal and timeless.


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