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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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International Shorts I

Chris Campbell

The International Shorts I program at the Atlantic Film Festival was great. It's one of the reasons that I love going to festivals as shorter work is hard to see outside of the festival context. The program started off with the quirky mocumentary "Walking with Walken" about an obsessed British Christopher Walken fan who doesn't do an impression of Walken so much as channel him. "Der Er En Ybdig Mand" (This Charming Man) is a Danish film about a man who is unemployed and has a somewhat farcical experience of being mistaken for an immigrant. At times I was a bit uneasy with directions that the film was going in, but it turned out to be a clever look at prejudices that are hidden and not so hidden. "Gravel" is about a single mom who takes her teenage daughter and a friend to meet an ex-convict she may be interested in. Beautifully shot on HD, it suggests rather than tells and leaves things ambiguous in a good way. "10 Again" is a nice series of 3 stories packaged up into one where adults in voice-over tell stories of their childhood while we see young actors portray what we are hearing. My favourite though was "El Elegante" which is a very quirky 16mm short about a man and woman in a decaying (but interesting) old hotel. Very strange characters, great art direction, music and some dancing - I loved it!