Short Report: TIFF 2016. Shadow Shorts: The Devil, He May Take Ya!

The Shadows Shorts section of the Transilvania International Film Festival was inaugurated in 2006 and is dedicated to the latest achievements in the horror and fantasy genre in the short form.

Every year, twelve titles are carefully selected to represent the horror, sci-fi, cult and alternative international film scene – from subtle personal visions to powerful high budget films appealing to popular taste, combining all genres from fiction to mock documentary and animation.

Each short film is a door towards a universe where normality tends to be replaced by surrealism, dreams, and imagination; exaggerated worlds inhabited by unnatural – more or less human – beings. Playing with the imagination is one of the reasons that the programmer of the section, Mihai Mitrica, chooses horror and fantasy films as he esteems that in these two genres, imagination is at its best. Moreover, as the section is interested in a broad array of themes and styles, it allows the programming to include a wide variety of films, all under the aegis of limitless creativity.

Since 2007, Shadows Shorts has been one of the competitive sections of TIFF and has attracted increasing audiences, faithful, curious, open and more and more pretentious film fans, transforming it into one of the must-see events of the festival. And, it comes as no surprise that year after year they fill all the theater seats and tickets are sold-out.

The twelve entries in this year’s Shadow Shorts Competition program delivered tension, the rush of anticipation and a thrilling mix of fear and curiosity. Religion, the Holocaust, vampires and cannibals haunted the darkest section of this year’s edition of TIFF with the following films: “Sister Hell” by Frederik S. Hana; Dorian Bogută’s “Finale”; Scooter McCrae’s “Saint Frankenstein”; “The Mill at Calder’s End” by Kevin KcTurk; Gigi Saul Guerrero’s “Mother of God”; “The Pond” by Jeroen Dumoulein; Pablo Pastor’s “Into the Mud”; “Fuckkkyouuu” by Eddie Alcazar; Alice Waddington’s “Disco Inferno”; “‘Messe Noire’ Behemoth” by Zev Deans; Brian Deane’s “Blight” and “Aracana” by Jerónimo Ribeiro Rocha. The jury of this section was made up of the illustrator and album cover artist, Eliran Kantor; the founder of Sorts International and member of the British Academy of Film and TV, Carter Pitcher, and the director of the Sci-Fi London Film Festival, Louis Savy.

Moreover, the 2016 edition’s focus was the Antichrist as according to Mitrica, the selection committee received a lot of shorts that tackle this subject or the character itself in very different ways, from a direct approach to a very surreal one, “I can mention here “Blight” by Brian Deane, “Arcana” by Jerónimo Rocha and “Mother of God” by Gigi Guerrero that touch this character in a direct way and a very funny approach in “Sister Hell” by Fredrik Hana as well as a very plastic view in Alice Waddington’s “Disco Inferno” and Eddie Alcazar’s “FUUUCKKKYOU”, one of the revelations of the Sundance Film Festival in terms of short films,” he explained.

According to him, this year’s winner was “quite unexpected for many people.” Indeed, we are talking about “Saint Frankenstein”, a short film that tackles the Holocaust subject in an surprising way and this is, according to Mitrica, the short film’s strongest point. Jeroen Dumoulein’s “The Pond” and Fredrik S. Hana’s “Sister Hell” both received Special Mentions from the Jury.

As far as next year’s edition is concerned, he hopes Shadow Shorts touches another level of imagination – and so do we!

The Shadow Shorts section was presented by Shorts TV.



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