Top 10 short films to be shown at Hagen theatre

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Canada's Top Ten is a unique annual event, established in 2001 by the Toronto International Film Festival, which promotes and honours excellence in contemporary Canadian cinema.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Canada’s Top Ten is a unique annual event, established in 2001 by the Toronto International Film Festival, which promotes and honours excellence in contemporary Canadian cinema.

Two national panels of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals vote on the best Canadian feature and short films of the year.

The Comox Valley Art Gallery will show a selection of the 2010 Top Ten Short Films as part of the Films You Want To See! series, on July 20 at 7 p.m. in the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College (Komoux Hall).

Below is a listing of the 2010 Top Ten Short Films. Check the CVAG website for updates on the evening’s program and for complete descriptions of all the films. The runtime for the entire evening of films will be approximately 1.5 hours.

Tickets are $10 each, available at the CVAG Gift Shop at 580 Duncan Ave. in Courtenay and Video’s N More at 264 Anderton Rd. in Comox. For more information, call 250-338-6211 or visit

Above the Knee – Director: Greg Atkins. Runtime: 12 minutes. Genre: Comedy.

Director Greg Atkins expertly skewers the tyranny of gender conformity in this surreal comedy about a man and his skirt. Beautifully shot and acted, the deft, gentle script delights and surprises in equal measure.

Les fleurs de l’âge – Director: Vincent Biron. Runtime: 18 minutes. Genre: Drama.

Les fleurs de l’âge (Little Flowers) is about the small, poignant moments of childhood, but it adds up to something like life. A beautiful, mature and profound short, it features subtle, sophisticated writing and assured, perceptive direction.

I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors – Director: Ann Marie Fleming. Runtime: 16 minutes. Genre: Animation.

Prolific director and animator Ann Marie Fleming captures the pain and confusion that comes with living the trauma of the Holocaust secondhand. She movingly captures the need to at once live with and part with the weight of the past.

The Legend of Beaver Dam – Director: Jerome Sable. Runtime: 12 minutes. Genre: Musical-Horror-Comedy.

This clever musical horror comedy follows an unlikely hero, the nerdy Danny Zigwitz, at a summer camp, as the fireside stories about the legendary Stumpy Sam start to become all too real.

Lipsett Diaries – Director: Theodore Ushev. Runtime: 14 minutes. Genre: Animation.


Deconstructing the biographical remnants of an avant-garde visionary, this animated documentary depicts the turbulent life of Arthur Lipsett as a rich palimpsest of text, images, and narration by Xavier Dolan as the voice of the young Lipsett.

The Little White Cloud That Cried – Director: Guy Maddin. Runtime: 13 minutes. Genre: Documentary.


Guy Maddin’s salute to the legendary underground queer filmmaker (taking its name from the Johnnie Ray song) follows Maddin as he takes his friends up to the family cottage with a 16mm camera and lets the debauchery unfold.

Marius Borodine – Director: Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais. Runtime: 15 minutes. Genre: Mockumentary.

Inventor Marius Borodine is on the brink of completing his masterwork when something goes terribly awry. Interviewing Borodine’s friends, families and fellow scientists, the film speculates as to whether the catastrophe was, in fact, a part of the invention.

Mokhtar – Director: Halima Ouardiri. Runtime: 15 minutes. Genre: Drama.

Based on a true story, Mokhtar recounts the tale of a young boy who lives with his family of goatherders in a remote, Moroccan village. When the boy finds a fallen owl and decides to keep it —despite the fact that the owl is considered a bad omen — his new pet becomes a symbol of rebellion against his family and an icon of his fledgling independence.

On the Way to the Sea – Director: Tao Gu. Runtime: 19 minutes. Genre: Documentary.

On May 12, 2008, the largest earthquake in China’s history devastated the Wenchuan region, shattering the landscape and destroying the lives of millions. Visiting his parents’ home, director Tao Gu captured fragmented testaments to this physical and emotional devastation to create this subtle and powerful experimental documentary.

Vapor – Director: Kaveh Nabatian. Runtime: 11 minutes. Genre: Drama.

A wounding and finally triumphant portrait of a shattered psyche, Vapor follows a man’s journey of self-exploration as he confronts his own deep-seated phobias. Lyrical and stirring, the film embarks on a graceful exploration of individuality in which acceptance is the key to transcendence.

— Comox Valley Art Gallery


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