Calgary International Film Fest: Around the World in 118 Minutes

By Indrani Kar

This film is a good option for the attention-span deprived as it features seven short films from around the world, all of which have won or been nominated for various international awards. The eclectic collection is formed by documentaries, humour, drama, animation and glimpses of unique ways of life, all captured in vignettes.

One of the most profound pieces also happens to be one of the shortest. Flutter, an animation sponsored by the National Film Board, features the story of a boy who darts right out of a schoolyard sprint and into the world and universe at large, embarking upon a surreal dreamscape journey in black and white.

Slap is a high paced and hilarious Hungarian short film about a “slapping dancer” raising havoc in the streets of Budapest. Probably the shortest short in this collection, Slap contains a surprise twist at the end of a mad-capped chase.

The Deal is an Italian comedy glossed with the exaggerated touches of soap opera drama, about a high-powered executive who meets his girlfriend for lunch and afterwards discovers his car stolen with the mobile phone inside. He calls his phone to try to reason with the thief to give his car back.

Some very good documentaries are also present. Both Along Came the Rain and Chocolate Country document the traditional lives of rural people in southern Chile and the Dominican Republic, respectively, in touching and emotive ways. Of the seven short films featured, only Ready and Done was bordering on inane and sadly it happened to be among the longer films.

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