There’s no shortage of York talent at the string of film festivals that annually unreel in Toronto. Creative works will be screened at the Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF) June 14-19 by filmmakers Brian Stockton, who is in his second year of the masters program in film at York, and York film alumnus Hugh Gibson (BFA ’04).
Now in its 11th year, the WSFF is the premier venue for short film in North America. It is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Award-winning films from the festival are eligible for consideration for both the Academy Awards and Genie Awards.
This year’s festival attracted more than 3,000 submissions with 230 selected from 30 countries, including Stockton’s All the Teachers I Have Known which will be shown at the Isabel Bader Theatre on June 17 at 7pm and June 18 at 1:30pm in the “Players” series and Gibson’s film Hogtown Blues which will be shown at the Innis Town Hall on June 15 at 2pm and June 17 at 9:30pm in the “Desperate House Lives” series.
Right: Brian Stockton
In describing his film, Stockton said, “The film is a series of short vignettes about the teachers I’ve had in my life from kindergarten to university. It’s part of a series of autobiographical shorts I’ve been working on since 2001. The inspiration came from a photograph I had of one of my former film professors who was a huge inspiration to me, and it made me think about all the other teachers I’ve had in my life, and how they have affected me.”
All the Teachers I Have Known was previously screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Spokane International Film Festival in Washington.
Before coming to York, Stockton obtained a BFA in film from the University of Regina and was a resident at Norman Jewison’s prestigious Canadian Film Centre. While attending the centre, he wrote and directed the multi-award-winning short film The Weight of the World, which was recently screened on the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States. He is also known as the animator behind the triology of short films featuring The Blob Thing, and has created numerous 16 mm shorts, including The Final Gift and TV Stories. His work has been broadcast in Canada, Europe and Scandinavia, and two of his films are in the National Archives of Canada collection.
Gibson’s acclaimed film, Hogtown Blues, tells the story of a refugee family in Toronto. It was previously screened at a string of international film festivals last year, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival. (See the Sept. 7, 2004 issue of YFile.)
Left: Hugh Gibson
Fresh out of York University’s film program, Gibson has already attained a high level of distinction in his profession. In addition to making films, he worked at Toronto production company Triptych Media, where he helped to shape their films Falling Angels and The Republic of Love, while rubbing shoulders with director Deepa Mehta. As well, he worked for acclaimed director Peter Lynch and, more recently, for Paris-based sales agent Celluloid Dreams. He directed one of the segments of Doctors With Borders, a one-hour documentary that will broadcast on both OMNI.1 and OMNI.2 during prime-time viewing hours in a diversity of languages. (See the June 3, 2005 issue of YFile.) Earlier this year, Gibson attended the Berlinale Talent Campus located in Berlin, Germany. There he underwent a training program for documentary directors at the National Film Board of Canada.
The WSFF screenings take place in four downtown Toronto venues: Bloor Cinema, Isabel Bader Theatre, Innis Town Hall and Emmanuel College. For a complete schedule of screenings, events and venues, visit the WSFF Web site.