Canadian shorts 'at the forefront of the medium,' says TIFF filmmaker / by Karen Harnisch

TORONTO — At the Toronto International Film Festival sometimes the biggest gems are the shortest.

Though feature-length projects tend to eat up much of the spotlight, some of the short films also go on to Oscar glory, including many Canadian ones.

"I think Canadian shorts are expected to be strong," says Amenta… "And the level of quality and the number of strong projects that are produced in Canada, I think outweigh a lot of other countries."

The Canadian TIFF shorts lineup this year has several… projects with well-known names, including "Please Speak Continuously And Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You" by "Antiviral" director Brandon Cronenberg, son of acclaimed filmmaker David Cronenberg.

"Typically short films are quite contained, so you're allowed to really dive deep and immerse yourself in these worlds and these characters and commit to that," Amenta says.

"There's no time to waste, ever. So I think actors really enjoy that process."

For audiences, shorts provide a chance to experience the emotions of a story without worrying as much about the logistics in the way one would with a feature, he adds.

"You're allowed to do things that are completely new, you can show new worlds, new characters, new forms of storytelling and the audience is still digesting what you're showing them before they have the opportunity to judge it," Amenta says.

"So you are free in the length, in what you're showing, how you're showing it, and I'm in love with the capability of closing a moment at the end of a film where it's unresolved and forces the audience to fill in the gaps."