Shattering More Glass Ceilings: ‘Shatterbox’ at TIFF 2018

‘Shatterbox’ recently screened their second short film collection at Toronto International Film Festival 2018 and what follows is my brief rundown of the eight female-directed shorts.

“Women are half the population. However in 2017, women only directed 11% of the top 250 films. It’s time to see the full picture. You don’t know the half of it.”

– The films’ introduction


O’Reilly & Puti in Curated

Gillian Jacobs’ Curated is her second short film in a directing role, and follows a young woman (Ahna O’Reilly) visiting her recently deceased grandmother’s house to pick out a keepsake. She is joined by her husband (Danny Puti), and they are stalked around the house by the creepy “curator” of the estate.

→→→ Key words: Matriarchy, eerie, and otherworldly.

French Fries by Janine Sherman Barrois is about a young professional with a deadline, attempting to concentrate on her job while her partner tempts her with procrastination and carbs (see featured image above).

→→→ Key words: Food, relationships, and work-life balance.

Yara Shahidi’s directorial debut X follows a young black boy getting ready for school one morning, and then morphing into an older version and a female version of himself, depending on his surroundings, during his journey home from school.

→→→ Key words: Marginalisation, race, and youth.

Simon Helberg as the man in the cage in End of the Line

End of the Line, by Jessica Sanders, follows a man with a tiny human as a pet in a cage. In a montage of torture scenes, the tiny man is put onto the big man’s body, reminiscent of Pedro Almodóvar’s Hable con ella scene with a tiny man on a woman’s body.

→→→ Key words: Human pet, torture, and freedom.

Allana Harkin’s The Godmother is set in a church during a christening, and follows the godmother as she attempts to save face having arrived late after a wild night out.

→→→ Key words: Religion, judgment, and matriarchy.

Like an excerpt from a sci-fi thriller, CTRL by Ivy Agregan depicts two central female characters discuss a previous cyber war and their intertwined past. They act fierce, and this is interchanged with a scene of one upset and vulnerable on her own.

→→→ Key words: Futuristic, feminine strength, and vulnerability.

Are You Still Singing? by Gillian Barnes follows a struggling events performer, battles her anxiety without insurance for her medication. Quite a few fun costume changes, including a creepy Minnie Mouse.

→→→ Key words: Performance arts, mental health, and costumes.


Joey Ally in Are You Still Singing?

One Cambodian Family Please For My Pleasure by A.M. Lukas depicts a Czech housewife in Fargo, North Dakota, and her writing a letter to entice other refugees from Cambodia to their town. Stars Emily Mortimer and is based on true events.

→→→ Key words: Acceptance, multiculturalism, and immigration.

All eight films are available in full on Youtube here.




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