Fantasia ’21 Short Film Reviews!

We all go to film festivals for the exciting new features, but they’re also a showcase for short films. This year’s Fantasia Festival is no different, so here are five short films I’ve watched as part of the festival.

 Kwêskosîw / She Whistles (Dir. Thirza Cuthand)

A taxi driver assaults a young two-spirit woman, and, in the process, an ancestral power is unlocked within her that she never knew she had. I don’t even want to imagine how common the setup for this story is, but the execution is excellent, and the resolution is satisfying.

Kwêskosîw / She Whisles at Fantasia Festival

Last Night at the Strip Club (Dir. Nicole Bazuin)

Andrea Werhun is a writer and performer from Toronto. On the eve of the pandemic, she left her job at the strip club and transitioned to online work. This short doc is almost entirely Werhun speaking directly to the camera (and occasionally reenacting something), and you know what? It’s charming as hell. Last NIght at the Strip Club is smart, funny, endearing, and lovely.

Last Night at the Stripclub at Fantasia Festival

Macho Carne (Dir. George Pedrosa)

Macho Carne is what you might call visual poetry but in the most visceral and intense way. Like a throwback to 16mm film loops that you see characters watching in 1970s-set dramas, this work si raw and in your face. It isn’t for me, but if it’s for you? It’s going to be extremely for you.

Macho Carne at Fantasia Festival

The Lovers (Dir. Avra Fox-Lerner)

A woman goes out to get takeout for her roommate. This one might be a little predictable, but that doesn’t really matter because it’s so short and well-executed. I really liked this one.

The Lovers at Fantasia Festival

Hold Me Tight (Dir. Mélanie Robert-Tourneur)

An animated interlude between two forest creatures, and an artistic visual representation of what that interlude might feel like, Hold Me Tight isn’t entirely successful, but it is beautiful and artistic.

Hold me Tight at Fantasia Festival


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