Thanks to all the visiting celebs that have brightened our red carpets over the years, but their dazzling smiles are hardly needed now that Atlantic Canada has its own sizeable stable of filmmaking talent. Excuse us while we name-drop just a few of the humble artists behind this year's Atlantic Shorts screenings.
Jeff Wheaton blends dreamy narratives with experimental flourishes in the lovely Hive, produced through the artist in residence program at AFCOOP. Stephanie Clattenburg brings to life that dream I keep having about two sexy cop girls of the future confronting a plague of hipsters in A New Addiction. Last year's Best Emerging Director, Ashley McKenzie returns with Stray (see opposite), the tale of a nine-year-old girl's search for a feral cat. The Republic of Doyle's Mark O'Brien stars in and directs Sweetieface, about a second chance at missed relationships. A former couple watches their relationship play out on the brutalist face of Halifax's industrial architecture in Megan Wennberg's The Grain Elevators. Photographer and filmmaker Kevin A. Fraser turns the camera around to expose the spooky events involved in Nova Scotia's biggest SyFy channel hit, in The Haunting Truth About Haven. Jenna Marks brings to life the story of an African-Nova Scotian midwife during the Halifax Explosion in What Happened to Esther. Jeremy Webb examines the modern mind of the young male with Bone Deep. Walter Forsyth turns Glen Matthews into The Luckiest Most Unlucky Man in the World with his Buster Keaton-esque film. Then he turns around and lets poet Ardath Whynacht take an axe to the instruments of modern conformity in Walls. Jasmine Oore creates an autobiographical "demi-feature" of a young woman's recovery from physical and romantic anguish in There's Been a Terrible Mistake. Saint Lou's Barbershop gets the hipster documentary it was made for in Philip Harris' NSCC short. Ruby Boutilier presents the prettiest black and white tribute to the famous venue you can imagine in Heavy Metal Night at Gus' Pub. Then there's Ann Verrall, following a former sex trade worker that returns home to rural Nova Scotia in Stroll. And Jamie Tiernay, delivering a love letter to Halifax's favourite skating locale in The Oval. Or Corinne Dunphy, examining the age-old lobster fishery in Well Fished, and its current crop of young female fishers. Struan Sutherland even pays homage to Jason Eisener with a sexy horror pastiche turned absurdist comedy trailer in Don't Go Into the Water. All those cinematic prodigies will showcase their work, along with dozens more at the multiple Atlantic Shorts showcases. So this year, why not do like the AFF and buy local?