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Comedy Shorts on Display
by Geoffrey D. Roberts

A Feast of Comedy Shorts, the opening night gala at the fifth annual World of Comedy Film Festival, drew a capacity crowd at the Innis Town Hall Theatre in Toronto, Canada. Movies shown at this March 9th event included:

Carmichael & Shane. In this entertaining short, Angus Wilson gives an on-camera interview to filmmakers about raising two-year-old twins on his own. Angus is being interviewed because of his unique philosophy on parenting. He has decided to pick his son Carmichael as the twin he prefers over his other son Shane.  Carmichael has developed faster than his brother, so Angus wants to invest all his time, money and energy on this twin. He justifies his tactics to the filmmakers by insisting the majority of twins grow up not knowing who they are apart from each other. He feels he is doing his children a favor by isolating them now so they can distinguish early on who is a born loser and a guaranteed winner. (Rob Carlton, who plays Angus here, also wrote the screenplay.)  

The Heart of Whistler. This short takes place at a ski resort during the off-season and features actor Rikki Gagne as a waiter with nothing to do. A group of surgeons attending a conference at the resort inadvertently leave a frozen heart behind when they are called to an emergency. The waiter must now deliver it in time to save a transplant patient who is near death. Audiences let out a groan watching the heart end up being used as a puck in a skating rink in director Ken Hagenís boring and predictable film.

The Fifth. Writer/director Ryan Levinís hilarious short celebrated its world premiere at the festival. It focuses on three poker players who are friends. They are angry at Ken (Sam Lloyd), the fourth player, for always being late and bringing along his work to finish. After inviting a new friend to join their weekly game as the fifth player, nobody wants to confront Ken about his frequent tardiness because of his volatile temper. When Ken arrives, we discover that heís a serial killer whoís brought the body of an unconscious woman with him. He didnít have enough time to kill the woman and still make the game, so he decides to finish his work in front of everyone. When the new guy is sent to fetch beer from the fridge, he notices Ken has left a severed head behind from the last game. Ken gets angry and tells the man he will kill him. Naturally, the frightened man bolts. Ken has to go after him or word about these bizarre poker nights will be out to potential new players.

The Saviour. Writer/director Peter Templemanís short film evoked lots of laughter. It focuses on an evangelist (Thom Campbell) who falls in love with a woman his church sent him to convert.

Shaun the Sheep ďStill Life.Ē Making its Canadian Premiere at the festival, this humorous short rounded out the evening. Written by Christopher Sadler, it features a group of talented sheep who mock a farmer as he tries in vain to paint a masterpiece. When he turns his back, the sheep take over his easel and paint their own great works.

(Click here for more information about the World of Comedy Film Festival.) 

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