Film posters for the eight films from the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival
The lineup for Friday night of the festival included eight short films. Graphic: OCAN
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It was a short-film night at the festival

The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival ran from Nov. 3–5 at Bytowne Cinema, showcasing both long and short films from Canadian directors. Friday, Nov. 4 was dedicated to short films, with the longest of the eight films shown (“The High Road”) being just 15 minutes and 30 seconds, and the shortest (“Magic Trick”) was five minutes.

The High Road” Director: Keith Robertson

Dwayne Wohlgemuth becomes the first person to complete the full 800-kilometre journey along the Thelon esker in the Northwest Territories. (An esker, as it was explained in the film, is a ridge of sediment left behind in the last ice age.)

Jelly” Director: March Mercanti

A couple joins some friends at home for dinner, but the mood of the night is put at risk when some parties become jealous. Jelly is open to exploring open-relationships.

Plus que des cheveux (More Than Hair)” Director: Fitch Jean

Director Fitch Jean shows the importance of black hair and community when a young boy enters a salon to have his hair styled for the first time.

The Untouchable” Director: Avazeh Shahnavaz

Avazeh Shahnavaz is an Iranian-Canadian filmmaker. “The Untouchable” is about an interaction between a frenzied woman and the police — and the bystanders who watch and film the encounter.

Tears of Oizys” Director: Ramy Raphael

“Tears of Oizys” is a sentimental film about a man expressing the mental health issues that plague him through a letter to his wife.

L’Entente Cordiale (The Cordial Agreement)” Directors: Gautier Piton and Clément Douillet

In this humorous short film, a young couple discusses their rent with their landlords (who are also their downstairs neighbours.) 

Sarah” Director: Peter Riddihough

Kit Simmons plays Sarah, a woman experiencing homelessness in Hamilton, in director Peter Riddihough’s based-on-a-true-story film about Sarah’s life. 

Magic Trick” Director: Chris Lennox-Aasen

A writer and a magician have a meet-cute in a cafe. Compliments and card tricks ensue.

Directors in attendance (of which there were several) came to see a live audience react to their work. They were rewarded with positive reviews; audience members applauded, laughed, and gasped at various points in each film.