Plein(s) Ecran(s), a showcase of Court métrage

The festival Plein(s) Ecran(s) takes place from January 13th to January 24th and focuses on 66 short feature films, 6 of which are categorized within the Programme Jeunesse section. Selections from Quebec and France are entered into an awards competition as part of the festival. As well, there will be the return of the Plein(s) Écran(s) podcast, available on most podcast platforms, which provides interviews with some of the directors. Here are some of the short features that I got to see during the run of the festival.   
In the national competition is the short documentary No Crying At The Dinner Table (dir. Carol Nguyen). An “intimate portrait about the subjects of love, mourning and intergenerational trauma” is set up as individual interviews with her parents and sister. The family is then gathered back together to listen to their taped interviews at the dinner table, and their emotional reactions are filmed as they listen. Even though this is a short feature, Nguyen achieves the emotional depth displayed in feature length emotional dramas like Manchester By The Sea. In this vulnerable depiction of her family, Nguyen approaches emotional depth with grace and maturity.
Also in the national competition is the short fiction film Jarvik (dir. Emilie Mannering). The film takes place at the end of summer and follows the protagonist Leah as she is looking for an escape from her family life. As the eclipse draws near, she makes some plans with her friends to go on an excursion, but her mother reminds her that tomorrow is family day. As the oldest sibling, Leah must care for her brother, who is ill, and her little sister. Mannering highlights the importance of family in her film, along with the proper etiquette to viewing the solar eclipse. The cinematography and sound design of the film make this as immersive of a film as last year’s Sound Of Metal.
As for some lighter fare, I recommend some of the short animation films in the youth section and in the international competition. There is the international short animation piece about the world of mechanics in Empty Places (dir. Geoffroy De Crécy); advertised as “an ode to the melancholy of machines”. From the youth section I recommend the beautiful animation found in La maison du Hérisson (dir. Eva Cvijanovic). For the feline lovers in your life I recommend Parc à Chats (dir. Rachel Samson) currently in the national competition. 
Court métrage, also known as short features, sometimes go understated before the accompanying presentations of a feature length film. However, they are someone’s ideas to create a film that could possibly be further explored in a feature length film someday. The subject matter can range from emotionally complex thematics to lighter thematics reminiscent of the shorts before a Pixar film. Their diversity is what makes them an integral part of the Plein(s) Ecran(s) festival experience, which celebrates them through an awards competition on a national and international level.
Remi and Danny host At The Movies, which can be heard every Tuesday morning from 8:00 - 9:00AM. Tune in for discussions about movies, soundtracks, and iconic film scores. At The Movies also covers film festivals that are located in Montreal.