Film still from Pretty Thing. Directed by Matthew De Filippis and Elisia Mirabelli.

The Monday night finale of RUFF—the 15th annual Ryerson University film fest— was a vast, awe-inspiring glimpse of what’s to come in
Canadian cinema. The three-day fest, held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, showcased 25 shorts by the graduating film class of the School of Image Arts. What happens when unbounded creativity meets hard work and a stage to showcase it all, these films are proof that this batch of talented emerging filmmakers is undoubtedly one to watch. Here’s a roundup of the films that premiered on day three of the festival, which ran from June 2-4 this year.
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me A young girl faces a terrifying mix of pre-pubescent injustice—think mean girls, menstruation—while her grandfather, a charming appearance by a little-known Canadian actor named Gordon Pinsent, tries to comfort and embolden her with a humour and grace that could save the world. The beauty of this short is in the tiny but skewering ironies—like how a confused pug can make everything better without even trying.
Dir. Stephen Dunn.
Frontier A visually stunning portrait of colonial life, this short traces the banality of simpler times when a few moments of human weakness attempt to disrupt the monotony. Moving with a swift and subtle grace, the film follows a young woman, played with startling conviction by Linzee Barclay, who seeks comfort in her priest, whose own doubts threaten to crumble the devout faith upon which their tangled lives are built.
Dir. Jessica Adams.
Click through for more RUFF film picks!