TIFF 2017 Short Cuts Directors to Watch, Part 1: Manatad, Markowicz, Valerio, Sorogoyen, Kuhn

As the Toronto International Film Festival officially kicks off the traditional awards season (yes, here we go again), the entertainment industry will congregate in the Ontario provincial capital to see not just high profile studio releases and indie fare but the next generation of short filmmakers screening in the Short Cuts competition.

Momentum is key in the careers of the early stage filmmakers and TIFF’s short film lineup all receive significant boost from screening in competition. New Machine’s Ana Stefanovic profiles a select group of emerging directors to watch who are screening in the 2017 TIFF Short Cuts competition. In part 1 of our series, we feature Carolina Markowicz, Carlo Francisco Manatad, Adriano Valerio, Sam Kuhn and Rodrigo Sorogoyen.The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run Sept. 7-17.


Carolina Markowicz, Carlo Francisco Manatad and Adriano Valerio

Carlo Francisco Manatad / Employee of the Month

Country: France

Synopsis: Previously dedicated to her job at a soon-to-close gas station, the subject devotes her last night of employment to some questionable acts, thereby reflecting the increasingly anarchic nature of the society around her.

About the filmmaker

– Carlo Francisco Manatad is a Filipino film director and editor based in Manila 
He is one of the most prolific editors in the Philippines today, collaborating with numerous filmmakers for both independent and mainstream film projects
– Carlos obtained his degree from the University of the Philippines Film Institute, and has participated in the DocNet Campus Project in Jakarta (2014), La Fabrique Cinema in France and the Berlinale Talent Campus (2012)
– His short drama Sandra (2016) was nominated for Best Short Film Award at Fribourg International Film Festival in 2016;
– His previous short, also a drama, Junilyn Has (2015), was nominated for Golden Pardino – Leopards of Tomorrow the Locarno International Film Festival and for the Silver Screen Award at the Singapore International Film Festival;
Short Hollow (2010) was nominated for Gawad Urian Award at Gawad Urian Awards in 2011;

Follow Carlos on Instagram

Carolina Markowicz / Long Distance Relationship

Country: Canada
Synopsis: A brief story of a guy who’s obsessed about having sex with ETs.

About the filmmaker

– Carolina Markowicz is a screenwriter and director based in São Paulo – Brazil.
– Carolina was considered one of the “five filmmakers to watch” by TIFF Short Cuts curator Shane Smith
– In September 2015, she was one of the 10 emerging international filmmakers invited to be part of TIFF Talent Lab, whose mentors were Wim Wenders, Jim Stark, Christine Vauchon and Malgorzata Szumowska
– Her short animation Tatuapé Mahal Tower (2014) was nominated for Short Grand Prix at Warsaw International Film Festival in 2014; it was nominated for Best Short Film at Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2015 and for Cinema Brazil Grand Prize at Cinema Brazil Grand Prize in 2015

Follow Carolina on Facebook or Instagram.

Adriano Valerio / Mon amour mon ami

Country: Canada

Synopsis: An Italian woman begins to doubt the sincerity of the feelings of her fiancé, a Moroccan immigrant, days before their wedding.

About the filmmaker

– Adriano Valerio was born in 1977 in Milan, Italy
– After completing his Bachelor Degree in Law at the Università Statale di Milano, followed by film studies at Marco Bellocchio’s film workshop, he moved to France where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at EICAR, The International Film School of Paris
– In 2012, he founded the Association Camera Mundi, which organizes film workshops in developing countries
– Adriano is an alumnus of both the Berlinale Talent Campus (2012 class) and the Locarno Film Academy (2012 class)
– His short drama Da lontano (2007) was nominated for Prize of the City of Torino at Torino Film Festival in 2007; The short drama 37°4 S (2013) was nominated for Palme d’Or – Best Short Film and won Special Mention at Cannes Film Festival in 2013; nominated for Chicca Richelmy Award at Torino Film Festival in 2013; for Best Film – Technical Jury and Best Film – Popular Jury at Taranto in Short in 2014; it won Special Mention at Huesca Film Festival in 2014; it won Award of the Amiens Jailhouse – Special Mention at Amiens International Film Festival in 2014; was nominated for Grand Prix at Aix-en-Provence International Short Film Festival in 2013
– His feature drama Banat (Il Viaggio) (2015) was nominated for International Critics’ Week Award at Venice Film Festival in 2015; won Jury Award at Tirana International Film Festival, all in 2015; it was nominated for New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize at Palm Springs International Film Festival 2016, for Silver Ribbon at Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists in 2016, for David at David di Donatello Awards in 2016, for Best Feature Film at Aubagne International Film Festival in 2016

Follow Adriano on Instagram.

Sam Kuhn, Rodrigo Sorogoyen

Rodrigo Sorogoyen / Mother

Country: Spain

Synopsis: While at home in her apartment with her own mother in Spain, a woman gets a phone call from her six-year-old son, who’s on holiday in France with his father. Every parent’s nightmare ensues.

About the filmmaker

– Rodrigo Sorogoyen was born in 1981, in Madrid, Spain
– He studied at ECAM ~ School of Film and Audiovisual of the Community of Madrid
Mother (2017) won Silver Biznaga for the Audience Award for Short Films at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival in 2017
– The director’s feature thriller May God Save Us (2016) was nominated for Golden Seashell and won the Jury Prize at the San Sebastián International Film Festival; it was nominated for Goya for Best Film, Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Lead Actor, it won Goya at Goya Awards in 2017
– His feature drama, the romance Stokholm (2013) won Silver Biznaga for Best New Screenwriter, Best Director, Best Actress at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival in 2013; it was nominated for Ibero-American Opera Prima Award at Miami Film Festival

Sam Kuhn / Möbius

Country: Canada

Synopsis: Seeking refuge from the law, teen poet Stella tells of the mysterious disappearance of her highs chool lover Sebastian and the strange deed she was compelled to perform.

About the filmmaker

– Sam Kuhn was born 1989 and is based in Brooklyn, NY
– In addition to filmmaking he an avid boatbuilder
– He graduated in Art History department at the Willamette University and is also part of the Borscht filmmaking collective
– Sam has directed music videos for Here We Go, Magic, Okay Kaya, and Norah Jones, and he is currently developing his first narrative feature Cascadian Wild Flowers.
Mobius (2017) was nominated for Queer Palm – Short Film at Cannes Film Festival in 2017

Follow Sam on Twitter.