The Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF) was founded by Brenda Sherwood in 1994. It was an annual film festival held over a few days in June in Toronto, Ontario at The Annex-Yorkville area venues. As well as film screenings, the festival hosted parties and the CFC’s annual picnic, all of which was very popular with filmmakers and enthusiasts.
The WSFF was recognized as a qualifying event for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) short film awards. This meant that certain award-winners at the WSFF were eligible to be nominated for the Oscars, Genies, and BAFTAs awards – this festival was no small affair, it was a serious festival that attracted serious talent.
The festival operated independently under the direction of Brenda Sherwood until 2000, when the Festival was acquired by the Canadian Film Centre (CFC). Although the festival ran succesfully for over a decade after this acquisition, in early 2013 the Canadian Film Centre began a re-evaluation of its public activities. As part of this re-evaluation process, the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival was put on hiatus, and unfortunately we haven’t seen the return of the festival since.
Hopefully one day we’ll see this festival return!