scene from “Sapphic Dating for Rural Victorians.”UWindsor student Elissa Weir will premiere two short films at the Windsor International Film Festival, including “Sapphic Dating for Rural Victorians.”

Film faculty, students, and grads feature on festival screens

The Windsor International Film Festival returns Oct. 27 to Nov. 6 with a slate of 177 feature films and 24 short films across 311 screenings — many with connections to the University, including two short works by Elissa Weir, a double-major in communications and drama.

Her films Chivalric Values and Sapphic Dating for Rural Victorians, both on the bill for “WIFF Local Shorts #2,” Nov. 2 at the Capitol Theatre, were originally projects for film classes under professor Mike Stasko. Most of the cast and the entirety of the crew for both films were UWindsor students.

Chivalric Values is about a medieval knight who uses a dating app to find true love in the modern world and it doesn’t go as easy as she had hoped,” Weir says.

Sapphic Dating for Rural Victorians started as a stage play that she adapted for screen. It such stage play elements as breaking the fourth wall to talk to the audience and having a flat background and minimal props. It follows Violet, held back from finding love by a voice in her head that saps her self-confidence.

“I can’t think of another student who has grown more as filmmaker during her time in the Department of Communication, Media, and Film,” says Stasko. “I feel really rewarded as a professor when I see that the program has worked and turned a talented woman like Elissa into an up-and-coming professional.”

Other films on the festival schedule with a link to the University include:

  • Late Bloomer by Nathan Bergs and Date-saster by John Strahl, which will be screened as part of “WIFF Local Shorts #1” on Thursday, Oct. 27;
  • Purity by Carolina DiGrado, Continuum by Calum Hotchkiss, From Napoli With Love by Luca Cunial, and Big Little Show by Gemma Eva, joining Weir’s films in “WIFF Local Shorts #2” on Nov. 2;
  • Indian Horse, which will enjoy a special screening on Tuesday, Nov. 1, with guests Beverley Jacobs, senior advisor to the president on Indigenous relations and outreach, and members of the Lancer men’s hockey team;
  • The Erie Situation, at the SoCA Armouries on Nov. 2 hosted by the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research;
  • Reset by professor Min Bae, screening Thursday, Oct. 27; and
  • Walkerville’s Willistead Manor by alumnus Nick Shields (BA 1995), on screen Oct. 29.

The University of Windsor and its alumni association are among the festival’s sponsors. Find a full schedule of events on the festival website.