Cold, by Waseem Shaikh

– by Wendy Morley –

Cold. The title refers partly to the fact that the events in the story take place during the coldest day of the year in Toronto, but also to the way people in the city treat each other, with coldness, although they are each aching for human connection, and perhaps also the coldness they feel within, because of the lack of that connection.

The film was written and directed by Waseem Shaikh, who in a few Google searches seems to have … disappeared from the film community? Is it true? I hope not, because Cold is a lovely, thoughtful, real, sensitive and even compelling glimpse into everyday loneliness, for the most part without diving into sentimentality (although at the end it does dip a toe over the edge of that pool!) And if I have found the correct Waseem Shaikh, this film was created at the end of his time as a student at Ryerson University, which means there’s a hell of a lot more in there.

Interconnection is certainly not a new concept in film and can sometimes be a bit of a stretch. In this case it’s clearly used to underline the feeling of isolation, to say, ‘Man! Just reach that one centimeter further! A person to connect with is RIGHT THERE!’

Clearly, many talented people were involved in the creation of this film. The acting is wonderful (see main actors below movie – truly superior choices for these parts), which means the direction was also. The characters are believable, the situations plausible. I must call out the director of photography Michael Meddik, because the camera work is great and – one of my big pet peeves in shorts – so too is the lighting. And I’d probably also better mention Joan Digba, both producer and editor, and Irina Ciumac, both producer and assistant director. I feel like I’m giving a speech at the Academy Awards, knowing there are far more people to thank but having to draw the line. I draw it here!

Now, Waseem Shaikh, can you please come back?

Main actors (in order of appearance):

Alexis Harrison

Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll

Jenny Raven

Heath Horejda

Ruby Gillett

Ali Kazmi

Kathleen Pollard

Moti Yona

Michael Querin

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