By Yan Giroux | Drama
A bunch of kids loiter in the park until a new monitor appears for his first day of work. Then, a territorial struggle begins.

It’s a quiet summer day in Dufresne Park, where the neighborhood teens loiter, killing time and hanging out. But then a new park monitor appears for his first day on the job, igniting a power struggle and territorial clash between two very different worlds.

Writer-director Yan Giroux’s stunning short drama is a sharp examination of social politics and class as they play out in public spaces. The park’s habitues seem to be working class, but the surveillant himself comes into their territory with a nice bike and guarded, almost defensive demeanor, immediately setting the hostilities of the neighborhood youth off. By nature of his position, the monitor comes into a role of power, and yet the film constructs how he very out of place he is.

The film’s camerawork — featuring long tracking and panning shots — is stunning, allowing for both a fluidity and sense of tension to build. The camerawork allows viewers to take in details of the setting and characters normally overlooked, such as the graffiti etched on the streets and signs, and the way bystanders in the background observe the new park monitor. These all add up to a quiet but sustained sense of tension that never quite resolves, but leaves viewers with an unsettled feeling and questions of just what it means to have and exert power.

Without the typical techniques of classical editing to construct drama, the film — which was an official selection at both Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals — is reliant on both the camera movement and the incredibly natural and understated performances to convey the conflict. There is barely any dialogue in the conventional sense, but the few delivered lines are evocative and even menacing.

The sound design also is notable for its ability to convey the world past the frame, relaying the snatches of conversation around the park monitor, almost haunting him with their omnipresence. The sound scaffolds the monitor in a world whose lines of powers are not apparent to the eye, and navigating his way through it is perilous and fraught.

As he rides back to the office at the end of the night, the park monitor makes his way through the space in a stunningly choreographed sequence that evokes both war and horror movies — and just how it feels to make your way through a space that is hostile to your existence. “Surveillant” is a perceptive, understated social study, as well as a feat of incredible craft, able to convey both the “objective” space of the park as well as the “subjective” experience of both the park monitor with great skill and unusual but unforgettable storytelling.

You Might Also Like:


By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.

Night Shift

By Marshall Tyler | Drama
A day in the life of a bathroom attendant in a Los Angeles nightclub.


By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.

Small Arms ft. Tyler Young

By Arman Cole | Drama
A bullied college student seeks out shooting lessons with an ex-militia member to prove his manhood.

Pop Music

By Patrick Muhlberger | Comedy
A man who thinks he's a samurai wants revenge on a DJ for ruining his niece's school dance.


By Mark Ram | Drama
Two friends climb a mountain, connected by a rope. But when one falls, the other's life hangs in an unstable balance.

Others Will Follow

By Andrew Finch | Sci-Fi
The lone survivor of a failed mission to Mars uses his last moments to transmit a message of hope.


By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man finds himself in between a food-truck and a brothel. Then, he meets his dream girl.

How Was Your Day?

By Damien O’Donnell | Drama
A woman is excited about the approaching birth of her first child. But then, it doesn't match her expectations.

Margo Lily

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Drama
A couple is determined to plant a tree in the middle of winter following the loss of their child.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A heartbroken woman finds a one-night stand. But the guy lives two hours away... via public transit.

Ten Thousand Days

By Michael Duignan | Comedy
A man is convinced he'll die on his 10,000th day. But when he meets a girl at his cousin's funeral, things don't go to plan.

Lonely Planet

By Alex Burunova | Romance
A lonely woman travels to Barcelona and meets a tall, dark stranger. Then, he challenges her to live in the moment... with him.

Pitter Patter Goes My Heart ft. Vicky Krieps

By Christoph Rainer | Romance
A hopeless romantic takes desperate measures to win her former lover back. But he already has a new girl at his side.

The Disappearance of Willie Bingham

By Matt Richards | Horror
An inmate is selected to undergo a radical new justice program under the State's revised stance on capital crime.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.