Films & Schedules

  • Only

  • Ingrid Veninger

  • Simon Reynolds

74 minutes

Production Company:
pUNK Films Inc.
Executive Producer:
Ankur Sharma
Ingrid Veninger, Simon Reynolds
Ingrid Veninger, Simon Reynolds
Ian Anderson
Aren Hansen
Rachelle Audet
Principal Cast: Jacob Switzer, Elena Hudgins Lyle, Ingrid Veninger, Simon Reynolds

Preceded by:

Running (Heart, Body, Mind, Spirit)

Ann Marie Fleming
Canada, 2008/No dialogue
5 minutes
/Colour/Digital Betacam

Tuesday September 0906:45PM AMC 2 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1203:30PM AMC 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1303:15PM AMC 2 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Twelve-year-old Daniel (Jacob Switzer) has a lot of time on his hands. His parents are consumed with running their motel in a small Northern Ontario town. And although Daniel is supposed to be helping out by changing the bedding in the rooms, something always seems to distract or divert him. Most of the time, he's to be found crashing in one of the rooms, breaking stuff or trying to avoid the kids from town, who see Daniel as a means of getting booze for their parties. On one surreptitious trip to the pool, he is startled by the sight of someone floating face down. That someone is Vera (Elena Hudgins Lyle), a girl his own age whose parents are going through a nasty separation. Like Daniel, Vera's basically left to her own devices.

Ingrid Veninger and Simon Reynolds's ONLY is a luminous and lyrical study of tween ennui and loneliness that's beautifully observed. Its unadorned and unaffected approach to the problems its principals face and how they relate to the outside world is disarmingly genuine, accepting its characters on their own terms and presenting them in their own language.

Unlike their elders, Daniel and Vera aren't obsessed by quotidian concerns and, as they wander the motel grounds and the surrounding area, they discuss what's truly important to them. Their conversations are both touchingly direct and evasive; it takes them a long time to face what's really bothering them – their rather remote relationships with their parents. It is indicative of the respect and understanding Reynolds and Veninger have for their characters that they allow them the space and time to work their way toward these issues and risk confiding in one another.

Films focusing on children are sometimes adult fantasies about what childhood was like, imposing subsequent experience and reading events through this filter. ONLY does the exact opposite. Suffused with a sense of transience that perfectly suits Daniel and Vera's lack of certainty, it captures their mindset perfectly in a forthright, lovely and poetic manner.

Steve Gravestock

Ingrid Veninger was born in Bratislava and raised in Canada. She attended the Canadian Film Centre, where she produced the short Three Sisters on Moon Lake (01). She participated in the Festival's Talent Lab in 2006 and co-wrote the script for Nurse.Fighter.Boy (08). ONLY (08, co-director) is her first feature as director.

Simon Reynolds was born in Toronto. A participant in the 2006 Festival's Talent Lab, he has worked as an actor, writer and director. He created the short films White Light (04), Uriah (06) and Self-Portrait (07) before making ONLY (08, co-director), his first feature.

Cadillac People's Choice Award