Alison Louder in 10-33 (2021)

One of the shorts showing at Toronto After Dark this year is 10-33. The film, with a 10 minute runtime, throws you into the action almost immediately and leaves you on the edge of your seat, waiting to find out what happens. I always find that I’m torn when it comes to shorts. Outside of film festivals, they are often difficult to find. They typically aren’t available for rent on streaming services and, if they are, they are priced the same as a feature length film. The failed streaming service Quibi almost gave us a platform for streaming shorts, but their aspect ratio limitations prevented it from becoming a real option. That said, when presented with a short, I find I typically enjoy myself and 10-33 was no exception.

The film takes place in a theatre, specifically a theatre washroom. Ava (Alison Louder) is taking a quick bio break while out on a date, when suddenly gunfire erupts from outside the bathroom walls. Panicked, she’s unsure of what to do and, suddenly, the gunman is in the washroom and blood is pooling on the floor. As Ava struggles to stay quiet and hidden, she makes a mistake, catching the attention of our gunman. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a conversation where it seems that the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

I don’t want to share too much, after all it is only a 10-minute short. I will, however, say that writer/director Alexander Maxim Seltzer does a brilliant job of building and maintaining tension from start to finish. This is where shorts make for great films. Honestly, it makes me think of How I Met Your Mother, the New Year’s Eve episode where Barney says, “Now, people often think that a good mix should rise and fall but people are wrong. It should be all rise baby.” Full length features typically can’t hold and maintain tension for the entire film, those that try usually fail. With a short thriller, however, it should be, to paraphrase Barney, all tension.

If you get the opportunity to check out 10-33, you definitely should. If you are located in Canada, you can check it out this weekend as part of Toronto After Dark’s Canadian Shorts film package.


Movie title: 10-33

Movie description: Ava's quiet date night out at the cinema turns into a nightmare when she's trapped in a toilet stall during an active shooting attack. With only a thin door separating her from the gunman, she is forced to confront him and try to find a way to survive.

Date published: 2021-08-20

Director(s): Alexander Maxim Seltzer

Actor(s): Alison Louder, Andrew Chown

Genre: Short, Thriller

  • Overall
  • White Knuckle Flick