Be prepared for this bold blend of curious intentions, unpredictable humour and bits of heartache. Like the taste of Mom’s ginseng soup, the bittersweet flavour of this programme is wholesomely filling. Through animation, staged scenarios and creative storytelling, these homegrown shorts look at the construction of both images and narrative in cinema. Playfully challenging social norms and openly engaging the medium and audience, they shed light on everyday dilemmas and allow us to genuinely laugh out loud.
Ann Marie Fleming | 2006 | 2 min | Video | Canada | Director In Attendance | Toronto Premiere
In her trademark style, Fleming blends humour and pathos to seduce us with another delightfully quirky stick-figure animation. Co-produced with the NFB as part of Shorts in Motion (SIM): shorts produced for video cell phones.
One of Canada’s most distinctive independent filmmaking talents, Vancouver original Ann Marie Fleming has created a remarkably diverse yet unified range of feature, short, documentary, mockumentary, avant-garde, animated and personal work in her 20-plus films, from Waving (1987) to The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam (2003). Born in Okinawa, of Chinese and Australian parentage, Fleming grew up in Vancouver, and studied at Simon Fraser University and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.
Christopher Chong / 2005 / 9 min / Video / Malaysia | Mandarin with English subtitles
Within Malaysia’s modern-day pluralistic society, much antagonism and tension still exists between the many ethnic and cultural groups. In this story about making choices, a young Chinese Malaysian girl’s secret love for Muslim headscarves (tudung) leads her to overstep her boundaries. With the little interaction between the Chinese and Malay communities, Shiuan fears that none of her friends or family will understand. So on this Tuesday, she decides to take a leap of independence towards her own self-discovery.
Christopher Chong CF is a Malaysian-Canadian filmmaker. He has written and directed a number of short films and has worked in film, television and animation production. Christopher’s career began in Canada where he directed a number of experimental hand-processed films and screened his work in over 20 festivals on the global circuit. He was awarded Best Emerging Filmmaker in Toronto in 2001. Currently, he is in Malaysia to begin developing dance-drama, feature and documentary works.
Howie Shia | 2004 | 2 min | Video | Canada | World Premiere
Seeking shelter from an ominous thunderstorm, a man sits in a dark pub watching the ice in his glass melt. Director Howie Shia combines his striking graphic illustration style with subtle, enigmatic animation and a haunting, evocative soundtrack to conjure anxiety and foreboding. Ice Ages was animated using pen and ink on tracing paper and later digitally composited and coloured.
Howie Shia is a freelance animator, illustrator and a co-founder of the acclaimed music/design/animation studio PPF House. He has produced work for UN-Habitat, the NFB, the YMCA, Nike, Maisonneuve magazine, Exclaim! and more. A Chalmers Award nominee and recipient of the Vtape Video Art Award, Shia is now nearing completion on Flutter, a co-production between PPF House and the NFB.
Lillian Chan | 2006 | 8 min | Video | Canada | World Premiere
Jamie Lo is a shy 7-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl whose father is called away to work on assignment in Hong Kong. Struggling to cope with his absence on Father’s Day, she uses creativity to bring her family back together. This lighthearted story illustrates the common dilemma of the geographical separation and distance required in order for families to make ends meet.
Lillian Chan is hopelessly addicted to television, and animation seems an apt career choice for such an obsession. Chan was born and raised in Toronto and studied classical animation at Sheridan College. Her graduate film, Obert Egan Invents the Smile, won the Nelvana Award for Best Graduate Film of the Year and did very well on the festival circuit. She was an animation workshop coordinator at the NFB Mediatheque in Toronto before moving to Montreal to make Jaime Lo, Small and Shy for the NFB. This is Chan’s first professional film.
Asa Mori | 2004 | 4 min | Super 8 | Canada | Toronto Premiere
Adorably clever, this half-human half-rabbit creature plays out four mini tableaux: heart, memento mori, beauty, and milk.
Obsessed with the heart, Asa Mori is a multi-disciplinary artist, and graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. She currently lives in Vancouver, B.C.
Alison S. M. Kobayashi | 2006 | 15 min | Video | Canada
Inspired by a discarded answering machine tape that she found in a store, Alison S. M. Kobayashi cleverly uses Dan Carter’s private messages as the soundtrack for her bitingly funny performances. Kobayashi interweaves these usually overlooked personal tidbits to re-enact an over-the-top narrative that both examines identity and explores the imaginary.
Alison S. M. Kobayashi is fascinated by found objects that contain traces of private experiences. Over the past two years she has collected over 70 cassettes from answering machine tapes donated to second-hand stores. She is currently studying at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and Sheridan College in the Art and Art History program. She received the 2006 Bill Huffman Award for Excellence in Studio Practice and has screened her video work at the Blackwood Gallery, InterAccess and Pleasure Dome.
Jane Kim | 2005 | 4 min | 16mm | Video | Canada
This rock-and-roll story uses archival footage and personal memories to describe an inspiring moment of liberation. Continuing her examination of women’s social issues through short narratives, Jane Kim’s Paper, Scissors, Rock reclaims a sense of pride in feminism.
Jane Kim graduated with a Journalism degree from Ryerson University in 1992, and was a director resident at the Canadian Film Centre in 2000. She is actively involved in programming films and industry events for festivals, and has worked with the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs International Film Festival, Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Images Festival, Harbourfront Centre, SAVAC and Ontario Arts Council. NOW Magazine called Kim “Best stealth curator” for the 2004 Best of Toronto, Critic’ Picks. In between her festival work, Kim also makes short films which have been screened at numerous international film festivals, receiving several nominations and awards.
Samuel Kiehoon Lee | 2005 | 11 min | Video | Canada | Canadian Premiere
Projecting years into the future, director Samuel Kiehoon Lee writes the script for his own wake. But by no means is this the usual dramatic funeral scene. Lee experiments with narrative structure by extending five simultaneous, 90-second tales into one bizarre scene after another. As his multiracial family tries to cope with his unexpected death, each segment illuminates a different part of his life before death. Through this hyper-self-reflexive portrayal of his alter ego, Lee’s imagined family, friends and lovers oddly reveal an undesirable character.
Samuel Kiehoon Lee generally dislikes writing his own bio, but loves to speak about himself in the third person. The son of a dentist, Lee has a bachelor’s degree in both mechanical engineering and film studies. His award-winning pieces include the short documentary How to make kimchi according to my Kun-Umma, the experimental narrative 5 x 90: The Wake, and HANNAH. He is currently living Korea. The production of this sly cinematic investigation was supported by Reel Asian’s Local Artist Award.
Joyce Wong | 2006 | 13 min | Video | Canada
The story of Chloe Chan begins in elementary school, where she finds it difficult to fit in with the other kids. Being picked on daily by school bullies, Chloe develops her first crush on fellow introvert, Matthew. She can identify with this shy, quiet white boy who is also bullied. They rarely talk, but as she grows, so does her fondness for him. One day her hopes of romance come true and she finally gets a chance to be with him. But in this satirical love story, things are not that simple and love is not as blind as we wish it to be.
Born to an immigrant family in Toronto and surrounded by its rich multicultural mecca, Joyce Wong’s personal experiences have provoked her to examine issues of culture and the stories of its people in her films. She is currently pursing a degree in film production at York University.