Whatever implications the term may have, an “experimental film” is not created by accident. It is a work by a filmmaker who has a clear purpose and a singular method in his self-expression. Whether through computer animation, hand-drawn sketches, digital video or film, these unusual, provocative shorts throw open the boundaries possible for filmmakers. We are proud to present a full-length programme dedicated to these innovative Asian artists.
Daichi Saito* | 2004 | Canada | 16MM | 6:00
Shiva’s cosmic dance is reinterpreted as a series of rapid abstract movements, with each transformation a clash between light and darkness, creation and destruction.
Daichi Saito* | 2003 | Canada | 16MM | 8:00
Defined as “a grammatical figure by which the order of words in one of two of parallel clauses is inverted in the other” by the Oxford English Dictionary, Chiasmus explores human perception by metaphorically juxtaposing a writhing shape with the film medium.
Daichi Saito was originally from Japan but studied philosophy in the US and Hindi and Sankrit in India. In 2000, he moved to Montreal and turned to filmmaking. He is a co-founder of Double Negative, a Montreal-based experimental filmmaking collective.
Songyi Kim | 2002 | USA | Video | 3:00 | Canadian Premiere
A series of self-portraits is drawn, erased and drawn again on the same paper since 2002. The result is a fascinating look into the ever-changing identity of an Asian woman.
Songyi Kim was born in Seoul but now lives and works in New York. Her videos deal with personal identity through low-tech digital video and have been shown in international film festivals and exhibitions.
Luo Li* | 2005 | Canada | Video | 6:00
Luo Li dispenses with the Eastern influence in his previous film Birds to set Charlie Parker and Bennie Harris’s score aflutter in this boldly imaginative and artfully orchestrated short.
Luo Li was born in China and is currently studying film production at York University. His previous shorts, Stills and Birds, were shown last year at Reel Asian.
Qing Huang | 2003 | Australia | Video | 8:00 | Canadian Premiere
The power of yin and yang combine to exert a powerful qi that flows through every living thing, from bamboo trees to goldfish. An extraordinary sight and sound created via computer graphics.
Qing Huang studied at the Fine Art College at Shanghai University. His interest is in exploring computer graphics and combining Chinese and Western ideas. He now lectures at Central Queensland University, Australia in Faculty of Informatics & Communication.
Chi-Wing Hung | 2004 | Hong Kong | Video | 3:00 | North American Premiere
The cyclical demand of death and consumption continues on and on in this grotesquely beautiful animation. Canned Despair expresses the multiplying horror of an impending disaster from ecological deterioration and warfare.
Chi-Wing Hung is a graduate of the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong. Canned Despair was chosen as the favourite student work in a public vote campaign at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2005.
Heesoo Kim* | 2004 | Canada | Video | 4:00
Breathe in … breathe out. Yoga is the rage, but there are other means of huffing and puffing.
Heesoo Kim recently graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She has produced various film/video pieces as well as video installation, including Let Go (2003), Personal Boundary (2003), Yoga Practice (2004) and Reminiscent (2005).
Khanhthuan Tran* | 2004 | Canada | Video | 8:00
Khanhthuan Tran and his family returned to Vietnam, after eighteen years of absence, to celebrate the 80th birthday of his grandmother. The resulting footage is no mere travelogue, but a way for them to reclaim themselves in a land where they once belonged.
Khanhthuan Tran was born in Vietnam but came to Canada as a child. A videographer and director, he once worked as a sushi chef. He is now writing fiction while continuing to make films.
Takahiro Hirata | 2004 | Japan | Video | 8:00 | Toronto Premiere
The only thing that happens here is the passing of a train. But if you’re happy with the film, and you know it, clap your hands!
Takahiro Hirata | 2005 | Japan | Video | 5:00 | Toronto Premiere
Filmed during his visit to the Vancouver International Film Festival, this is a shot of one building elevated to a structural art form.
Takahiro Hirata was born in Nagasaki, Japan. He graduated from the Kinki University of Kyusyu Institute before enrolling in the Digital Hollywood of Visual Science course. Afterwards, he joined the Image Forum Institute of Moving Image.
Coming + Going
Larissa Fan* | 2005 | Canada | Video | 3:00
Shot on one roll of regular film, these interrelated snapshots of bustling urban life are filmed with all editing and split-screen created in-camera.
Larissa Fan is a filmmaker, writer and arts administrator with degrees from University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design. She is currently Filmmaker Liaison at the CFMDC and pursuing an MFA in Film Production at York University.
Isamu Hirabayashi | 2003 | Japan | Video | 11:00
A disembodied computerized voice narrates three instances of memento mori in this Grand Prix winner at the Image Film Forum in Japan. A masterpiece with profound emotional and philosophical impact, TEXTISM is a terrifying, humorous and striking rumination upon art and mortality.
Isamu Hirabayashi was born in 1972 in Shizuoka, Japan. A graduate of Musashino Art University, he has made television commercials and video art that have garnered awards worldwide. He controls all parts of the film process from photography to editing.
The Dreaming House
Keith Lock* | 2005 | Canada | Video | 6:00 | World Premiere
The filmmaker’s father and youngest child walk past the tiny house in Chinatown where his father was born, triggering a sublime moment.
Keith Lock holds an MFA from York University. A founding member of Toronto Filmmaker’s Co-op, he has worked as Claude Jutra’s assistant and Michael Snow’s cinematographer. He has directed over twenty films.
Yuri A | 2003 | Switzerland | Video | 4:00 | Toronto Premiere
U is a scatological treatise on the symptoms of flatulence. Highly educational, it also comes with a great soundtrack. Must be seen to be believed!
Yuri A was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and currently lives in Zurich, Switzerland. She studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has spent time in Vancouver, Canada, and Tokyo, Japan.
*Directors in attendance