The ultimate home team advantage – there’s no contest when it comes to the highlights of this season. Showcasing epic spirit, these titles champion attention through strategic play, fast-paced wit, and heroic dreams of love.
Dir: Howie Shia | Canada 2006 | 6:52 | BetacamSP | Toronto Premiere | Director in Attendance
Running away with ambition and love, two best friends explore the surrounding city and discover an infinite maze and endless canvas. Through traditional and digital animation, with a mashup score of jazz, electronics, and sampling, Shia looks to reclaim the urban landscape as a fertile ground for epic adventure and romantic fairy tales.
Howie Shia was born in Saskatoon and is a founding partner in the Toronto-based music/design/film studio PPF House. Illustrating, animating, and scoring for companies such as the NFB, UN-Habitat, the YMCA, Nike, and The Worst Pop Band Ever, he is currently writing a children’s book and developing a Saturday morning cartoon.
Dir: Wayne Yung | Germany 2006 | 6:20 | BetacamSP | Toronto Premiere
Juggling life with two boyfriends isn’t all about playtime and sex. Appropriating old television footage, Yung describes how an organized game plan is the key to winning results.
Wayne Yung explores issues of race and identity from a queer Chinese Canadian perspective. Since his first video release in 1994, he has travelled extensively to screen his work at film festivals around the world, including solo exhibitions at the Vancouver Out on Screen Festival (2001), Seoul Queer Film and Video Festival (2000), and Reel Asian (Canadian Spotlight 1999).
Dir: Naoko Kumagai | Canada 2007 | 12:43 | BetacamSP | World Premiere Director In Attendance
Trapped in a stilted marriage, a young Japanese woman finds an avenue for escape through her dreams to meet legendary Montreal Canadiens star, Guy Lafleur. Set in 1978 and inspired by her mother’s past, Kumagai tells the sweet story of a young immigrant who finds her place through the great Canadian game of hockey.
Naoko Kumagai won the Screenplay Giveaway Prize at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival for her screenplay The Contest and was nominated for Best Feature Writing by the BC Press Council. She works as a Senior Communications Coordinator for the Toronto International Film Festival Group.
Good Luck Counting Sheep
Dir: Khanhthuan Tran | Canada 2007 | 4:00 | BetacamSP | Director In Attendance
Celine’s Concert Series ’98 SOLD OUT! Fans desperate for tickets can’t wait until Dolly the Sheep, the new mascot announces the winners of the three front row tickets! Based on a front-page story, this pop-adaptation was originally an illustrated comic book in 2001.
Khanhthuan Tran was born in Vietnam. He and his family immigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia in the early 80s. In 1999 he received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 2005, he received the local emerging artist award at Reel Asian.
Souvenirs From Asia
Dir: Joyce Wong | Canada 2007 | 11:05 | BetacamSP | Toronto Premiere | Director In Attendance
Hanjoo Somerfield is an adopted Korean teenager who is furious with her over- zealous white mother for forcing her to participate in ‘Asian Activities.’ Feeling alienated, Hanjoo finally decides to do something drastic, but her mother’s delusional relationship to Asia only get worse!
Joyce Wong is a Toronto-based filmmaker and graduate of York University’s film program. Recently, she went to the Beijing Film Academy to research Chinese cinema.
Dir: Jane Kim | Canada 2006 | 3:00 | BetacamSP | Toronto Premiere | Director In Attendance
Using old home movies and hand-processed film, Kim pays homage to the memory of her father, who passed away when she was young.
Jane Kim graduated with a Journalism degree from Ryerson University in 1992 and was a resident at the Canadian Film Centre Directors’ Lab in 2000. She has worked with film festivals such as Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Reel Asian. NOW Magazine called Jane the “Best stealth curator” for the 2004 Best of Toronto, Critics’ Picks.
Rock Garden: A Love Story
Dir: Gloria Kim | Canada 2007 | 11:00 | 35mm | Canadian Premiere | Director In Attendance
Tending to their lonely garden of rocks, Farmer Ugg and Mer are surrounded by grey skies, stark fields, and the suspicious eyes of one another. Not until they stumble upon something out of the ordinary do they discover how things can be delightfully different.
Gloria Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea and graduated from Ryerson University’s Film & Television department. She has received much support for Rock Garden: A Love Story including the WIFT/CBC Canadian Reflections and Bravo!FACT award.
The Official Guide to Watching a Saturday Night Hockey Game (For Intermediates)
Dir: Tak Koyama | Canada 2007 | 7:31 | MiniDV | Toronto Premiere
Illustrating how and how not to properly prepare for a Saturday night hockey game, this animation is a hilarious take on how our celebrated mass cultural phenomenon plays out in the home.
Tak Koyama was born Japan, studied in the US, and worked as a camera operator in New Zealand. He finally settled in New Brunswick with his illustrator wife, Tomoko.
– Heather Keung