Children grow up so fast, and sometimes we’re just not ready for it when they, for the first time, appear as adults in our eyes. With this in mind, the films here reflect a mature sensitivity in the depiction of children. Whether tackling difficult subjects such as internment camps or loneliness, kids here indeed do their darndest to move, thrill and mesmerise you
Running In Tall Grasses
Howard Duy Vu | 2004 | USA | 35MM | 15:00 | Canadian Premiere
Walking along a dusty road with his mother, Little Vinh is about to see his father for the first time in years. But what should have been a happy reunion turns into a harrowing confrontation that sheds light on Vietnam’s “re-education” camps in the early 1980s. Director Vu uses his own father’s internment experience to draw a yet richly poignant tale of a child’s shattered innocence.
Howard Duy Vu was born in Saigon, Vietnam, shortly after the city fell. He attended the USC School of Cinema-Television and now works as a producer, writer and director. Selected filmography: Forklift Local (2002), Running in Tall Grasses (2004).
Summer of the Serpent
Kimi Takesue | 2004 | USA | 35MM | 27:00 | Toronto Premiere
Eight-year-old Juliette is fascinated by two Japanese newcomers, both incongruously clad in sombre attire. Having caught the suited Koji’s attention, her curiosity develops into an unlikely cross-cultural bond with surreal consequences. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Brooklyn International Film Festival, this delightfully atmospheric film delivers a summer’s day with all its feverish dreams of desire and tenderness intact.
Kimi Takesue is a New York-based filmmaker with a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation. Her award-winning films include Bound (1995), Rosewater (1999), Heaven’s Crossroad (2002) and Summer of the Serpent (2004).
Raised In The Ring
Matt Marek | 2005 | Canada | Video | 47:00 | Canadian Premiere
Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, is a cultural tradition steeped in history and religious reverence. More importantly, to the rural poor, it is a career and a way to improve their livelihood. Matt Marek’s eloquent and fascinating documentary reveals the lives of four aspiring kickboxers, from children aged twelve and fifteen to an eighteen- year-old vying for a professional career in Bangkok. As we follow them in their daily routines and their rigorous training regimens, we come to understand the respect and dignity with which this form of fighting is regarded in this Buddhist society.
Matt Marek is a director and cameraman with years of experience in films, television commercials, music videos and documentaries. He has worked on projects in India, Russia, Turkey, Thailand and New Zealand. Raised in the Ring is his first film.
Choi Ai Lene | 2004 | USA | 35MM | 15:00 | Canadian Premiere
Mindy is a ten-year-old weighed by responsibilities far beyond her age. Due to her mother’s lack of English fluency, she must help run a Chinese restaurant while other kids run out to play. But one day, a quiet boy offers her bubblegum, and this act of generosity spurs Mindy to finally seek out a new friend. This remarkably sweet and impressively directed first feature will send you out of the theatres with a smile on your face.
Chor Ai Lene was born and raised in Malaysia. With over three years in broadcast television producing, writing and direction experience, she is now pursuing her MFA in Film and Video at Columbia College in Chicago.