Working from personal home videos, filmmakers Kobayashi, Mecija, Nakhai, Supnet and Truong use experimental editing techniques, animation and documentary interviews to reflect on their understandings of cultural heritage and personal identities through their experiences with love, fear and womanhood.
This collection of commissioned works will premiere alongside an original live musical score composed by Canadian orchestral pop band Obhijou. In 2013, Ohbijou announced they would go on indefinite hiatus, citing a need for “time to take pause and allow for new experiences,” and a discomfort with the way that constructions of otherness had confined readings of their work to a single narrative. Obhijou’s performance at Reel Asian will be their first time reuniting in three years – a rare opportunity for fans.
This project was made possible through funding from the Inter-Action Multiculturalism Program supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Music is Magic, or Goddamn You, Half-Japanese Girls
Alison Kobayashi • USA
Digging into her family archive, Kobayashi explores sisterhood, bands and teenage lust, from Mississauga to Toronto to New York City.
Sounds That Mark Our Words
Casey Mecija & May Truong • Canada
Combining digital and archival Hi8 family footage, Sounds That Mark Our Words explores the relationship between queerness and Filipino diasporic experience. The film positions coming out as a “rite of passage” but works against notions that this is a finite or singular accomplishment.
Shasha Nakhai • Canada
18 Roses is a documentary-style exploration of the Filipino debut tradition and its symbolism as a marker of the beginning of a blossoming womanhood. It profiles a range of female voices, using soft floral visuals interlaced with both vintage and modern day debut footage.
Leslie Supnet • Canada
Mooneater uses contemporary found footage from Aswang Festival celebrations and 80’s Philippine B-horror movies to create an other worldly hauntological landscape and experience, looking at the myth of a ghost that is “…neither present nor absent, neither dead nor alive.”
Ohbijou began as the solo project of Brantford singer-songwriter Casey Mecija, later supported by her sister Jennifer Mecija. In Toronto, the band expanded to include James Bunton, Ryan Carley, Anissa Hart, Heather Kirby, and Andrew Kinoshita. The band released three critically acclaimed albums that allowed them to extensively tour China, Japan, much of Europe and large and small cities across North America. The band announced they would be going on an indefinite hiatus in August 2013.