Coping with losing someone or something you love is never easy. Starting from a place of loss, these stories ruminate on what remains and what it takes to move on.
NORAH & POPPY
Bea Macapagal • Canada • 2019 • 13:01 • English • World Premiere • Drama
Norah and Poppy are two sisters with an unbreakable bond despite having just lost their mother. When Poppy falls ill, Norah considers everything she can do to make Poppy better.
Born in Manila, Philippines, Bea Macapagal* and her family immigrated to Toronto before she turned one. Growing up with multiple families under one roof, Macapagal found it hard to be seen and heard. Movies were her escape. She now uses filmmaking as her method of communication and creative expression. She is a graduate of Sheridan College and has created various short films.
* In attendance
IN FULL BLOOM
Maegan Houang • USA • 2018 • 10:40 • Other • Surrealism
Cecile, a recent widow, copes with the loss of her husband through gardening. When she buys worms to grow a rare plant, the worms end up creating a black hole that begins to absorb everything she cherishes.
Maegan Houang grew up watching Hong Kong movies her father showed her on repeat. The films offered a glimpse into the culture of her extended family who lived thousands of miles away. Houang has directed several music videos such as Mitski’s Happy which was featured #3 Best of the Year in Fact Magazine. Her work has been featured in 1.4, Noisey, Videostatic, Promo TV News, Shots Magazine, and Fangoria among others.
Mai Nakanishi • South Korea • 2018 • 12:42 • Korean with English Subtitles • Canadian Premiere • Horror
Hastily hired as a babysitter for Hana, Sujin realizes she’s in for way more than what she asked for.
Born in Tokyo but spending most of her youth abroad, Mai Nakanishi* has been involved in filmmaking since 2013. She has worked on a variety of projects including working as assistant director for Asia’s prominent arthouse auteur Eric Khoo and producing for Japanese genre maven Sion Sono. She was selected as an Asian Film Academy 2016 fellow, organized by the Busan International Film Festival and invited to produce a short film under the mentorship of world-renowned Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-Liang. Nakanishi is currently doing her filmmaker residency at Busan Asian Film School in South Korea to develop Hana into a feature.
* In attendance
David Liu • USA • 2019 • 5:00 • English • International Premiere • Drama
At a nostalgic meeting spot, two estranged brothers seek to reconcile and catch up over lost time.
David Liu grew up in an immigrant family in the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles. He studied political economy at UC Berkeley before earning his MFA at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he co-directed a feature for James Franco’s Elysium Bandini Studios and served as lead producer on the Warner Bros.-funded anthology feature Samir. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has translated stories and screenplays for clients such as TenCent Pictures, Ivanhoe Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
Meelad Moaphi • Canada, Pakistan • 2019 • 13:50 • Urdu with English Subtitles • World Premiere • Drama
A single father struggles with the decision to sell his infant baby for money so he can safely escape with his daughter.
Toronto filmmaker Meelad Moaphi* is a BFA (’10) and MFA (’19) graduate of York University’s Film Production program. His works have screened internationally, including at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and Montreal World Film Festival. Moaphi’s unique international upbringing has informed his culturally diverse body of work, which include pieces in English, Spanish, and even Farsi and Japanese. Worth — his latest piece, shot in Pakistan with Urdu dialogue — was distilled from his first feature screenplay.
* In attendance
I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW
Kevin Feng • Canada, Taiwan • 2019 • 6:10 • English Titles • Canadian Premiere • Animation / Drama
A letter written to the director’s mother, this tender and haunting animation shares the process of working through grief from losing someone you love.
Kevin Feng* was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He is an animation and creative writing student at OCAD University. Motivated by his life experiences, Feng’s work deals with themes of grief, loss and death. He finds the multifaceted nature of mourning beautiful and magical.
* In attendance
Koya Kamura • France, Japan • 2019 • 28:18 • Japanese with English Subtitles • Canadian Premiere • Drama
Despite the risk, Murai is known to travel into the closed-off radioactive zone from the Fukushima nuclear disaster to retrieve lost items for those who ask.
Since he was a kid, Koya Kamura has been fascinated by the power of image seen in films like The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola), Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho), and A Prophet (Jacques Audiard). Half-French and half-Japanese, Kamura was strongly impacted by the Fukushima disaster. Despite directing commercials for almost 10 years, it took him several years to process the catastrophe before writing and directing Homesick, his first short film.