Out of the comfort zone: Atsuko Hirayanagi about her award-winning short Oh Lucy! #VIWIFF2015

Kaori Momoi as Setsuko in Oh Lucy!

Kaori Momoi as Setsuko in Oh Lucy!

I believe everybody fantasizes about becoming somebody else and exploring a new world. Oh Lucy! depicts Setsuko’s secret and personal dream.

Setsuko is a reserved 55-year-old office employee in Tokyo, who doesn’t make friends easily. Her life is a repetitive routine without romance. One day, she attends an English conversation class with an unconventional young English teacher who gives her a new identity, Lucy. She meets Tom, a middle-aged Japanese businessman, who attends to the same class.

Oh Lucy! is a film about Setsuko’s self-discovery, which reflects modern chaotic Tokyo culture.  Continue reading

Yukon Wise + Wild Special Showcase of Short Films


Have a look at the lineup of fantastic Yukon films that ill be screened on March 9th at the VWIFF. Stay tuned for an exclusive pre-festival interview with show curator filmmaker Lulu Keating.

GOLD RIVER | 2:10 mins

2011, Canada, directed by Veronica Verkley

Gold River: A rapid fire mash-up of the sights and sounds of the mythical and literal landscapes of Dawson City Yukon. Over 200 edits in 2 minutes shot on a digital still camera, overlaid with an original composition sampling local musicians.

SOFT SPOKEN | 5:38 mins

2011, Canada, directed by Aubyn O’Grady

In Canada’s northern Yukon Territory, the winters are long and the month of January feels even longer. For the 1500 residents who reside in the town of Dawson City year round, sub-zero temperatures and little daylight are way of life. This unique scenario inspired two young filmmakers to document a whimsical and uplifting event – learning to ride a bicycle – in the middle of winter.This film was shot and edited over a two day period and submitted to the 48 Hour Film Competition, an annual film making event in Dawson City. It went on to win both the ‘People’s Choice’ and ‘Best Picture’ Awards. More recently, it won the ‘Emerging Artist’ Award at the Dawson City International Short Film Festival in April 2011.

Ayaygooyay still image

AYDAYGOOAY | 5:00 mins

2007, Canada, directed by Mary Code

Live-action footage and animation recreate a Sayisi Dene legend told to her by her father.

This combination of live action and animation illustrates that ancient legends circle the present like a ghost. New technology has opened storytelling to a contemporary audience.

Timelines film stillTIME LINES | 3:30 mins

2010, Canada, directed by Suzanne Crocker

The story of a middle-aged woman who is disgruntled with her wrinkled face…until she looks at her wrinkles from a different perspective.Time Lines was hand-drawn using a home-made light box, a felt pen, 2 crayons and 2000 pieces of office paper. Time Lines won Best Yukon Short in the 2010 Dawson City International Short Film Festival.

Last stop for miles stillLAST STOP FOR MILES | 6:55 mins

2007, Canada, directed by Clara McBride

In a small city north of 60, a woman named January hits the road and the bottle, running from a man and heading nowhere fast. A series of curious events begin to unfold, forcing her to make an unexpected change in plans.

Our changing homelands still


2010, Canada, directed by Arthur Mercredi

Climate Change is having a drastic effect on the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation’s traditional livelihoods; this film takes you on a journey from nearly 20 years ago to the present, with a community whose very survival is at risk.

ice road to tuk stillICE ROAD TO TUK | 3:47 mins

2010, Canada, directed by Meg Walker

The Arctic winter brings miracles. You can walk on water – even drive on it. Ice Road to Tuk offers a poetically paced, wordless response to being a blip of humanity on the daunting Mackenzie River Delta between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. An ice highway trance in two seasons.


2011, Canada, directed by Meshell Melvin

Embroidered Guy, in a flip book sequence, tossed to the winds, reassembled, animated and coaxed into dancing.

Longest Dream stillLONGEST DREAM | 3:44 mins

2011, Canada, directed by Kim Beggs

Longest Dream is a colorful music animation video that features a tiny tiger, a beautiful old rusted circular saw blade, lots of glass beads coming and going, emotive claymation and painting on paper. The lyrics (about letting go and other things), are poetic and wrenching. The voice is unique and pure. The music is sparse, with powerful harmonies. The pedal steel, bass and drums, come in part way through and stay until the end. The song, Longest Dream (from the album Blue Bones), received Honorable Mention in the 2011 International Songwriting Competition.


2009, Canada, directed by Rachel Weigers

A nightmare becomes a Dream Come True.


2011, Canada, directed by Trina Buhler

Romance of Helen Trent film still

The Romance of Helen Trent, created by Frank and Anne Hummert in 1933, was a radio soap opera which ran for a total of 7,222 episodes, more than any other radio soap.

Re-released as a lip-synced, one-woman, comedic-drama for the Dawson City 48 Hour Film Contest, The Romance of Helen Trent explores Helen’s ongoing search for romance after age 35.


2011, Canada, directed by Kathryn Hepburn

Swirls of finger-paint and layered recitations of Shakespeare’s Sonnet #56 meet in this animation, which creator

Kathryn Hepburn considers to be the apotheosis of her incessant doodling during English class.

Preview of Best of the Festival Award Winners


presented by Roslyn Muir, Festival Artistic Director

To close our festival, WIFTV celebrates the best of the festival by presenting awards to Canadian and international filmmakers for outstanding contributions to to their field. These Best of Fest awards include the: Annex Pro, NFB Animation Award, Chit Chat Productions Inc. Diversity Award, NFB Feature Documentary Award, NFB Short Documentary Award, Sharlene Chartrand Screenwriting Award, Feature Drama Award, Short Drama Award, Directing in a Short Drama Award, Mystique Films Directing in a Feature Drama Award, Barbara Alexandre Performance in a Feature Award, Performance in a Short Award, Moving Images Distribution Award, International Film Award.

Photo of Ana ValineAs well, Ana Valine will receive the Women in the Director’s Chair $100,000 Feature Film Award, presented by Carol Whiteman, President of Creative Women Workshops Association.

Awards will be presented at the Festival Closing Night, Sunday, March 11th, 2011.


ORIANA | Animation | British Columbia | 4:00 minutes Directed by Kara Miranda Lawrence A whimsical 3D animated fairytale adapted from the iconic Portuguese novel “A Fada Oriana” by the late Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. A young fairy named Oriana is entrusted to take care of an Azorean forest and all its inhabitants. However, she becomes mesmerized by her reflection and the forest is destroyed due to her neglect. Will Oriana be able to redeem herself and save the forest in time? Rated: General


CEDAR AND BAMBOO | Documentary | British Columbia | 22:00 minutes Directed by Diana Leung and Kamala Todd Recounting the life experiences of four descendants of mixed heritage, CEDAR AND BAMBOO explores the unique relationships shared by early Chinese immigrants and Indigenous people on Canada’s West Coast. Set in British Columbia, their stories reveal the difficult circumstances of Indigenous people and early Chinese immigrants. Rated: General


SHORT CRY ROCK | British Columbia | 28:43 minutes Directed by Banchi Hanuse The wild beauty of the Bella Coola Valley blends with vivid watercolor animation illuminating the role of the Nuxalk oral tradition and the intersection of story, place and culture. Rated: General


LEAVE THEM LAUGHING Documentary | British Columbia | 88:00 minutes Produced by Montana Berg Directed by John Zaritsky Parental Guidance: Coarse Language Ninety minutes of songs about life and quips about death from the wheelchair of Carla Zilbersmith who vows to exit laughing. Once a nationally-known singer/comedienne, now fated by ALS, remarkable Carla leaves a teen-aged son, fans who adore her, and this 90-minute pre-mortem retrospective of a life lived fully but too fast.


NEAR SILENCE | Narrative | British Columbia | 8:30 minutes Directed by Ana de Lara Roger, a former concert pianist debilitated by later stage Huntington’s Disease, is cared for by his devastated but loving wife, Fay, who struggles to find meaning in their existence. Rated: General – Violence


BLACK FIELD | Manitoba 2009 | Narrative | 80:00 minutes Directed by Danishka Esterhazy Black Field is a dark historical drama set in the wild Canadian prairies of the 19th century. Two sisters find their lives forever changed when a mysterious and charming man arrives at their isolated farm and refuses to leave. Rated: Parental Guidance – Coarse & Sexual Language, Drug Use


Sill image from film IrradiateIRRADIATE | Narrative | British Columbia | 11:35 minutes Directed by Julia Hutchings Amidst the isolation of windswept fields, Loretta confronts the oscillating nature of grief and loss as she moves through the formalities of her mother’s death. Rated: General

Photo Sara Canning in Black Field

BEST PERFORMANCE – Sara Canning for her role in BLACK FIELD


A WINDOW LOOKING IN Documentary | British Columbia | 22:00 minutes Directed by Tara Hungerford and Eric Hogan General: Coarse Language The profile of 12 BC-based artists, among them writer William Gibson, designer/sculptor Martha Sturdy, photographer Fred Herzog and singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Visually bold and captivating, the film peers into the artists’ inner world to uncover common truths about creativity, the artistic process and living and working as an artist in BC.

TORA | Narrative | British Columbia | 29:00 minutes Directed by Wendy Ord and Glen Samuel Starring David Suzuki in his first acting role, TORA follows a jaded city woman who inherits a property in BC’s Interior and is haunted by a little ghost girl. Jenna discovers through dreams and flashbacks of her new neighbour (Suzuki) that her land was a Japanese Internment Camp during WWII. Rated: Parental Guidance – Drug Use