Only a tad late, well seven tads if you call days tads. Here’s some Sunday reading:
Wow what a whirlwind romance it was!
The six day relationship came to an abrupt end as Reel Asian wrapped for another year. I guess we’re on a “break” where I’m allowed to see other film festivals in the meantime.
Before the cherub left his comfy cloud bed I was out of mine for the live finale of So You Think You Can Pitch?
The Film Maker’s brunch was quite the spread and while my stomach was being filled with French toast the candidates about to present their ideas had only the digestive space for butterflies. A mixture of established and emerging teams used six minutes of presentation time to wow the judges before facing the same time span against the clock for questioning. Each entry had a video introduction mimicking the Reel Asian posters this year with a self taken portrait at arms length. The projects were all vying for funding in varying amounts to get their idea off the ground or further away from the position it was already in.
Some quite hard hitting topics were covered with Amber telling a story of sex trafficking first to face the judging panel. Sugar Bowl aimed to show the spirit of the people on an island used for sugar cane and the fallout when the industry crashed, in contrast to their vibrant festival where the motto is “life is hard but we never stop celebrating”. An animation called Traces of Joy had impressive visuals with a chalk outline character the represents gun crime effecting the most innocent. On a lighter note innocence is restored with In Search of Wonder where a child prodigy breaks free from his schooling schedule to find beauty in street magic. Providing Internet influence a viral YouTube video of a Korean band appearing on television in the city was the starting point of a “where are they now” documentary.
The Judges retired to the NSI Industry Reception to make their impacting decisions. After mingling and munching the attendees were hushed and Sugar Bowl and In Search of Wonder were named the winners of 2010.
A double bill of Marker and One Big Hapa Family joined forces for a final hurrah at the Innis Town hall. Hapa was the term taken to find community for director Jeff Chiba Sterns as well as others with mixed Japanese heritage. His journey playfully used animation to find out why everyone in his family married interracially unlike the song above. After the screening he took to the lobby to sell a longer cut on DVD which was readily snapped up.
The home stretch laid ahead on College street back at The Royal, but before the last movie of the festival it was time to love, honor and obey at the award ceremony. The cryptic descriptions of the winner before each announcement was fun to try and guess where the prize was going, enhanced by a row of film makers sat behind me. One Big Hapa Family didn’t have to wait long after it’s screening to take home an accolade. The obedience I mentioned earlier should be dished out to those pesky interrupting kids as two of the shorts at Drawing on the Art of Hand & Foot won, Nature on its Course and Junko’s Shamisen.
Au Revoir Taipei Au Revoir’ed Reel Asian. I’ve never been to Paris but director Arvin Chen found a way to transplant the geographic romance to another city. He piped in comedy and charm without the fromage you’d expect from a romantic comedy. The fluffy gangsters in orange suits added an extra layer of fun. Could I call it a RomCrimCom or would that be too much of a mouthful and not leave space for a tasty dumpling?
After one last question and answer session the closing party took place in neighboring Bar Italia where I got a promotion to nerve racked interviewer. The dance floor was bopping with directors, audience and festival staff alike. If tonight was a Karaoke track I’d add an Elton to my name and warble The Lion King’s – Can You Feel The Love TOnight?