Monday, May 26, 2008

61st Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival

I just got back in yesterday from the 61st Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival where my film Yellow Sticky Notes was up for Best Animation and I was up for Best Director Fiction. It is the longest running festival of its kind in North America and is like no other film festival I've ever been to. Yorkton is about a 2 hour drive from Regina. The city boasts a modest population of 15,000 residents but the city itself really embraces this yearly festival. After getting back from Tribeca in New York and Pangea Day in LA, Yorkton was a nice and strange change of pace. Great small town hospitality and warmth greeted all the visiting filmmakers and delegates. The Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival is best known for its prestigious Golden Sheaf Awards.

I was fortunate to win my category for Best Animation...which was the first time in 12 years a non-NFB animated film won. Actually I was up against 4 other NFB animations this year. Funny that a small film with a $100 budget used to buy yellow sticky notes and black markers could compete and win against films with $150,000 budgets. Yorkton wasn't all about award galas and films. I was also there pitching One Big Hapa Family to the broadcasters that were there. I met with Joanne McDonald from SCN along with Sarah Jane Flynn from Canwest where I was able to pitch my new doc. I also met John Dippong from Telefilm Executive Feature Film, Western Region and some great filmmakers like Randall Okita, Penny Ward, Steve Wolfson, Sheona McDonald, and John Bessai. Overall, Yorkton was a great time and unlike any other festival I've ever been!

Golden Sheaf Awards Gala

Partying with the some of the cast of Corner Gas and Jennifer Chen from Ouat! Media

With festival winners Randall Okita and Sheona McDonald

With John Dippong and Joanne McDonald