Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Home...

At the request of KIAC staff, the DCISFF Blog has joined forces with the KIAC Blog (I think they wanted to share in our awesome) and from now on, all our new posts will be appearing here:

I have been hard at work posting all sorts of interesting responses from our filmmakers about their inspiration, and why they submitted to the Dawson Film Fest.  There is a lot of material to read over at our new home, and of course lots more to come.  Keep reading over here!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Forty-Eight Hour Sonnet

Last year, the blog started off with Bill Kendrick, Jessica Viens and myself posting over the course of the festival weekend.  This year, we're starting the action a little earlier, with posts from filmmakers about the shorts you'll be seeing at the festival.  I'll get the ball rolling with some information about my own little movie.

Forty-Eight Hour Sonnet

Animation and Sound by Kathryn Hepburn

From: Dawson City, Yukon

The Inspiration:  The weekend before KIAC's 48 Hour Film Competition, I took an animation workshop with our film festival's fearless leader, Dan Sokolowski.  He gave me some great advice--"Don't sneeze!"--and at the end of the weekend, I looked at the film I made and had to decide that the plastic stegosaurus definitely detracts from some rather lovely painting (see what I mean on YouTube).  So when I entered the competition, I decided to continue working with the paint-on-glass techniques that I loved from the previous weekend--this time around using children's finger-paints and cheapie watercolours rather than dry tempera paint and water-soluble oils.  It was lots of fun to play with the finger-paints, and somehow I managed to do it without getting paint on the camera or my laptop.  The soundtrack for my Forty-Eight Hour Sonnet was borne of necessity--it was, at first, merely a solution to copyright issues.  It just somehow worked out better than I'd even imagined it, and the sound of my layered recitations of Shakespeare's Sonnet #56 (recorded using the voice memo function on my iPod touch) still surprises me.  My lo-fi/high art mix was appreciated by the competition's judges as well, and to my shock and delight I was co-winner of the competition, alongside Evan Rensch and Aubyn O'Grady's wonderful Soft Spoken.

Forty-Eight Hour Sonnet will be showing at the Out of the Cold: Yukon Emerging Artists screening on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm.

Links: My radio show, Meat & Potatoes, airs Sunday evenings from 6 to 8 pm. Tune in on-line at . Playlists and other random stuff at .

Friday, April 8, 2011

2011 Schedule now online!

The 2011 Film Fest Schedule is now online!

check it out!

Monday, February 21, 2011

PSA Contest

Make a short 29 second ad advertising the film fest and you could win cash, be screened on CBC North and at the festival!

Deadline is March 7th. for rules and info.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2011 Submission Deadline

December 17th(postmarked) is the final deadline! Get your film IN!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The End (For Now)

T.S. Eliot wrote that "April is the cruellest month", but I'll forgive him for that because he, poor schmuck, never got to spend an April in Dawson.

It began, of course, with the film festival--four days of incredible films, workshops and people. There are so many highlights it's hard to know where to begin. I'm going to gloss over my well-known love of Postalolio and admiration (adoration?) of Marv Newland, and instead commend Karen Hines for her Pochsy work. In her workshop on Sunday afternoon, Karen spoke about the "Manitoulin Curse" and all the difficulties and outright disasters that she has faced throughout her career and particularly while creating Pochsy. It was a really great counterpoint to the workshops hosted by Marv and Chris Landreth. They were both quite technical, and I really appreciate how Karen, while touching on technical issues, really spoke about an artistic struggle--how a need to reflect and shape the world through art can be a very personal need (and she did it without being sentimental or cliched). And of course A Tax on Pochsy was just so good--funny, sharp and beautifully shot.

Other memorable films include I Am So Proud of You, Don Hertzfeldt's disturbing and hilarious stick-figure animation, The Island by Trevor Anderson, about a piece of fan mail he once received, and Kevin Acevedo's look at writer's block, The Last Page. I was also really, really happy to get to see Katherine Berger's Migrating Patterns again. I was on the jury that chose Migrating Patterns as the winner of the 2010 48 Hour Film Challenge, and seeing it again confirmed that my fellow jury members and I made the right choice. (I am making sure to mention Katherine here because she's so heartbreakingly modest; I think she's brilliant and that she needs to do the world a favour and start owning up to her amazingness.)

The social aspect of the weekend was also incredible: there were great laughs and intense discussions, fuelled by Georgia's tasty concession and the ever-excellent martinis at Peggy's. The energy during the final screening of the weekend was unreal; it was fascinating to hear audience members singing along to the end credits of Poi Dogs. Movie-watching can sometimes be such an individual experience--just a whole bunch of people sitting in the dark, not talking, only watching--and yet somehow there are these magical moments when the individuals create a community of response.

The film fest was just the beginning of a whole month of movie madness--the energy it created just kept growing and seemed to inspire (or perhaps infect?) the whole town. I'm a keener (by which I mean slightly crazy) and by taking pretty much every film-related opportunity presented to me, I participated in almost every aspect of filmmaking over the course of the month of April.

Stefan and Katherine, of Nude Study infamy, decided to shoot another feature in Dawson--this one a hilarious gross-out zombie flick--which gave me a chance to do some behind-the-scenes stuff like shopping for props in Whitehorse, as well as an opportunity to step in front of the camera. I got to show off my moves as a rapper's "back-up dancer", and to stumble around spewing up fake blood as a zombie. But I definitely prefer being behind the camera: Andrew Connors ran a workshop on the Yukon Film Society's new HD camera, so I was able to try shooting in hi-def and to try to understand some new technology. This workshop also provided a crash-course in editing with Final Cut Pro, as Dan Sokolowski, Maureen Abbott and I used footage from the workshop to create a funny little he-said-she-said short about memory.

I was also able to get in touch with some older forms of technology. Katherine Berger shared her knowledge of experimental film techniques with Evelyn Pollock, Meg Walker, Julia Freyrer (a newly arrived artist in residence) and me ("and Alex, too!"), and together we created a collaborative short called "Bleach Sisters." And I picked up a Super-8 camera and shot my very first film under the aegis of the 1 Minute Film Challenge. I used my knitting to create an abstract little piece, and was able to edit it as well--after, of course, processing all the film for the challenge with Dan, Katherine, Julia and Kerry Barber.

This very crazy month of movies and movie-making wrapped up with the screening of the 1 Minute Film Challenge last night at KIAC. It was a very, very fun screening (especially if you were lucky enough to be sitting next to Megan Graham, like I was). I loved being in the audience while my film screened--I actually felt the ripple of confusion throughout the room when it started and people couldn't tell what it was. The women behind me were wondering if it was crop circles! Katherine and Stefan threatened to try to vote it off, but fortunately they were able to tolerate it for a minute and a half.

Far better than watching my own filmic tomfoolery was seeing what everyone else had made. There were some contributions from afar--Marv and Karen had made films during the festival, for instance, and former artist-in-residence Scott Amos, who instituted the challenge last year, submitted long-distance--but seeing what the locals produced was priceless. Jay Armitage's animation, Nothing Ever Happens in Dawson, was just a riot, and the award for best ensemble cast surely must go to the Scotch Club Zombies.

It really does all come down to the locals, in the end. As incredible as it was to get to hang out with Marv and Dave and Karen and all the other amazing filmmakers who visited Dawson during the festival, there is no way all those people and all those films would have made it here if it weren't for the incredible community of artists that already exists in town. My entire winter here, and in particular this past month, has been truly inspiring. Being able to participate in all the events and workshops hosted at KIAC, and knowing Lulu, Meg, Evelyn, Dan (especially Dan!) and the rest of the artsy crowd in Dawson has made me rethink a few things. I went from swearing that I would never make a film to making two films in less than a month, and decided that, instead of leaving at the end of the summer to go travelling again, I would stay in Dawson indefinitely. I already have my next Super-8 film planned, and I even (heaven help me) ordered some old 16mm film off of Ebay this morning so that I can do more experimental work.

So I'll see you at the selections next fall, and at the festival next Easter. Who knows--I might even have a film to show.

But until then... See you at Peggy's!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Dear DC,

You were a beautiful lover, Dawson City International Short Film Festival, and I was happy to have intertwined my life with yours.

ONE LAST POST, in an ode to retrospecting every and all things! I failed to be a daily correspondent as was my original intention, due to my computer being held in a tower by a ferocious dragon with lock and key, and... it pains me more than it pains you, I be certain.

In summary, the festival was an obliterating mind expander, and true to all great lovers, I had my heart swiftly broken. This film festival was the first in which I entered a film, and I had great hopes, like those I had of my first lover. Instead of the long love and marriage, I dreamed of winning a prize, two prizes, seven prizes... I broke up with my first love and I won no prizes. I cried, at both experiences. But like I always say, it's not my fault. I'm a Cancer. We're a sensitive people.

A big congratulations goes to my school chum, Gemini Sophie Fuldauer who won the Emerging Artist Grande Pris. Ain't nothing like a school chum to remind you to step it up. Up your game. Game your up. Get going. Get her done. Et cetera.

Excellent weather, excellent proximity to my residence, and at the end of the festival free and free-ish food and beer for those of us that stuck it out to the end. Can't do much complaining in the face of the free, and the fun.

She was a good lover, she was a fair lover, and I thank her daily for a memorable weekend. Until next year, Dawson City International Short Film Festival- you were great.

J. McLovin'