Explorations of mixed identity in film with mixed actors panel and film screenings with Q&A from the filmmakers!
FILM TRAILERS –
Hafu – Trailer (Japan) – 0:30 minutes – dir: Lara Perez Takagi and Megumi Nishikura. A sneak peek at a film about the experiences of mixed-Japanese living in Japan
One Big Hapa Family – Trailer(Canada) – 2 minutes – dir: Jeff Chiba Stearns. “And you thought your family was mixed up!” A sneak peek at the experiences of mixed-Japanese Canadians and intermarriage in Canada
The Others (Canada) – 9 minutes – dir: Aram Collier
The Others focuses on the actor Lou Diamond Phillips, who says, “Playing so many ethnic characters wasn’t necessarily a prior choice on my part– it’s just this face, I guess.” Of Spanish, Scottish/Irish, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, and Cherokee ancestry Phillips is an icon of difference and otherness because of the numerous ‘ethnic characters’ he’s played in Hollywood movies, especially in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, including Mexican, Navajo, Inuit, Lakota, Puerto Rican and Arab. The Others features found footage of numerous ‘ethnic characters’ that Phillips has played and places them in dialog with each other, literally, by putting the characters into scenes together employing classic Hollywood editing style and storytelling techniques. Through these conversations comes an investigation of identity, ethnicity and authenticity.
Crayola Monologues (USA) – 2 minutes – dir: Nathan Gibbs
Crayola Monologues uses the crayon as a human metaphor for exploring color and identity in the United States. This animated video features crayons expressing how color hierarchies have shaped their lives. These crayons live in a world much like our own, complete with prejudice, class boundaries, social hierarchies and those who fall between the lines. Crayola Monologuesalso reveals the politics behind Crayola label changes, and gives a voice to the previously unheard perspective of crayons.
Mixed Mexican (USA) – 5 minutes – dir: Thomas Lopez
This pseudo memoir was inspired by frustration with the Census method of documenting mixed Latinos. The purpose is to show the need for changing the Census and suggests what those changes should be.
I’m in the Mood for Love(Canada) – 7 min. – dir. Jason Karman (Filmmaker in attendance) A singing telegram worker meets his ex boyfriend while having hot pot and learns to embrace his new found bachelorhood through popular song.
Nigel’s Fingerprint (Canada) – 16 min. – writer/producer: Kim Kuhteubl dir: Amy McConnal (Filmmaker in attendance) “What colour am I Daddy?” That’s what 6-year old Nigel Jenkins asks his father after he is called a nigger in the schoolyard. It’s 1974 and Nigel’s mother Mona, is black. His father David, is white. When David finds his son trying to wash away the colour of his skin, he searches for the right way to explain why Nigel’s colour is a gift.
“What Are You Anyways?” (Canada) – 10 min. – dir: Jeff Chiba Stearns (Filmmaker in attendance)
Follow the adventures of the Super Nip as filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns explores his cultural backgrounds growing up a mix of Japanese and Caucasian in the small Canadian city of Kelowna, BC. This short classically animated film looks at particular periods in Jeff’s life where he battled with finding an identity being a half minority – from his childhood origins to the epic showdown against the monster truck drivin’ redneck crew. “What Are You Anyways?” is a humorous yet serious story of struggle and love and finding one’s identity through the trials and tribulations of growing up.
FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE BIOS
Jeff Chiba Stearns is an independent documentary and animation filmmaker from Kelowna, B.C., of Japanese and European heritage. A graduate of the Film Animation program at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, he founded Meditating Bunny Studio Inc., which specializes in animation and documentary films as well as animated commercials. His films, Kip and Kyle (2000), The horror of Kindergarten (2001), “What Are You Anyways?” (2005), Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), Ode to a Post-it Note (2010) and One Big Hapa Family (2010) have screened at hundreds of film festivals around the world, broadcast internationally, and garnered 32 awards including a Webby Award and the Prix du Public at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Chiba Stearns has also instructed college animation, written articles for national publications and lectured around the world on topics of multiethnic identity, filmmaking, short film distribution, and animation.
Kim Kuhteubl Writer/producer, of Nigel’s Fingerprint. Kim Kuhteubl is an award-winning creative producer, writer and critically recognized actor.Nigel’s Fingerprint, a film she wrote and produced, screened at over twenty festivals, winning multiple awards before it was invited to travel with the Toronto International Film Festival’s Sprockets Globetrotter series. A radio version of the film was commissioned by CBC Sunday Showcase, Canada’s largest broadcaster before it was licensed by IFC. Her first film, The Best Girl, toured the festival circuit and screened at festivals including the Palm Springs International Film Festival before it was licensed by CBC and BRAVO! As a story producer working in unscripted formats, she has conceived and produced hundreds of stories for network and cable television, print publications and the web. As a playwright, her work has been staged in Toronto, Edmonton and New York.
Jason Karman, director of I’m in the Mood for Love (new film addition) will be in attendance for the filmmaker Q&A. Jason Karman is a Vancouver filmmaker, born in Indonesia and raised in Western Canada. His works often incorporate themes of love and redemption. While loving drama, Jason is currently exploring song and dance as alternative ways to convey narrative. He is a British Columbia Arts Council Grant recipient and has won awards in Vancouver and Montreal.
Pia Massie is a teacher and multi-media artist whose work has been exhibited in festivals, museums and galleries throughout North America and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne; and the grunt gallery in Vancouver, B.C. Massie’s work has received multiple awards, including the American Film Institute’s Independent Filmmakers award (LA), Prix St. Gervais (Geneva), and Prix de l’Institut de Design de Montréal. Massie’s projects have been funded by grants from the Canada Council, BC Arts Council, and the National Film Board, among others. Pia Massie’s teaching career spans work with universities, elementary schools and community programs. Massie has taught film at the following institutions in Vancouver: Pull Focus, Simon Fraser University, Gulf Islands Film and Television School, Pacific Cinematheque and in the States at: Bennington College and Parsons MFA Design & Technology program. In addition Massie has contributed to arts and education based non-profits for many years in a broad variety of roles, including Kitchen Summer Institute Director (NYC), think tank participant for the MacArthur Foundation awards, and currently volunteer media archivist for the David Suzuki Foundation.
MIXED ACTORS PANEL:
Fanshen Cox made her acting debut as the “Sugar Plum Fairy” in her bilingual school second grade production of The Nutcracker. She later attended a public high school with a very intensive acting program in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she was also one of the first girls in the country to play high school football. After, she attended the University of Michigan,and began a performing arts club for students of color called “Kuumba” (Swahili for’creativity’) and directed and produced “The Wiz” with over 80 cast members. After graduation Fanshen joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in the Cape Verdean islands teaching. She then enrolled in Columbia University’s Teachers College where she earned her MA. While completing her Masters she taught ESL in a high school in the South Bronx. In 2001 she received the Franklin H. Williams award. Fanshen is fluent in Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese. Fanshen is the co-founder of the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival in LA.
Christopher Musella, mixed actor from LA is coming into town on the 8th and will be part of the actor’s panel.
Kyle Toy is a multi-faceted and versatile performer, working in the worlds of film acting, theater, and dance. He has acted in films such as the Sony Pictures feature “Center Stage: Turn it Up” and the Insight films feature “Personal Effects” with Ashton Kutcher & Michelle Pfieffer. Toy has also starred in several independent films and worked with theatre companies in his home of Vancouver, all while maintaining a steady schedule of guest roles with dance companies throughout Canada.
Toy’s career started in the world of dance. Training for 4 years at the prestigious National Ballet School of Canada, Toy has had professional training in classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, flamenco, classical Indian and Chinese National dance. He has received several scholarships and awards, including the Canada International Dance Festival Scholarship and the Evelyn Davis award. Toy has performed with The National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet De Printemps, Ballet Victoria, Canadian Opera Company, Brian Webb Dance Company, Henry Daniel Dance and has worked with world class choreographers such as James Kudelka, Jean Grand-Maitre, Christopher House, Brian Webb, and Peggy Baker. Toy also had the rare and opportunity mix his two passions working with internationally renowned choreographer Daniella Kurz under the direction of theater directing legend Yoshi Oida. In 2010 Toy made his world-wide television debut appearing in the XXI Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies as a Featured Professional Performer, performing along side Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan with Alberta Ballet and Ballet BC. As a choreographer Toy has worked for many productions in Vancouver, Canada. In the world of film, he co-choreographed on the Sony Pictures feature “Center Stage: Turn It Up”, choreographing for Kenny Wormald (“Footloose”), Ethan Stiefel (“Center Stage”) & Cody Green (“Step It Up and Dance”).