YEAA (Young Emerging Actors Assembly) and ACTRA Toronto will feature nine short films coming from experienced and emerging Canadian artists. The nine short films, which will be screened on Sunday April 14th at Famous Players Theater in Canada Square (Yonge & Eglinton, Toronto), are:
A Man Is a Man Is a Man
To Hell with Love
The New Domain
The Sound That Broke the Silence
I have had the opportunity to chat with three young artists, filmmakers of two of the above mentioned short films, that participate in this year’s ReelWorld Film Festival – Clara Pasieka (Bejide), Raven Dauda (Bejide) and Richard Young (Audition Day).
Clara Pasieka is the writer, executive producer and actor in the short film Bejide. Raven Dauda is one of the actors in this film as well. Richard Young is the filmmaker of the short film Audition Day, but he also acted in a couple of other short films that will be featured at this year’s RWFF come April.
This is the first screen play for Clara Pasieka. She is an actor, as well as a playwright. Also, it's her first time as a filmmaker, which, she says, is really exciting. But as an actor, she has done a lot of work in theater, film and television.
For Clara, ReelWorld Film Festival is a platform to tell stories that are important to her. She thinks it can be really difficult to find a place where people can hear the stories that emerging filmmakers want to tell – that’s the tricky thing for young filmmakers, to find a festival that would be interested in hearing those stories. Clara has always been interested in writing multicultural plays and screenplays for theater and film. This is a really unique festival, she says, and to her it’s an absolute honor to tell stories that reflect the diversity and multiculturality showcased by this festival.
Raven Dauda has been an actor in Canada for over 20 years now. She shares that she loves the film festivals. She has been a part of Toronto International Film Festival, as well as a part of Sundance Festival; and now, being a part of ReelWorld Film Festival is a real honor for her and she admits she is very excited about it.
Raven thinks that as an actor, primarily in this festival, it’s just wonderful to have this type of support. Canada has a rich pool of talent, so for her being a part of a festival like this helps showcase that, helps showcase the sense of diversity, and allows Canadians to know exactly what our country’s artists have to say.
As Richard Young says, the main scope of this partnership between YEAA and ReelWorld is to give the emerging artists and filmmakers the necessary space to create films and work on them together. All these short films were made by ACTRA members or actors. Richard thinks that in this country Canadian actors need to be true artists and take the reigns of their own career. They cannot wait around for the agent to call them, they need to find a way to create their own works. In this collective of short films Richard and his partners have worked with people who are first time filmmakers. The films are great, but there is a learning process of being an actor, a producer, a writer, and taking back the control of their own career, by saying: “Here’s my voice, I can do it, it’s not as difficult as I thought it was going to be, and I have something to say”. Richard thinks that ReelWorld Film Festival provides that support by giving a voice to the people who want to share their stories.
When I asked the three artists what do they think about the future of the short film in Canada, Clara Pasieka told me that in her opinion the short films are the building blocks for many of filmmakers into creating bigger stories and feature film. But she also thinks that this country needs to pay more attention to short films, because there are a lot of amazing short films in Canada that people don’t see, because they don’t know about them. She says: “We need to start getting Canada watching short films, and we need to do that by featuring short films on television. I think filmmakers are taking some incredible risks and they are telling some incredible stories that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to or have the option to tell these stories in feature long films. So it’s really important we get Canada watch short films – I’m astounded when I see all these amazing Canadian short films from so many talented artists.”
Poster of the film "Bejide" (depicting Raven Dauda and Clara Pasieka), directed by Joel Keller,
poster design by Sean Kung