Kids Play to Full House

The Yukon Youth screening at the Dawson Film Fest is typically a popular event, and this year certainly proved no exception. The KIAC Oddfellows Hall was full for the show, not surprising given there were two young filmmakers from Dawson in the line-up, on top of an entry from the town’s Robert Service School (RSS).  Parents, neighbours, and peers came out in numbers to show their support for those who had a work accepted for the DCISFF.

It certainly seems that the town’s obsession with short film – and the ongoing support and instruction provided by the likes of KIAC and RSS – is inspiring a whole new generation of creators to take up their cameras and computers to craft productions of their own. The local productions were combined with kids’ entries from elsewhere in the Yukon, and the screening was rounded out with a trio of films from Nunavut, Alberta and Brazil. The result was an entertaining, inspiring, and thought-provoking hour of cinema. From live-action drama to spoofs to animation to documentaries, the young filmmakers demonstrated a wealth of imagination and talent.


The shorts shown included: Lilly ’s Big Day by the Bum Family of Alberta, depicting a 10-foot tall orange monster stepping out for a special day at the salon; Jake’s Side of the Mountain by Sam Fenton of Whitehorse, a drama about a boy who wanders into the woods and finds deep secrets; The Boy Who Wouldn’t Go Outside by Dawsonite Oliver Flagel about a boy fighting to be let to play outside; Finger Guns, an advertising spoof laden with special effects by Mannie Sharma of Whitehorse; Early Birds by Jack Amos of Dawson City, an animated film with no words, but a witches brew of strange sounds; Seeking Life in Colour by Sarah Ott of Whitehorse a stirring documentary about mental illness told through the eyes of teens living with depression; Macbeth: Trouble Brewing in Burnam Wood by Manuel Kennedy Kuiper of Whitehorse, a period drama relating unnatural events from the Shakespearean play; The Amautalik by Neil Christopher of Nunavut, telling the tale of two young friends who wander from camp and encounter an ancient land spirit; Fuga Animation by Augusto Bichalho Roque of Brazil, a creative story of an animated character tortured by his creator to the point of rebellion; and The Spell of the Yukon by Dawson’s own Robert Service School, a five-minute tale of an an old-timer seeking his fortune during the Gold Rush.

– Danny Dowhal