Thanks to a heavy dose of local content, plus a great turnout from supportive family and neighbours, the Yukon Youth screening on Saturday afternoon was another sold-out affair. And judging from the quality and variety of the subject matter — from humourous to profound — the cinematic future of the Territory is in good hands.
Described as “a mash-up between ‘Hinterland Who’s Who’ and ‘The Muppets,’ Northern Tale: Ch’igii a Caribou Calf by Kelly Millner is an animated short that follows the adventures of Ch’igii, a baby caribou from one of Canada’s largest barren ground herds.
The Interview by Sally Wright was another piece showing the next generation’s concern for the environment (not to mention some political savvy). It depicts a job interview done by the hiring committee for the Yukon Child for Change Society. The interviewee is Dr. J.P. Pinard, a recently un-muzzled scientist, who is seeking the position of chief scientific investigator for a project aiming to convert all the cars in the Yukon to electric.
Lily Gets a Pet was a submission from Alberta’s Bum Family. This fun and heart-warming animation tells the story of Lily, who just happens to be a ten-foot-tall orange monster. The film follows Lily as she undertakes an epic journey in Wanda’s Pet Shop in search of a friend.
Another out-of-territory submission (this one all the way from Hungary), was Hey Deer by Örs Bárczy. This was a cleverly-done piece of 3D animation that tells the story of a deer who suffers from extraordinary earthquakes every night.
First Hunt, a two-minute animated short by Annie Kierans, relates the filmmakers response to her experience joining youth from Dawson City’s Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation on their first caribou hunt, which took place on the Hart River trail near Cache Creek. Kierans describes her work as “a humble exploration of my feelings of intrusion as a settler descendant.”
Norma’s Story by Alex Hawley of Ontario is an animated piece describing itself as ” a true tale of change.” The film documents the effects of climate change on the environment, culture, and food security of the Vuntut Gwitchin people of the Northern Yukon, as seen through the eyes of Norma Kassi.
Local budding filmmakers Jack Amos and Kate Crocker collaborated on an experimental piece called Frost Bite. The work shows real scenes of aerial rope manoeuvres — and relates the hazards of doing this form of gymnastics in the Yukon’s harsh winter climate.
The big finish was Take Me to Dawson City, created by the Grade 8 Class of the local Robert Service School. Drawing on the town’s Gold Rush heritage, the one-minute piece is an enthusiastic homage to the impact of Dawson City’s colourful history on Canada, and on Canadian’s vision of their country.
— Dan Dowhal