And randomly, out of nowhere, came another event. You’d think some of these other guys would be available to cover these, but they’ve got busy schedules. The buck stops with me. But it’s alright, I do enjoy events and getting the opportunity to do event coverage, so naturally I go right ahead with it at times. I got a great opportunity to cover FAANA, an event that was open to the public. There were also VIP events hosting producer chats, but since I only just heard of this event (Thanks, Lynne) and I wasn’t invited, so I didn’t get to cover them. However, I did set out to cover all the films and do capsule reviews like I always do with events like these. After all, free screenings are like a buffet to me, especially depending on what other free stuff is nearby. I might as well give some shoutouts to Fei Ren (who was nice enough to be in the pic with me), Diana Wang, Shasha Pu, Ben Lu, and Sonny Wong who all organized this great event. Plus Lynne Lee who made a Facebook story about this bringing it to my attention. Now to get onto the whole thing. Since the event took place over two days lasting about a couple hours each day, it was short and simple, kind of like these films.
Opening Reception – A nice little setup in Vancity Theatre complete with a photo wall, a video wall complete with a video screen, and a small buffet with all kinds of sushi and free treats. It was here I reconnected with Sonny and he introduced me to Fei who I chatted to about this website and my business. I met a few other people there and while they didn’t quite speak English they thanked me for giving them a business card and one of the photographers got some great shots of me. Gosh, it’s times like these I wish I had the number for Darren’s former interpreter. But as I stepped inside to watch the screenings, I discovered more caucasian people and some other races already seated and a beautiful trailer/preview was playing on repeat to give me a lovely taste of what films were to come. Let’s get into those films now.
The Thorn Birds – An animation of a woman looking at birds, then she explores a cave while observing more birds. It symbolizes a legend of a rare bird that only ever sings once in its whole life but must find a thorn tree that it can reside in to sing its only song. This was a surreal and cool film to watch.
Trace of a Butterfly – An animation of a young girl named Amei who talks about how she has fun with her grandma and her best friend Keiki. Everything’s okay until Keikei moves to another country with her family and Amei’s grandmother dies. Despite her misery, Amei finds ways to calm herself down and eventually grows up leaving all tragic memories of childhood behind. This was a beautiful film.
Fluffy Blue – A girl finds herself dealing with a blue ball of fluff (not some Japanese mini-monster if that’s what you’re thinking), but all it does is spread everywhere in her tiny apartment. It spreads and becomes too much and even the girl tries to set fire to the fuzz. Not much to say but this was somewhat relatable with that leather jacket I used to wear.
Hey Yu – Something pandemic-related, a man named Kent is at home, having to deal with preparing for a video surprise call for his friend’s anniversary, chatting with his parents, and taking of his fish which seems to be multiplying into more fishes. Why does that sound a little like a book I read in childhood? Oh well, it was a movie in English and it was pretty okay to watch. I can feel similar levels of stress when I’ve got so much going on. Like right now.
Arctic – A woman named Mei and her PAL-9000 named Arctic go through life together and learn about Mei’s father, as they explore an old museum he worked at when he was alive. Lots of marine biology in this one, kind of reminded me of my grandpa. A very informative short to watch.
Home for Dinner – A housewife cooks dinner and she even learns that her son is coming by after being on the run for a crime he didn’t commit. Her husband disagrees with her however and decides to call an officer named Xiaolin to offer some assistance as well as capture the young fugitive. This story was sad and heartbreaking to watch.
That was about it for the first day, The second day was similar with the first two films being the same from Day 1, only Day 2 was more crowded, there was lots more sushi options, and I met some folks from VAFF while I was there. It sure was crowded there that time, and the guy next to me kept randomly speaking to me. Even when Fei did her opening speech, she mentioned just how packed the theatre was. Now as I said, the first two films were covered, so here are the final three.
Green Food – An American, a Russian, and a Chinese man get lost in space trying to make contact with aliens. While they have managed to get an alien, the Little Green Man has died and now they’re contemplating to eat this guy for survival, especially since it’ll take a while for the space medic to retrieve them. You have to wonder what type of company put these three different guys on a mission together, but it was a very funny film to watch.
Hard Drive – It’s the astonishing year 2096, and technology is so advanced, AI is our ruler now. Human consciousness gets stored in round compact devices which are supposed to be hard drives. You can even link them to the back of your neck. One young fellow comes to a hard drive shop with an out-of-date model for assistance and wants to make a trade with the elderly owner. But things are about to get dangerous with law enforcement coming around. This was weird but cool, and hopefully, the future doesn’t look like this. If it does, I can only hope I’m too old to see the world going out of control.
Companion – Now comes the creepiest of them all. A man spends his days with his Android partner while his real wife is in the hospital. Eventually, when the real wife checks out and arrives home, the Android gets jealous and plots revenge against the couple. Someone should’ve found a way to reboot the system sooner. How do I keep coming across these kinds of films? This was a very freaky and unsettling film to watch.
FAANA was truly fun and I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see if there are more events from this in the future and what other films they’re going to showcase. Maybe I’ll get to attend the VIP screenings.