UPDATE: A Working Cat’s Guide to the Klondike won the festival’s Audience Choice award.
I arrived here a week ago carrying a very special package, a favour for someone I’d never met. I’d been introduced, via email, to Dawson resident Lesley Grant through a mutual friend. Several days later, she put me in touch with filmmaker Veronica Verkley, who lives off the grid outside of town.
Turned out her DCISFF entry was still being edited in Toronto and there was no guarantee a courier would get it to the festival in time. Could I help her out? Two days later, the editor delivered a small box neatly swathed in bubble wrap to my house and I happily played mule.
Fortunately, no one asks, “Did you pack your own bag?” at airports anymore because it never occurred to me that the box might contain something other than a 10-minute documentary called Getting Around in the Yukon on a hard drive.
On Friday night, festival volunteers scrambled to set up extra chairs and still many people were left standing for the screening of “The Spell of the Yukon” films. The showcase for local filmmakers—Dawson resident Lulu Keating, for example, had two entries: a five-minute documentary, JJ Van Bibber: Tell the Children, and a three-minute drama, Chew the Face—is always a popular event and this year’s eleven films certainly lived up to the lofty expectations.
The session ended with Verkley’s short, which suddenly had a new title, A Working Cat’s Guide to the Klondike. The ten-minute doc—featuring a mix of archival footage, B&W stills and interviews with Dawson celebrities such as Caveman Bill—had the crowd laughing and cheering.
And I was surprised and delighted to discover that I had actually been a mockumentary mule.
— posted by Tim Falconer