The Sunday 1 p.m. Emerging Artists line up, titled Out of the Cold, was definitely one of the highlights of the Dawson Film Fest weekend. The matinee screening played to a packed house — which was to be expected since so many of the filmmakers were actually in attendance, and locals had turned out to support their friends and neighbours. Most entries were Yukon based, with some stemming from a territorial media training program, while some came out of the DCISFF’s annual 48 Hour Film Competition.
Considering there were 17 different films in the line-up, you would naturally expect a wide variety in subject matter and artistic approach, and this year’s Emerging Artists (thus categorized because they have completed/submitted three or fewer films) certainly
delivered in that respect. Many examined aspects of Yukon life, including the annual launching of the George Black Ferry in Dawson, a look at Klondike gardening, a snowshoeing trip, a day in the life of claim stakers, and a bushwoman relating how she built her dream home. There was also humour, philosophizing, a humanitarian documentary, storytelling (traditional and otherwise), visualized poems, art pieces, travelogues, and experimental films. All in all, it was a very diverse and creative line-up, and the enthusiastic audience was not shy in showing its appreciation.
This is arguably the single greatest strength of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival. Although the festival’s reputation has spread far and wide, and the DCISFF now gets submissions from across the planet, the fest also serves as a stimulant and incubator for homegrown talent, and some of the best and most poignant work comes from right in our own backyard. Kudos to all the filmmakers, for providing such an admirable outburst of creativity, and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of viewing.
Blog post contributed by Dan Dowhal, Writer-at-Large.