While a festival like the DCISFF is primarily about appreciating a curated collection of work for its artistic merit, and not necessarily about individual achievement, awards nevertheless seem to have their place in the zeitgeist of film festivals in general. For the Dawson version, the ones that matter most are those celebrating Yukon talent – not only because of where we’re located, but because this sort of recognition can help foster the vibrant interest in short film that is growing throughout the territory.
The winners of the 2015 MITY (Made in the Yukon) Awards were announced prioir to the final screening on Sunday evening. There are two categories for the award: the Newcomer category (for someone who has previously submitted two or fewer films, and has not previously won the award) and the Professional category (for those have submitted more than three films over the years, or have previously won the Newcomer award).
There was a wealth of Yukon submissions this year, not only in sheer quantity, but in quality as well. Each award had a separate panel of judges, and both groups noted how hard it was to narrow it down to a single winner.
For the MITY Newcomer Award, the nod was given to Reuben Ward for The Vast Forlorn. The 16-minute horror movie depicts a young drifter who makes his way to Dawson looking for work and gets invited to join a sinister group called The Union. In the words of the producers: “This dark short film shows us why you should always read the fine print.” Honourable mention was given to Television by Max Sims, a 4-minute drama about a man having trouble with his television.
The MITY Professional Award went to Evelyn Pollock for Remembering Claire. This 4-minute experimental film shows a man fighting to retain hold on his identity as his mind is ravaged by disease. Amidst the tumble of recalled images forming his reality, a love story emerges. Honourable mention went to Jessica Hall and Julie Robinson for Forever Mom, a moving documentary that takes an intimate look into the lives of six mothers of children with disabilities..
– Danny Dowhal