Saturday, March 26, 2011

Toronto Film Events: Japan Relief Screening of "Fine, Totally Fine" + The One Minute Film & Video Festival

Hello all. I'm chiming in here to bring your attention to two noteworthy events that, if you're into film and live in or near Toronto, will hopefully be of interest to you.

The first is an upcoming screening of Yosuke Fujita's 2008 film Fine, Totally Fine, which will be taking place on Tuesday, April 5th at 7pm at the Revue Cinema in Toronto. Organized by my friend Chris MaGee of the Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow in collaboration with Pictures Dept. and Third Window Films, this event is designed to raise money for the relief effort going on in the wake of the recent earthquake/tsunami disaster that has rocked Japan. Tickets are only $8, and 100% of the proceeds will be going to the SUPPORT JAPAN - GAMBARE/ JustGiving relief fund created by Yuko Shiomaki, president of Pictures Dept. and distributor of Fine, Totally Fine. To seal the deal, the film itself is supposed to be absolutely delightful and totally worth seeing - especially for a mere $8 that will be going to charity!

Here's the trailer:

The second event I'd like to bring your attention to is the One Minute Film & Video Festival, which is being directed by Matt Brown of the MAMO Podcast, which he co-hosts with Matt Price. The festival, which will be showing films exactly 60 seconds in length, will be held this year on March 31st at the Toronto Underground Cinema at 7pm, with ticket prices set at  $10 at the door. Set around the specific theme of social/media, it sounds like the festival will have quite a bit to offer. From the press release:

"In addition to new works from filmmakers in Toronto and around Canada, the 2011 One Minute Film & Video Festival features new films from Japan, Italy, Australia, Germany, Poland, Romania, South Africa, and the United States, offering a complete, international film festival experience in a single screening.

Festival Director Matt Brown has also put together a programme of thirty personal favourites from the first five seasons of the One Minute Film & Video Festival. This retrospective will screen jointly with the new works presented in the social/media programme on March 31. A total of sixty one-minute films (thirty new, thirty old) will screen starting at 7 p.m. at the Toronto Underground Cinema."

The website for the event can be accessed here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Call for Aid to Japan in Wake of Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis

Hello all. As everyone who reads this is aware, on this past Friday, March 11th of 2011, Japan was stricken by one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded not only in that country, but in the world. The 8.9 quake struck the North-East area of Japan near the Miyagi Prefecture and brought with it a devastating tsunami that swept over farms and towns and claimed hundreds of lives. As of this writing, the number of people still missing is around 9,500, while nearly 1,000 people are expected to be dead and over 1,400 injured. along with the simple factors of survival and recovery in the affected areas, the biggest issue remains the Fukushima nuclear plant's instability due to malfunctions in the reactor's coolant controls and backup generator. Efforts are still underway to restore radiation concentration to normal levels.

Myself and others involved in the Asian cultural community are deeply alarmed and saddened by this terrible disaster, and have been checking up on friends and family in Japan via e-mail and social media - efforts that have thus far mainly consisted of reports of safety and good health. However, there are still countless others who will require assistance in the days and weeks ahead. For those who wish to lend their support to this important cause, one of the best ways to do so is to donate to the Japan Society Relief Fund, which will be working in conjunction with other Japanese and American non-profit organizations providing aid to Japan. Rest assured that the Japan Society, based in New York, is highly respected for its support of Japanese cultural events (including the Japan Cuts film festival) in the past, and that 100% of what you donate will go towards the relief effort.

To make a donation, please click on the link below:

More information on the Japan Society can be found here, while a more detailed write-up on Japan's current condition in the wake of this disaster can be found at the Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow.

Any amount you can spare to this cause, towards any reliable organization, will be greatly appreciated by those who need it the most.