An Evening with Julia Kwan
Chinese Canadian filmmaker Julia Kwan is the pride of Vancouver’s filmmaking scene. Her debut feature Eve & The Fire Horse, a lovely and rare story about two adolescent Chinese girls’ spirit search in the old Chinatown, swept the awards for Canadian cinema in 2007 from Sundance Film Festival’s special Jury Prize for World Cinema to the prestigious Claude Jutra Award for Best First Feature Director, as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Daryl Duke Award for Screenwriting.
EVE & THE FIRE HORSE
(2006 / 35 mm / 97 minutes / Cantonese & English + English Subtitles )
(website : http://eveandthefirehorse.com/)
Eve, a precocious nine year-old with an overactive imagination, was born in the year of the Fire Horse, notorious among Chinese families for producing the most troublesome children. When her older sister Karena becomes fascinated with Christianity, crucifixes pop up next to the Buddha in the family’s house and Eve must contend with a Sunday school class where her wild imagination is distinctly out of place. Caught between her sister’s quest for premature sainthood and her own sense of right and wrong, Eve faces the challenges of childhood with fanciful humour and wide-eyed wonder. Sometimes the most troublesome children are the ones that touch our hearts most deeply.
Special Jury Prize for World Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival
5 Genie Nominations and Claude Jutra Award
Emerging Director, New York Asian Film Festival
Best Feature Narrative, San Diego Asian Film Festival
Best Lead Actress, Bendfilm Festival in Oregon
People’s Choice Award at the Vancouver Int’l Film Festival
Best First Feature at The Calgary Int’l Film Festival
First Prize for Charles Israel Screenwriting [Writer’s Guild of Canada Top Ten Awards]
9 Leo Award Nominations (Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation of British Columbia), 5 Wins including Best Writing and Direction
THREE SISTERS ON MOON LAKE
(2001 / 16 mm / 22 minutes / English)
Shot with beautiful use of colour, motion and imagination, the film combines the lyricism of Chinese myths with the heartbreaking growing journey of young girls. When the mother of three Chinese-Canadian sisters kills a rat, they raise the rodent to the status of Rat Goddess to whom they offer gifts. But the Rat Goddess is unable to protect the girls from imminent tragedy. The film was the winner of Audience Award on Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival.
- Toronto International Film Festival (World Premiere)
- Sundance International Film Festival (US Premiere)
- Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, Brazil *WINNER: Top 10, International Audience Choice
- Worldfest Houston *WINNER: GOLD REMI: BEST SHORT
- Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival *WINNER: AUDIENCE AWARD: FAVOURITE SHORT
- Fayetteville Film Festival, Arkansas *WINNER: AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST INDEPENDENT SHORT
- New Orleans Film Festival *WINNER: BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Julia Kwan is a Vancouver-based filmmaker who studied film and psychology at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto. She was also a director resident at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre, where she made her award-winning short, THREE SISTERS ON MOON LAKE. In 2005, Ms. Kwan made her feature film debut with EVE & THE FIRE HORSE, based on her Writer’s Guild of Canada award-winning script. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize for World Cinema. In 2007, Ms. Kwan won the prestigious Claude Jutra Award for Best First Feature Director and received five nominations, including Best Supporting Actor and Actress, at the Genie Awards (Canadian Oscars) as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Daryl Duke Award for Screenwriting. Most recently, Ms. Kwan is making a feature personal documentary, MY VANCOUVER, as part of the series, MY CANADA, which includes films by Atom Egoyan, Don McKellar and Patricia Rozema. The films will open during the 2010 Olympics.