AWI Short Film Competition

Blue Garden (trailer)

Blue Garden is a 5 minute hybrid/mixed-media film that retells the history of a Japanese Canadian fisherman who was forced to work on a tomato farm during the WW2 internment. The film explores how trauma can fester and family stories can remain unspoken for generations. However, through the participatory nature of filmmaking, the younger generation is able to reconcile their grief and feel empowered to tell their family history.

Content heads-up: Discussion of racism, mention of experiences in an internment camp

Director: Natalie Murao

Natalie Murao is a yonsei (fourth generation Japanese Canadian) filmmaker and educator from “Vancouver”. Her work explores themes of generational disconnect, personal memory, and communication. She aims to expand the notion of Asian diasporic cinema by creating an “in-betweenness” of styles that embody the diaspora itself. Her most recent film, No More Parties (2020), was made with the help of the National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmaker Assistance Program and was selected for Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program at Clermont-Ferrand. It is now available to watch on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox as part of their Short Films, Big Ideas: Community Impact shelf. Natalie is also a 2021 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellow and a programmer for the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. She is currently developing her first feature.

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Trauma & PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a response to a traumatic event or series of events. Something that is traumatic for one person might not...


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