Reelworld’s Emerging 20: Spotlight on Diverse Talent

The E20 Program is Reelworld’s initiative to connect some of Canada’s most talented emerging diverse talent with industry executives and professionals within the Canadian entertainment industry.

Presenting some of this year’s participant filmmakers’ views and stories that help audiences care about pressing issues and how they inspire social change.

Chloe Sosa-Sims | Director, Hunting in Packs

 Chloe is a Toronto-based director/ producer/ writer. She has directed and produced content for Cineflix, VICE and the CFC. In 2015, she co-founded the Toronto chapter of Film Fatales.

The film is based on the lives of women at different points in their political careers, and examines the world of two US politicians, and two Canadian ones. Last year, Misty Snow made history as the first trans person to run for the US Senate. She didn’t win, but she got close. She is now running for Congress, and we will follow her journey along the campaign trail.Tammy Duckworth, Senator for Illinois, was left disabled during her career as a helicopter pilot in the army. Today she is fighting tooth and nail to make sure every family can receive the care they need. Soon she will be facing her biggest feat yet, introducing a family bill that directly conflicts with Trump’s America. Will she succeed?

In Canada, Elizabeth May is the only elected female head of a national party. However, she has had to claw her way into every leader’s debate. Is it because she is a woman or head of the Green Party? This fall, she will follow-up on her promise to finally clean up the House of Commons, making it a friendlier space for women and minorities. Rana Bokhari, former head of the Manitoba Liberals, resigned from politics due to instances of sexual harassment and economic instability. Yet, she won’t stop fighting. She is now starting a feminist podcast, doing a TED Talk on Muslim women, and advocating on behalf of First Nation rights. ”

Qais Pasha | Director, THE HORROR IN QUEBEC CITY

 Qais Pasha is a documentary filmmaker. He was one of 12 filmmakers selected for the CBC diverse creators workshop in 2016 and received the Corus diverse voices scholarship at Hotdocs 2017.

The film is about H.P. Lovecraft an author of weird fiction in the 1930’s. He had a profound effect on authors like Stephen King to shows like Stranger Things.  He was also a notorious racist, he wrote the following about some Arabs, “”a bastard mess of stewing, mongrel flesh without intellect, repellent to the eye, nose and imagination”.

Despite his racism I still had an obsession and love for his writing. Ever since I was a teenager in Pakistan, I made dozens of films in school based on his fiction. Lovecraft’s personal life was even more terrifying than his fiction. He was a recluse. His parents both died in asylums, and he himself died penniless and alone.

I discovered though that one of the few times that he did leave his home was to visit Quebec City. He wrote a travelogue and made maps of his journey, which was published as “To Quebec and The Stars”. The city had a profound effect on his fiction and there is a plaque dedicated to him there. I was not alone in my odd obsession. I found out Lovecraft’s biographer is S.T. Joshi, who an Indian is born scholar, he dedicated his life to defending Lovecraft’s legacy.

I wish to make a film documentary about myself and S.T. Joshi exploring this relatively unknown part of Quebec literary history, but also attempt to understand why intelligent people can still be horrible racists and if we should preserve art even though it is the product of a bigot.

Tricia Hagoriles | Director, MIRIAM | Drama/Fantasy

Tricia Hagoriles is a Canadian-born, assimilationist-raised, queer Filipina, independent filmmaker.  Her work explores themes of connection, displacement, loss and identity.

Most recently, Tricia was the recipient of the RBC Emerging Canadian Artist Award at the 2015 Inside Out Toronto LGBTQ Film Festival for her first short film, Beat.

Toronto, 1983.  Joelle is an 8 year-old Filipina girl whose single mother has to work. With little family in the same city, Joelle is often left in the care of her elderly Filipina neighbour who also happens to be the grandmother of Joelle’s school bully, Magda. With Magda and her grandmother, lives her mostly-absent mother who is also single, and her creepy, deadbeat uncle.  Said uncle is constantly harassing Magda and terrorizing Joelle, threatening to feed her to a manananggal, a mythical Filipino creature that is a vampire-like, man-eating witch, if she ever snitches on him.

One day, Joelle’s mom receives a call from a distant relative, begging her to let her daughter stay with them. Joelle’s teenage cousin, Miriam, has fallen in with the wrong kids and needs to be sent away for the summer.  After seeing Joelle in distress, her mom sees an opportunity and agrees.

Upon meeting her intimidating and rebellious cousin and witnessing her obsession for knives and constant sneaking out at night, Joelle becomes convinced that Miriam is a manananggal. She only begins to start warming up to her when Miriam threatens Magda’s uncle after catching him abusing his niece in public.  Joelle’s monster becomes her hero.

While Joelle has found strength and safety in her cousin’s presence, Miriam’s sordid past soon catches up with her, threatening to separate the two and potentially leaving Joelle in the care of her frightening neighbors.

 

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