The Vancouver Queer Film Festival this year runs August 14-24 and as a lead-up to that, I thought I would remember a film I enjoyed there a while back.
I first met Jason Karman at the 2010 festival through film-makers Cal Garingan and Quentin Lee. In 2011, I had the pleasure of seeing his drama short I’m in the Mood for Love which went on to screen at numerous festivals around the world and was awarded the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award for the best short film created by a BC director.
The film speaks to an experience that many have had: seeing your ex in public. Not the whatever-ex, one that meant something. Worse: they’re with someone new. Even worse: they look happy.
It’s a small world and sometimes we re-encounter people we don’t expect. Sometimes it’s a pleasant experience. Sometimes it’s entirely not. And sometimes it’s not, but in the end, there is good that comes from it. John (Kyle Toy) walks into a restaurant for some hot pot to find his ex-partner sitting with his new boyfriend. Momentarily frozen, he, and we, wonder what will happen next!
In just 7 minutes, we witness the rapid change a person can have in attitudes and perceptions as John, speechless at first, simulates a what-if, eventually coming to terms with his loss, guilt, and how things often don’t work out, nor do they go according to plan. And that’s perfectly ok.
I’m in the Mood for Love is a timeless story for those who have gone through taking a chance, feeling alive, feeling like crap, wanting to fade away, and in the end, regretting nothing and growing.
asian diaspora stories, Gerry Brunet Memorial Award, jason karman, ken fong, kyle toy, short films, vancouver, vancouver queer film festival, video