Screening Dates
  • May 25, 2023 7:00

A collection of Japanese Canadian short films

おやすみ (oyasumi)—or goodnight” in Japanese—is often the last thing you hear before you close your eyes and drift off into darkness. おやすみ stems from the verb 休む (yasumu), which means to take a break” or to be absent.” It implies a moment of rest, a moment to pause, a moment when no one is there. This program brings together 12 short films that demonstrate the many definitions of おやすみ while highlighting the past 30 years of Japanese Canadian filmmaking. This collection (not a retrospective!) reveals stories of intergenerational memories, unspoken histories, and the process of healing. Although bittersweet in their themes, there is a comfort in these films coming together—like a kiss on the forehead as you fall asleep.

Introduced by Natalie Murao, curator of おやすみ

After the screening, there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers in attendance.

2023. Meredith Hama-Brown. 6 min.
A woman grieving the recent loss of her partner has a mysterious alien encounter in her backyard.

舌 Tongue
2022. Kaho Yoshida. 2 min.
Tired of being talked at by men, a woman takes a sensual trip with unusual friends.

頂 Itadaku
2022. Sophia Wolfe. 8 min.
頂 (itadaku), meaning to receive, accept, or take, is a meditative ritual and an attempt to connect with the ancestors.

2020. Cindy Mochizuki. 2 min.
Artist Cindy Mochizuki asks her mother about the three-legged mermaid-like creature known as amabie.

In the Shadow of the Pines
2020. Anne Koizumi. 8 min.
A filmmaker reflects on the childhood shame she felt about her immigrant father and how it shaped her identity.

2019. Yuko Fedrau. 8 min.
Local drag artist and mother of House of Rice Shay Dior introduces us to RICECAKE, Vancouver’s queer Asian dance party.

Akashi あかし
2017. Mayumi Yoshida. 10 min.
When a struggling artist returns to Japan for her grandmother’s funeral, a staggering family secret upends everything she’s ever wanted out of life and love.

Late Night
2017. Kodai Yanagawa. 5 min.
Lush plants mysteriously grow through the walls and a man is transported into the forest of his memory.

Fish in Barrel
2009. Randall Okita. 8 min.
The struggles of a young man facing his demons erupt into visions that question what lies below the surface.
Advisory: Implied suicide

Yellow Sticky Notes
2007. Jeff Chiba Stearns. 6 min.
A visual self-reflection using the same yellow sticky notes that consumed a filmmaker’s life and blinded him to major world events.
Advisory: Gun violence

Sayonara Super 8
2006. Pia Yona Massie. 6 min.
Personal archival footage is used to ask questions about the fragile nature of memory, human relationships, and the foibles of the medium itself.

Minoru: Memory of Exile
1992. Michael Fukushima. 19 min.
In a blend of hand-drawn animation and archival materials, Minoru and his son, director Michael Fukushima, narrate their family’s internment, deportation and eventual return to Canada.
Advisory: Racism and internment

Films in this program include English and Japanese dialogue. All films will screen with either subtitles or open captions in English.

Co-presented with Powell Street Festival Society
Psf logo with jpn bw

The Powell Street Festival first took place in 1977 and has since expanded to be one of the largest and longest-running community arts festivals in Canada.

The Powell Street Festival Society now functions as a non-profit registered charity arts organization based in Vancouver and the Paueru Gai Area—today known as the Downtown Eastside—located on the unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

In addition to its signature event, The Powell Street Festival, the Society offers year-round programs and collaborates with local, national, and international organizations, artists, and communities to advance equity and well-being for all.