The Flying Sailor, an animated film inspired by the real life event about merchant mariner Charles John Mayers, who miraculously survived the December morning explosion at a harbour in Halifax when two ships collided, won the Best of Festival Golden Sheaf award at the Yorkton Film Festival May 27.
A bold blend of comedy, suspense and philosophy, The Flying Sailor is an exhilarating contemplation of the wonder and fragility of existence. It was directed by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis.
The film also won in the Animation and Best Director-Fiction categories, taking a total of three of the prestigious Golden Sheaf Awards.
The Ruth Shaw Best of Saskatchewan award was presented to Fable Deaf, a short subject fiction starring four Saskatchewan actors between the ages of 12 and 74, all identify as culturally deaf and communicate using American Sign Language, and who have contributed to the film’s narrative.
With lush visual effects and an all-deaf cast, it examines the threat of cultural devastation and offers an invitation for its preservation. It was directed by Chrystene Ells, a visual artist and animator, who grew up on an Alberta cattle ranch before moving to San Francisco in 1986 and relocating to Saskatchewan in 2006.
The awards gala Saturday night marked the conclusion of the 76th edition of the Yorkton Film Festival, the longest continuously running film festival in North America. In total, 27 Golden Sheaf awards were presented.
Film makers, jury members, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, panelists, attendees, partners and staff... thanks to all of you, it was another great festival!
See you next year May 23 to 25, as we get together again for three days of excellent Canadian films and lots of small-city fun.
The RBC/YFF Mentorship program through Yorkton Film Festival and supported by RBC Foundation through RBC Emerging Artists connects emerging filmmakers with established industry professionals who provide expert‐level advice and networking opportunities to help emerging talents in Canada’s film industry.
The 2023 recipients have been selected by a jury of film industry professionals from applicants from across the country. Selected were Conor Forrest of Ontario, Rosie Choo Pidcock of British Columbia, and Man Long Ho of Nova Scotia.
“A Canada‐wide call for applications went out in February, and we received many very strong
applications from film makers who were interested in taking part in this year’s program,” YFF Executive Director Randy Goulden said.
“We are excited to again deliver this program and thank RBC Foundation for their commitment to helping us foster the next great generation of Canadian film talent.”
“We’re delighted to welcome the 2023 program participants who represent geographies from coast-to-coast,” said Jon Barth, RBC Regional Vice President, Southern Saskatchewan. “The experience and advice from their mentors will be invaluable as they build inclusive, vibrant communities through their storytelling while establishing their careers and contributing to strong economies.”
The arts play an important role in society, and the RBC YFF Mentorship Program is an investment in the creative sector to support a strong future for filmmakers and to foster diverse contributions to Canadian film and media landscape.
Mentorship program recipients will attend the Yorkton festival in May, providing them with workshop and networking opportunities, and will participate in monthly consultation with their mentor to discuss their creative projects.
The Festival began in 1947 as the Yorkton Film Council. Its mandate was to act as a volunteer distribution agency for the National Film Board (NFB). Jim Lysyshyn, field man for the NFB, suggested a film festival. When the Council rejected his proposal, he came forward with a more audacious proposal – an international festival.
The Council accepted the new idea and organized the first festival in the fall of 1950. Throughout the 1950s, the festival was a huge success with as many as 4,000 people at the screenings, this at a time when the population of Yorkton was only 8,000.
The festival has undergone many changes in its history, but can still claim to be the longest continuous film festival in North America. In its current form the festival continues to be dedicated to the promotion of the best screen-based media content through our annual film festival and Golden Sheaf Awards competition.
In addition to the annual event, the festival is dedicated to the promotion of short video content through our year-round screening and tour outreach programs.
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