Local filmmaker Jessica Han swept the awards at the 2013 Vancouver Queer Film Festival, walking away with a trio of awards for her film short Bill, Please!.
One of the crowd favourites at the Coast is Queer, the festival’s celebration of Vancouver filmmakers, Bill, Please! is a quirky four minute film complete with ninjas and zombies that combines comedy, action and fantasy as two friends battle it out to see who would ultimately pay the bill at the end of a meal.
Her first film to be accepted into the festival circuit, Bill, Please! had already entertained audiences around the world including Montreal, Athens, Toronto and Berlin and garnered a best comedy short award at the 2011 Illinois International Film Festival.
Han walked away with three of the four awards including the OUTtv Hot Pink Shorts Award, the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award and shared in The Coast is Queer Award with Clark Nikolai, who was also named a winner for his documentary short Bill is a Photographer. In addition to the accolades, Han took home cash prizes totaling over $3,000.00.
“The closing night gala was like a taste of the queer Oscars for me,” says Han. “It is always important to be recognized for your work, especially when it’s something you love so much yourself. To be recognized by the festival and the community gave me a confidence boost and reassured me that I have to keep making films for and about the queer community.”
The OUTtv Hot Pink Shorts Award was chosen by Festival audiences as their favourite short film, the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award is a juried prize for the Festival’s best BC short film and The Coast is Queer Award, sponsored by GayVancouver.Net, recognizes a distinguished short from this year’s Coast is Queer showcase.
What’s next for Han? She tells us there are a few ideas floating around. “I’ve been wanting to try my hands at drama, or to create a web series. Either way, I’ll have updates on my website if I have a project on the go.”
The full-length documentary Lace Bites, which tells the story of 40 women as they played a Guinness World Record-breaking ice hockey game in support of the fight against Cystic Fibrosis, received the OUTtv People’s Choice for Best Feature film during the festival.