In our lineup for Slant this year, we have one animation, Jaime Lo, Small and Shy, by Toronto-based Lillian Chan. Drawn in a charming style, the story is told from the perspective of a quiet little girl who spends her days and nights drawing. The 8-minute film is also about what happens to a family when one parent must go overseas for work. We talked to Lillian about her film.
What inspired you to make Jaime Lo?
Jaime Lo is part of a series by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) called Talespinners that touches on different stories from Canada’s multicultural communities. Growing up as a Chinese Canadian in Canada (and from a suburb with a large Chinese population), I wanted to share a story that addresses a quite common experience from my community, where the father works abroad while the rest of the family stays here. There’s actually a Chinese term for it : astronaut dads!
Telling the story through the eyes of a young girl like Jaime, especially one who liked to draw, seemed liked the perfect starting point for an animator like myself.
How long did it take?
From start to finish, about a year and a half.
How would you describe your animation style to someone who is not familiar with it? And how did you develop it?
It’s classical but cute, I guess. It’s evolved from a lot of drawing, but I’m not sure there’s a method to the madness. I like where it’s going!
What else are you working on?
I’m in the finishing stages of a collaborative interactive documentary with director Kat Cizek, a new piece for the NFB’s HIGHRISE project. Should be exciting!
Jaime Lo, Small and Shy screens as part of Slant 11 on August 11 at River Oaks Theatre.