Support Sunny in telling diverse Canadian stories

In the course of my random goings-about around town, I’ve been blessed to meet some awesome people, and lots of times, I get to talking (or sometimes, if I’m even luckier, I get to add them on Facebook) and happily discover that, in actuality, all the cool people in my life already know each other!

That’s the backstory I have with Sunny Oh, one of the quirkest, neatest people I’ve had the pleasure to hang out with, who happens to know a boatload of other people doing neat things that I like (like former TA’s, independent news magazine editors, etc.).

She’s been offered an amazing opportunity to pursue her dream of writing for television, with a writing residency at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto. She would be the first Asian-Canadian female from the West Coast, and, well, as a young, Asian-Canadian female myself, this strikes me as kind of awesome for getting stories on the small screen that are meaningful, interesting and reflect the experience of me and others I know… Hurray Sunny for getting accepted to participate in this excellent experience!

But, as the way of these things goes, her dream’s got a slight snag: monies. It’s one thing to read about arts cuts in a newspaper, it’s another to hear someone who’s being actively, really, affected by it. As Sunny writes,

However I have come up short financially, even with a scholarship from the Film Centre. In past years government agencies gave CFC attendees $3, 000 – $15, 000 in support. This year, because of budget cuts, nothing.

Sunny is staging a fundraiser to get her to Toronto – it’s got a bit of a twist. She’s writing a screenplay called The Midnight Gardener and is releasing and writing a scene for every fifty ($50) dollars raised. My friends over at newly-redesigned Schema Magazine are hosting the screenplay and collecting donations on her behalf, and she’s already been able to get a first scene up!

The tagline for the Midnight Gardener:

In a world where people have forsaken sleep in order to do more things, one girl, Nara, still sleeps. All her classmates make fun of her. But since she’s the only one who still sleeps, she’s the only one who still dreams.

Sunny is also blogging her writing-for-funds process as well. Which is deliciously evil for me, feeding my little film dream even as I have five gazillion unrelated things to do.

For those who have already donated, she’s also tracking her efforts on Twitter so you can get your fix from the new screenplay as soon as she posts it. Families and friends are also posting their support to her Facebook group.

I’m supporting Sunny because diverse Canadian stories are important to me, and I like to think of myself as an ardent enthusiast of Canadian film and television. In looking over the CFC wikipedia entry, I’m pleasantly surprised to see just how many projects and directors whose work I’ve loved and respected, have come about partly as a result of the CFC. Few opportunities to support Canadian projects as direct or close to me come along as this one.

So please, go buy a scene for the night owl/insomniac in your life, and help Sunny tell awesome stories!

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