• Anthony Nadeau

The Curse of Willow Song-VIFF Best BC Film Award Winner! Written & Directed By Karen Lam


The Vancouver International Film Festival has only started three days ago, but it has already chosen the winner of the Best BC Film that was awarded today to Karen Lam & crew for their film The Curse of Willow Song.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


Willow(Valerie Tian-above) lives in Vancouver in a recovery house and is on probation for arson, in the scene above she is meeting with her parole officer who also has some underlying racism herself when dealing with Willow and her past history and her culture.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


Her friend and confidant Flea(Ingrid Nilson-above, right) has only one concern and that is Flea.

Not one to be trusted but Willow accepts her into her life and allows her to get her the tattoos on her wrists where it can hide some of the self-harm that Willow has done to herself.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


Willow has her job as a welder and she was working so hard on a piece and when she goes there one day to find herself locked out of the building because the woman who had hired her had got a promotion and took the job on the spot and left town. With no income to support herself and someone had stolen her last paycheck from the halfway house she was staying at, she needed to find work. There is a position available at a local construction site downtown Vancouver, she goes to apply. Without really looking over her qualifications or asking anything regarding the position, instead, she is told how pretty she is and she should work in the office as his assistant and the unwanted compliments keep coming.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


As you might have noticed the images here are in black and white, the choice to film in black and white these days is a risky thing, but when it serves the film to do so then all the better. It helps create the darkness that is surrounding Willow throughout the telling of the story, it helps with the overall tone of the film. A homage to film noir in a way with the mood of an overbearing spirit of some sort waiting in the distance and yet very close to Willow. Much like her previous work, Karen allows the camera to really create a tone for the film, steady camera work instead of blasting around the set, and framing certain scenes so the camera can just focus on one piece at a time. One morning Willow is up to making coffee and we see the sunlight coming through a part of the warehouse she is in, we focus on the particles of dust and Willow is in the background making her coffee.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


Dani(Elfina Luk-above) is one of the few people who support Willow and she is the one who has provided her with a place to stay as well. While it may not be the best of options for Willow, beggars can't be choosers at this point in life. She accepts Dani's gift of allowing her to stay there, reluctantly and she starts to delve further into the dark recesses of her mind. Things alter in the room she is staying in the warehouse.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


She gets into some sort of a trance and Dini and her brother Mission(Simon Chin-above) come to her and try to help her by calling a doctor that he knows.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


Things after that really start to shift and the tension really starts to build well as the story is coming to a close, I feel a great deal of empathy for Willow and all that is happening around her and to her.

This will all play out and will see things play out as they should and it brings some nice closure to the film as well.

All Photo Credits by Tallulah Photography


This is after all a thriller/horror movie so it's just that it ends here on that frame.

Karen Lam is a multi-talented individual, including the work she does in the film world which is a writer/director of a few music videos and short films as well. She is also skilled at textiles and loves both of her cats very much.

She started out as an entertainment lawyer and producer. This is her third feature film, which has won the Best BC Film Award at this year's festival. Congratulations to Karen and her cast and crew on this award!






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