The father of an Edmonds woman is the subject of an award-winning film featured at this weekend’s Everett Film Festival.
“Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii,” tells the story of Joyce Yamane’s dad, a Japanese American in Hawaii who played a crucial strategic role in World War II to loyally serve the U.S. He died at age 93 in 2010.
The 55-minute documentary is among the diverse lineup of films that range from humorous animation to serious documentaries at the two-day festival.
This is the 21st year for the festival, which had its start with a focus on women in film.
“We still try to keep that mission to some degree, but have opened it up to other filmmakers who may have women as main characters,” said Teresa Henderson, festival director. “It is a whole kind of experience. We have 10 movies and we feed you for two days.”
The opening Friday night will feature three movies, with seven shown Saturday.
There will be popcorn and even a few people in popcorn box costumes.
“Have your picture taken with one of the dancing popcorn boxes,” Henderson said. “We are a festival and a happening.”
Popcorn is free. J&L BBQ donated the barbecue and side dishes for the Friday night gala, which also includes desserts and music by David Lee Howard. Bluewater Organic Distilling provided raffle items and the making of the cocktails that will be for sale.
The lineup of movies will tickle your funny bone, moisten your eyes and open your mind.
There’s an animation short about how a trip to the coffee shop can change your life. A film created by three 11-year-olds is about a small bird that falls from the nest and gets captured. Another film documents the beautiful art painted by an aritist with severe arthritis.
The Friday night feature documentary chronicles the adventures of local artist, Jack Gunter, as he traveled to Russia to reclaim his paintings lost there 25 years ago.
“Proof of Loyalty” will be shown at 1 p.m. Saturday, with a chance to meet filmmakers Lucy Ostrander and her husband, Don Sellers, of Bainbridge Island.
There will be Q&A after the show with the documentarian couple and Kazuo Yamane’s daughter, Joyce.
“My family and I are honored that our father is featured in a movie,” Joyce Yamane wrote in an email. “He has always said that his service during WWII was the most important time of his life, and that he, and all the Nisei soldiers, proved their loyalty to their country.”
The film took the Bainbridge Island couple more than two years to produce. Ostrander and Sellers operate Stourwater Pictures, which specializes in meticulously crafted historical and social issue documentary films.
“We produced a film several years ago called ‘Honor & Sacrifice,’ which was another film about Japanese Americans who served in the military intelligence service during World War II,” Ostrander said. “Honor & Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story” was featured at the Everett Film Festival in 2014.
“It did quite well and won two major American history awards and was broadcast in public television,” Ostrander continued. “I got a phone call from Joyce Yamane, and she said that her father has also been in the military intelligence service and that he was from Hawaii. We had not done films about what happened to the Japanese Americans in Hawaii. We felt it was an extraordinary story that was not well known.”
“Proof of Loyalty” won the Audience Choice Award (documentary) at the Asian American International Film Festival in New York in August.
“It is so true for the political times we’re living in today,” Ostrander said. “The two main themes that run through this film are the importance of diversity and the importance of language.”
If you can’t make it this weekend, “Proof of Loyalty” will be shown at 9 p.m. Feb. 23 in The Seattle Asian American Film Festival at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle. That festival is Feb. 22-25.
More about “Proof of Loyalty” and “Honor & Sacrifice” at www.stourwater.com.
If you go
Everett Film Festival is at The Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the gala at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 and 12:30 p.m. Feb. 17.
Tickets to both festival days, including the gala, are $50. Tickets are $25 for Feb. 16 only and $30 for Feb. 17 only.
Tickets are available at the door only.
More at www.everettfilmfest.org.
Films start at 7 p.m. and run until 8:45 p.m.
“Captain Fish” by John Banana. Animation about a girl who tries to rescue her dinner rather than eat it.
“Missed Connection” by Tabitha Fisher. An animation short about how a trip to the coffee shop can change your life.
“Quest for the Lost Paintings of Siberia” by Jack Gunter and Jesse Collver. Gunter, a Camano Island artist, goes on a quest to retrieve his paintings trapped in the basement of a Russian museum for more than 25 years. This is the true story of his adventure.
Films start at 1 p.m.
“Proof of Loyalty” by Lucy Ostrander. Kazuo Yamane was drafted into the U.S. Army just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Having an exceptional knowledge of Japanese, he would serve the U.S. during WWII proving his loyalty.
“Fall Seven Times, Get up Eight” by Karen Kasmauski, Lucy Craft and Kathryn Tolbert at 2:45 p.m. Atsuko, Emiko and Hiroko were among tens of thousands of Japanese women who married their former enemies after World War II. They landed in 1950s America knowing no one, speaking little English and often moving in with stunned in-laws. In brutally honest conversations with their daughters, they reveal the largely untold story of the Japanese war brides.
“Into the Forest” by Patricia Rozema. After a massive and mysterious power outage, two sisters learn to survive on their own in their isolated woodland home.
Happy hour at 5 p.m.
“Food for Thought” by Susan Rockefeller is at 5:45 p.m. We want our food fast, convenient and cheap, but at what cost?
“Skin” by Anthony Fabian. Based on the true story of Sandra Laing who was born to two white Afrikaner parents in South Africa during the apartheid era. The film follows Sandra’s 30-year journey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world – and triumphs against all odds.
“Where the Heart Is” by Ella Bethke. A small bird falls from the nest and gets captured. The film was created by three 11-year-old students — Ella Bethke, Meghan Chia and Ziggy Rushing — for a competition offered to students from elementary to high school age. It took second place overall.
“Maud Lewis” by Diane Beaudry. A documentary about Maud Lewis, who emerged from her youth crippled with arthritis and escaped into painting at the age of 30. She had never seen a work of art and had never attended an art class, but her paintings captured the simple strength, beauty and happiness of the world she saw.
“Shanghai Love Market” by Craig Rosenthal. A comedy short about how every weekend in Shanghai’s famous Peoples’ Park, parents hang posters to match-make their unwed children. An overly ambitious mother tries too hard to find the perfect wife for her son.