When It Is Dark

A magical realism meditation on the afterlife, this tale of loss and deep abiding love sees a woman visited by the spirit of her sister during a mummering party in the early 1900s.

Creative team

Writer/director: Kate Yorga
Producers: Kate Yorga, J.Lee Williams, Sean Evans, Adam Mansbridge

Filmmaker’s statement

In the spring of 2011, I happened upon a show by Canadian artist David Blackwood at the Art Gallery of Ontario. In the exhibit were several pieces depicting mummering in the early 1900s in a Newfoundland fishing village. I was so taken with his work and the idea of mummering I immediately sat in the gallery and wrote the first draft of the script for When It Is Dark.

I think this is a great opportunity to preserve and highlight this East Coast tradition in the modern medium of film, as film is often viewed more by the general population than traditional art.

The themes of love and loss are ones we humans struggle with constantly, especially in North American culture where we are now often so removed from the process of death. And with seemingly less young people practicing a traditional faith, we are also disconnected from beliefs in what happens after death.

When It Is Dark is an exploration of all this, based on threads from my life experiences in particular the death of my beloved sister Janet.

About Kate Yorga

Kate Yorga

Kate Yorga’s love of film goes back to a childhood raised on a ranch in rural Saskatchewan watching black-and-white classics on late-night television or seeing films at the local Dreamland Theatre. The first film she ever saw? The Wizard of Oz at the age of four.

Her films have screened at various film festivals including: Palm Springs International ShortFest (CA), WIFT-T Annual Short Film Showcase (ON), Holly Shorts Film Festival (CA), Hill Country Film Festival (TX), Action on Film International Film Festival (CA), the Toronto Independent Film Festival (ON) and the National Screen Institute (NSI) Online Film Festival.

Film gives Kate a chance to marry her three loves – words, pictures and music – to write and direct stories for screens big and small. Book Club, an action/comedy short film satire of Fight Club, was her directorial debut.

Her second film, When It Is Dark, is a dramatic short live action/animation work of magical realism exploring the afterlife. She was also second unit director on the David Cronenberg: Evolution – Body/Mind/Change award-winning multi-platform video.

Her dramatic script First Gear was one of only eight selected for the 2014 Women on Screen Short Screenplay Incubator. And her dramatic short screenplay Hotspot was selected for the 2016 Fem Script Lab.

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