Yukon writer Mitch Miyagawa is the recipient of a coveted Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award, presented April 22 at the Uniun Nightclub in Toronto, for his film documentary A Sorry State.
“Having Mitch’s work recognized and acclaimed on a national stage is a testament to the calibre of talent we have here in Yukon,” Economic Development Minister Currie Dixon said. “This is another example of the excellent return on investment the Government of Yukon is receiving from its film producers, raising the profile of Yukon creators and ultimately fostering the diversification of our economy.”
The Yukon government provided over $76,000 in support of Miyagawa’s film project through the Film Development Fund, the Film Production Fund and the Enterprise Trade Fund.
A Sorry State chronicles Miyagawa’s life-changing journey of discovery surrounding the Canadian government apologies made to his family. The documentary premiered at the Edmonton International Film Festival and is airing on the TVO, Knowledge, and Access networks this year.
“The writing of the film was something that I struggled with, so it’s actually really gratifying to get this award,” Miyagawa said. “I’m grateful to the people who helped me learn to write for documentary because it is so different than anything else I have done. People like Manfred Becker, who came on as a story editor and Michael Vernon, who helped me learn the basic skills of documentary writing.
“The film wouldn’t have happened without the people at the Yukon Film & Sound Commission,” Miyagawa added.
Miyagawa’s production company, Up & Away Productions, was established in 2006 with the goal of making documentary films with a sense of humour and style, which explore the universal truths in human relationships and how social, political, economic and religious realities shape us.
This award is the latest in a string of extra-territorial accolades for Yukoners this season. Arlin McFarlane’s film Walks Like a… was just announced as an official selection for the New York City International Film Festival in June. Moira Sauer’s short film The Provider will screen at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and the Yukon Film Society’s The Grubstake Revisited will play the coveted TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on May 6 and 7.
The Writers Guild of Canada represents more than 2,000 professional English-language screenwriters across Canada. These creators write Canadian entertainment for television, movie and digital platforms.