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Film created amid a worldwide pandemic

Now up for Best of Saskatchewan Golden Sheaf
Like us 2
Like Us is currently circulating the festival circuit, but viewers can watch on YFF ON DEMAND and other streaming services soon.

YORKTON - A film very much born out of the pandemic is up for a major award at this year’s Yorkton Film Festival. 

Like Us is one of five finalists for the Ruth Shaw Award (Best of Saskatchewan). 

“The film is about figuring out who you are when fitting into society's mould is difficult,” offered film director Scott Johnson. “It's all about overcoming social barriers and finding personal fulfillment and freedom. In the film, a man is forced to confront his demons as well as the insurmountable societal pressures of conformity and change. What lengths will someone go to liberate their soul?” 

The film was created in a rather unique way given the constraints of a pandemic. 

“The entirety of the production was shot over five weeks during the COVID lockdown by a small crew using zoom only,” explained Johnson.  

The film was a collaborative effort with assistance from the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative.  

“The screenplay was written before the pandemic, but was not fully realized until the summer of 2020,” said Johnson. “The plot is loosely based on real events. To create a captivating visceral feel, live action sequences were combined with the latest experimental techniques.” 

Post-production began in September and was completed before Christmas of that year.  

The film premiered in 2021 at the Regina International Film Festival (RIFFA), where it was nominated for Saskatchewan Best Short Film.  

So how about the YFF nomination? What does it mean for the film? 

“I was familiar with the award going into the festival, having seen several of my peers and colleagues get nominated or win in that category over the years,” said Johnson. “It had long been a dream of mine to be nominated at YFF, and my film Follow Leader made it a reality last year.  

“I'm ecstatic to have been selected and nominated again this year, particularly in the top category.” 

Follow Leader received a nomination for Best Experimental Film in 2021.  

“My most recent film, Hard Reset, has also been nominated in the Experimental category this year,” added Johnson. 

Certainly award nominations help validate a film on various levels. 

“In terms of validation and marketing, I've been nominated for and received awards both locally and internationally in recent years, including from a number of distinguished festivals and organizations, but I'm ecstatic to have been chosen for the province's highest honour,” said Johnson. “Being nominated for Best of Saskatchewan at the Yorkton Film Festival, the province's oldest and most prestigious film festival, validates my contributions to film in Saskatchewan and will undoubtedly assist in the promotion of future projects for our province. 

“Receiving recognition from YFF has not only validated my work, but has also motivated other filmmakers in realizing Saskatchewan's enormous creative and storytelling potential. I hope that by sharing my films, I can inspire others to pursue their goals and create their own stories. Let us show the rest of the world what Saskatchewan has to offer.” 

Provincially, the YFF has always held a significant place in the film industry. 

“The Yorkton Film Festival is widely considered one of Saskatchewan's top premiere festivals, having helped to foster the creativity and awareness of Saskatchewan films and filmmakers throughout the years,” offered Johnson. “It provides the province's residents with an Oscar-worthy platform to be recognized and acknowledged for their accomplishments. It's also a well-known event for local and international filmmakers looking to network, build contacts, inspire creativity, and promote their work.” 

Like Us is currently circulating the festival circuit, but viewers can watch on YFF ON DEMAND and other streaming services soon.  

The YFF awards will be held May 28.


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