The Aplastic Anemia & Myelodysplasia Association of Canada and the JCCC present a fundraising screening of award-winning Japanese Canadian filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns’ documentary.
His film explores the crisis in identifying bone marrow and cord blood donors to donate to patients of mixed ethnicity suffering from life threatening blood diseases such as leukemia.
30,000 North Americans annually are diagnosed with life threatening blood diseases and for many, a bone marrow transplant is the only chance at survival. Of the seven million registered bone marrow donors in the US, less than 3% are multiethnic. Finding a multiethnic marrow match in the public registry is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Mixed Match tells an important human story from the perspective of youth who are discovering their identities through their deadly illnesses and how their multiethnic backgrounds threaten their chances at survival. This powerful film raises critical awareness about the need for multiethnic donors worldwide.
Thursday, September 28 @ 7pm / 95 min
YOKO THE CHERRY BLOSSOM
The true story of Masaaki Takaoka, a rural high school teacher in the mid-20th century who dedicated his life to creating a hybrid that could bloom anywhere in the world.
The time is World War II, and, as Japan's defeat becomes imminent, Masaaki's beloved students are ordered to join the imperial forces' last-ditch efforts. Masaaki bids them farewell with the promise that, upon their return, they would all reunite under the sakura on the school grounds. Only one student does return with news that all his classmates had perished in battles across the Pacific and in foreign lands. Overcome by guilt, Masaaki goes on a life-long quest to fulfill his promise. Over the next three decades, he obsessively strives to create a new strain of sakura that can blossom anywhere so that the spirits of his students would have a place to meet.
Written and directed by Gen Takahashi, it is a rumination on innocence and a generation carelessly squandered in the misguided pursuit of military glory.
Starring Takashi Sasano, Yuki Kazamatsuri, Koji Matoba, Maki Miyamoto and Shota Sasano
Thursday, October 26 @ 7pm / 114min
In Japanese with English subtitles
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