Fil-Canadian director’s film to be shown all over Canada

Vancouver, B.C.

Her love for basketball, filmmaking takes her places

By Charmaine Y. Rodriguez

Multi-awarded Filipino Canadian filmmaker Kathleen Jayme will be seeing her work again in wide screens all over Canada this winter with the nationwide screening of her feature film “The Grizzlie Truth.”

A documentary that uncovers the reason why Vancouver lost its NBA franchise, Jayme calls it a dream project and one can’t help but wonder why a young female filmmaker would explore the subject. 

Jayme was only six years old when the Vancouver Grizzlies was established, and she said that she “absolutely fell in love with basketball because of them.”

“They taught me how to dream big,” Jayme told CBC News on Saturday ahead of a screening of her award-winning feature film.

“That feeling that they inspired me has stuck with me throughout all these years. When I was in film school, you know, at UBC [University of British Columbia], over a decade ago, this was like the film that I wanted to make in my career.

But Jayme reveals her father’s love for basketball and her mother’s family’s—the Santiagos—background in film are also very strong influences of her work. 

Kathleen Jayme shares a moment with her father Jayjay in a basketball court. (screen grab from ABS-CBN News)

“It’s taken a lot of hard work, such a team effort, I have so many people behind me supporting me, making this dream project come alive,” she added.

On Nov. 29 Photon Films announced that The Grizzlie Truth will be coming to audiences across Canada this winter, according to CBC News.

The Vancouver Grizzlies, along with the Toronto Raptors, was established in 1995 as part of the NBA’s expansion into Canada.

But the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, following the 2000–2001 season and was renamed the Memphis Grizzlies.

To die-hard fans, the team’s abrupt move to Memphis is much more than a sore spot: it’s an unsolved mystery, and possibly a criminal conspiracy, according to Photon Films.

Jayme — a Vancouver-based Filipino-Canadian director — began an investigation into her hometown team’s disappearance, that later became an exploration of the deep roots of fandom, and an irreverent exposé of the wild business of professional sports, Photon Films added.

After graduating from UBC in 2011, Jayme worked at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) where she coordinated and oversaw over thirty documentaries, animations, and digital projects through all stages of production. 

While working at the NFB, she completed Paradise Island (2015) which was nominated for two Leos and screened at the 2015 Cannes Short Film Corner. 

Her feature film, Finding Big Country (2018), was shown in sold-out theatres across North America, and won the prestigious Audience Choice Award at VIFF 2018, the UBC website reads. 

The Grizzlie Truth, meanwhile, had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival to sold out audiences in October, received the VIFF Audience Award, and won Best Documentary at the Reel Asian Film Festival, CBC reported.

In the documentary, Jayme talks with Stu Jackson, the team’s general manager for its first five seasons, and she said she did not leave any “stone unturned.” 

The national run of the film includes confirmed dates in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Richmond and Langley.

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