Director:

Karen Lam

Starting out as an entertainment lawyer and producer, Karen Lam has since written and directed eight short films, two music videos, directed a true-crime series for Investigation Discovery (US), Mythos, a web series created for TELUS, and three feature films: Stained (2010), Evangeline (2013) and The Curse of Willow Song (2020).

Willow (Valerie Tian) is a young woman trying her best to leave the past behind. A former inmate, her freedom is conditional on her cutting ties with her former gang life and her gang leader brother, Mission. Even though she is isolated and living paycheck-to-paycheck, she finds a path forward through a passion for welding and creating art installations for a high-profile artist in Vancouver. Just when it looks like she has the chance to start again, she suffers a series of setbacks and all that she has been working towards is put in jeopardy.

A dark and foreboding psychological thriller, The Curse of Willow Song is a socio-political allegory inspired by the racial discussions surrounding real estate in Vancouver. Shot in black-and-white as a nod to old ghost story samurai films, writer-director Karen Lam (Evangeline, 2013) also uses the camera to emphasize that Willow, while out from behind bars, is still trapped by her circumstances.

PROGRAMMERS NOTES

CAST & CREDITS

Director

Karen Lam

Cinematographer

Thomas Billingsley

Producer

Karen Wong

Editor

Jeanne Slater

Principal Cast

Valerie Tian, Elfina Luk, Ingrid Nilson

Marina Hanna

RECOMMENDED WATCH TIME, FOLLOWED BY EXCLUSIVE DIRECTOR Q&A:

OCT 16, 11:00 AM

The Curse of Willow Song

Karen Lam

HORROR/THRILLER | ENGLISH | 90 MIN | CANADA | ONTARIO PREMIERE

Reelworld Film Festival
20 Richmond Street East, 
Suite 600 

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M5C 2R9