Screenings

Voices Across The Water

Voices Across the Water follows two master boat builders as they practice their art and find a way back to balance and healing.

ALFF 2022 goes online

A few of the the diverse offerings at the 2022 Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) happening online, and maybe a bit in-person.

Enjoy Dawson City films from the cozy comfort of your couch

Ever since Available Light Film Festival launched 19 years ago, it has brought to its audiences stories of different ways of life and different perspectives. This year, four films from Dawson City will be featured for online streaming across Canada.

A Sliver of Light

The 2021 Available Light Film Festival launches Feb. 5

A delayed Short Film Festival will happen in October

After a few months of working at home, Dan Sokolowski is finally back in his southeast corner space at the KIAC (or Dënäkär Zho) Building. There, he’s busy downloading videos for this year’s late version of the 2020 Dawson City International Short Film Festival, which will take place over two weekends in October.

Spoiled for choice

When coming up with a description of the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) for the uninitiated, Andrew Connors, the festival director and artistic director of the Yukon Film Society, highlights the festival’s diversity and character. “It’s an intimate festival that celebrates northern, Indigenous and Canadian cinema with some international spice thrown in for good measure, …

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Movies

Enjoy a movie night with an ever changing selection of films from Yukon and renowned filmmakers.

Dawson City International Short Film Festival celebrates two decades of short films

Dan Sokolowski is about three weeks away from launching the 20th edition of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) when we sit down in his corner of the building that’s home to the Klondike Institute of Art of Culture. (KIAC.) A lot of work has already gone into this year’s event. The 85 films …

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Sharing a love for film

There are meetings. There is paperwork. There are grants to apply for and cheques to sign. But, for Jessica Hall, being the president of the Yukon Film Society is all about… people. “The thing I really like about being on the board is my fellow board members and the staff,” she said. “They are all …

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Let there be light

The 2018 Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) features a strong Indigenous presence in this year’s films – and in the audience, with more than 40 guests attending from Outside.

It’s so bad, it’s good

In honour of James Franco’s upcoming film release of The Disaster Artist, I figured I had to take a look back at where this film actually started, and that meant watching The Room (2003). The Disaster Artist is a dramatization of The Room. The Room is written, directed, produced and stars Tommy Wiseau and is …

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Celebrate the Art of Filmmaking this Weekend

The cupboard behind Dan Sokolowski’s head is still covered with the multi-coloured Post-it notes he’s been using to assign the 86 short films in this year’s Dawson City International Short Film Festival to various categories for Friday, Saturday and Sunday screenings that will fill up this Easter Weekend. The films were selected by a group …

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Life After Tragedy

When asked about the message she hopes to convey in the film, Ohama responded, “It’s a moving and inspiring story of how people find real joy, love and meaning in life again… even in the face of extreme loss. In our busy, cluttered world filled with stress… we tend to forget how to see and …

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Yukon Stories

Arctic Secrets Directed by Allan Code, a Whitehorse based filmmaker, Arctic Secrets is a symphony of immensely strong and surprisingly fragile elements that comprise the wilderness of the Yukon Territory. Stunning imagery abounds in this visual adventure through its waters, mountains, and forests. Focusing mainly on the more arctic regions of the territory, Code and …

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Writing Down the Soul

Anyone who has ever put pen to paper knows it can be a daunting experience. To stare at a blank page waiting for the strike of inspiration. When something is finally put down on paper, is it something others might want to read? What works? What can be done differently? Brave New Words is a …

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Year 17 sees an abundance of Yukon Films at the Festival

On Easter weekend the ballroom of the Oddfellows Hall will be filled with hundreds of short film fans celebrating the 17th edition of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) and cramming in as much as they can of the 500 hours of screen time that will fill up the days. This is the …

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A Room within a Room

The intensely charged film Room was the Winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Canadian Feature at this year’s Available Light Film Festival. If you missed it in February, The Yukon Film Society is bringing it back to the screen March 20th. Adapted from Ireland-born writer Emma Donoghue’s Booker Prize nominated novel of the …

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Valentine’s Events for the Discerning Singleton

Sometimes I think we could skip February. I mean, January has got the cold and dark covered, and the wonderful triad of snow, sun and skiing find their fullest expression in March. Weird warm winters aside, February seems like a little more of something I’ve had enough of, and not enough of something I’m eagerly …

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Hone Your Craft

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Available Light Film Festival. Each year, the festival seems to grow and attract greater talent from a variety of places. This year also has a substantial amount of filmmaking workshops, some free and others requiring tickets. The festival’s keynote address will be from Dylan Marchetti, chief creative …

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Cinema for Lunch

The Available Light Film Festival running Feb. 6–14 there will be showing films during the daytime, right in the middle of your lunch hour. So pack a sandwich or a smoothie and head over to either the Yukon Arts Centre or the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for some truly fascinating cinema. Here is a rundown …

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Awesome Canadian Films

For years Canadian cinema was referred to as invisible cinema for its lack of global impact and struggle to compete with Hollywood’s massive export of blockbuster films. Each year film festivals around Canada aim to disprove this notion and push the potential and visibility of Canadian cinema to other parts of the world – and …

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Available Light Film Fest shines on Canada’s North

This year’s Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) features a series of films draw audiences’ attention to the experiences of life in the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. The North on Screen series comprises a third of the Yukon Film Society’s 14th Annual film festival, which runs Feb. 7 to 14 in Whitehorse. Nunavut Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) returns …

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Holiday Gift Guide

As we enter the holiday season where advertising, social media, and storefronts are shouting at us about all the things there are to buy, one might wonder whether all this shopping will lead to anyone’s happiness. Researchers out of Cornell University had a similar thought. Thomas Gilovich and  Amit Kumar published their research in the …

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Deep Ecology

The year was 1971. Three Dog Nights’ “Joy to the World” became RPM’s top chart hit alongside The Stampeders’ “Sweet City Woman”. Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister and James Smith was Commissioner of the Yukon. Smith was instrumental in creating the Kluane National Park and Reserves and designating the Chilkoot Trail as a National Historic …

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Unravelling the layers of existence

A brilliantly layered and sensitive look at the contrasting stages of life, the 2014 film The Clouds of Sils Maria stars Juliette Binoche as Maria Enders, an accomplished stage actress who becomes painfully aware of the relationships between herself and the characters she portrays when she is asked to perform in the play that kick-started …

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The beauty and the decay of life around the planet

Since being presented the Palme D’Or and Best Director credits at the Cannes Film Festival for Paris, Texas (1984) and Wings of Desire (1987) respectively, German filmmaker Wim Wenders continues to be intrigued by the human condition has ceased to allow his intrigue of the human condition to weaken. Wenders’ more recent films Buena Vista …

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Flowers in the Concrete

Rich Hill, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on Sunday, is a poignant observational snapshot of three boys on separate, but similar, journeys through the early days of youth, as spent in America’s povertystricken heartland. Poverty is crushing. But it’s always amazing to see that the human spirit, especially in children, is remarkably diffi cult …

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Her Next Plan is Coming to a Television Near You

A television mini-series is being shot in Dawson between April 7 and 17. The two episodes of Her Next Plan are being produced by the newly formed Big Plan Pictures Ltd. Dawson filmmaker Lulu Keating (Red Snapper Films) and Max Fraser (Hootalinqua Motion Pictures), formed the new partnership to bring this short series to the …

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Meds to Media

Dawson City has created a filmmaker out of a doctor. So says Suzanne Crocker, creator of All the Time in the World, a full-length feature film that is making waves around the country. It will be screened in Dawson City at the Odd Fellows Hall on Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.The film documents the …

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East Coasters Come North

When I reach Jon Mckiel he’s in the middle of a New Brunswick snowstorm. I’m in the Yukon, where the temperature has dipped below -30°C. We talk about what to expect when he arrives in Whitehorse to perform at the Available Light Film Festival on February 13. He’s never been here, and I’ve never been …

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ALFF Breakdown, Part Two

Thursday, February 12th The day kicks off with the festival’s final installment of the Fire Hall Film Talks, a series of free lunchtime discussions between filmmakers and artists about behind-the-scene development of projects. Thursday’s talk is on the changing face of music videos and narrative film. Panelists are singer-songwriter John Southworth; Violent director and member …

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Tanya Tagaq Reclaims Stories of her People

For those who missed Tanya Tagaq on stage at music festivals in Dawson and Atlin, the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) is giving Yukoners another chance to experience this acclaimed musician’s work on February 10 at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tagaq rocketed onto radar-screens last year when her newest album, Animism, won the 2014 Polaris …

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Two 4 One Breaks New Ground

Move over Ben Affleck and Julia Roberts, the Canadian filmmaking world would like to thank you for solidifying conventions for the romantic comedy genre, so Two 4 One can break those conventions into a million pieces. This progressive look at real-life love is refreshing and accessible: a movie about a transgendered Canadian in which an …

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The Wooden Sky Kicks Off ALFF

For Yukoners who miss having a music festival in February, the Yukon Film Society has stepped up. This year, the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) has expanded to include musical performances. Andrew Connors, ALFF director, explains: “It’s twofold. We realized that the way we configure the Yukon Arts Centre for cinema, we move the screen …

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Imagination and pain on display in Newfoundland yarn

Joel Thomas Hynes’s blackly tinted, yet poignantly observant perspective, brings you his best film yet. Cast No Shadow, playing at the Yukon Arts Centre on February 10, is a beautifully filmed narrative about the most terrifying demon of all: the one within. Set in the ever-shadowy outport Newfoundland, a world of dilapidated musty kitchens and …

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The Scientific Lens

The Yukon Film Society and Yukon Arts Centre present the return of the Available Light Cinema series on Sunday, September 21 with two films of the scientific variety. The science fiction film screening at 9:00 p.m. is Jonathan Glazer’s chilling parable Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson stars in it, and it has been compared to …

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Around the world in a weekend

This coming Easter weekend, along with their turkey dinners, Dawsonites will once again gear up for gluttony of films. From April 17 to 20, the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) will be showing films of all genres from around the world. The DCISFF started in 2000 as a Klondike Institute of Art and …

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A Flood of Activities

The middle of March is important for more than just spring break — it also marks Canada Water Week. Described as the week to celebrate water across the nation, Canada Water Week is held annually in the third week of March, coinciding with the United Nations’ International World Water Day on March 22. Heather Jirousek …

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Finding the Essence of Experience in Nature

Yukon artist Helen O’Connor’s textural, organic, large-scale sculpture, assemblages, and installations beg the viewer to reach out and touch them. The works seem as though they are part of the natural world, not made by human hands. Indeed, O’Connor’s works are made with reverence to nature. However, instead of literal depictions, she tries to find …

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The three faces behind the Yukon Film Society: There’s more than one way to eat popcorn

A group of movie lovers gathers on a frigid Sunday in Whitehorse. In an apartment living room, they watch movies and eat popcorn. They laugh with a good comedy and are swept away with a gripping drama. But the home of Yukon Film Society president Michael Vernon is not being used just for a good …

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Short films advertise short films: For the Dawson City International Short Film Festival

DAWSON CITY — CBC North is looking for short films to advertise a festival about short films. The Dawson City International Short Film Festival is again looking for the best public service announcement to be aired on CBC North. The winning entry will receive $100. “Story, story, story,” Lulu Keating tells people who are looking …

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The Good, the Old and the Creepy: A look at the Available Light Cinema’s eclectic new season

Andrew Connors has you in mind. All of you. And it isn’t even creepy. Well some of it is — like Upstream Colour — but most of it is just harmless fun. “Diversity in programming was the point,” says the Yukon Film Society’s executive director about this fall’s Available Light Cinema roster. “We are trying …

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Available Light Film Festival promises great stories, great film

For the sixth year, Northern film buffs will have the chance to “reconnect with the world and immerse themselves in great film”. Andrew Connors, the director of the annual Available Light Film Festival (ALFF), is satisfied he and his volunteers have found enough feature films to satisfy its mandate of telling great stories. If one …

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Down Under to the Top of the World: Why Dawson City’s Film Fest Draws International Attention

It’s a little festival with a big handle: Dawson City International Short Film Festival, March 20 to 23, 2008. But compared to festivals I’ve attended from Toronto to Chicago, from Tromso, Norway to Cannes, the DCISFF offers a plethora of programs, an exhilarating assortment of guests and the fun and flavour of a Yukon celebration. …

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‘How People Got Fire’ premieres at ALFF

It’s been three years, but How People Got Fire is ready for its world premiere at the Available Light Film Festival. “I started calling it, ‘How People Finally Got Fire’,” says Daniel Janke with a tone of weary fun. Janke, the writer/composer/director, is better known as a composer of contemporary music and creator of the …

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2009 ALFF is bigger and better

Andrew Connors is very pleased with his 32-page program for the upcoming Available Light Film Festival. “Last year, it was 24 pages,” says the festival’s director. He explains that there are only slightly more films being presented this year. The difference is in the “value-added events”. Connors says these include panel discussions, information sessions and …

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The Hordes Will Gorge on Film

The roar of the sand grinder is enough to give anyone a headache. But Dan Sokolowski, producer of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival, likes the sound. The sanding of the new ballroom floorboards is the second last step. After that is the varnishing and – fingers crossed – the ballroom will be ready …

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Local Filmmaker Chronicles Extraordinary Journey

Mike Faughey-Scraggs is an orthopedic surgeon at Leeds Teaching Hospital in England. He’s a former high diver and an experienced mountaineer, having scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. In the summer of 2008, he participated in the grueling Yukon River Quest, paddling his one-man kayak from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Added to these impressive qualifications is …

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Lights, Camera, Action!

On January 18, Yukoners have the opportunity to make a film in 48 hours. Sound impossible? Not according to Dan Sokolowski, co-organizer of the Yukon 48 Hour Filmmaking Festival. “It can be daunting to think about making a film,” says Sokolowski. “This challenge is a kick-start for people to realize they actually can make films, …

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Indo-Canadian Filmmakers Shine a Light on Contemporary India

Tickets are on sale now for the Yukon Film Society’s annual Available Light Film Festival, which takes place Feb. 4 to 10 at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse. Among the lineup are two films by Indo-Canadian filmmakers delving deep into the culture of contemporary India. Midnight’s Children Midnight’s Children is Deepa Mehta’s newest effort. …

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The ‘Brave New Words’ of filmmaking

Creative magic—the kind that turns charcoal-pencilled drawings into animation—that’s the magic of KINO (the German word for “film”). Edward Westerhuis says he’s the “official unofficial organizer” of KINO. He’s also the momentum behind KINO Returns, after boasting a sold-out audience last December. “It’s a movement that originated in Montréal, Québec, an incentive to help filmmakers …

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Available Light Film Festival shines on unique films

A powerful film about grassroots-level punk music in a religion not traditionally open to diverse musical tastes, Islam, blends with a heartfelt, passionate documentary following a young woman with cystic fibrosis. On the surface, these films are unrelated, but their beauty and truth have led to them being carefully handpicked for the Available Light Film …

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Film Festival Goers will be Reeling On Easter Weekend

On the day we met to discuss the 11th Dawson City International Short Film Festival, producer Dan Sokolowski was just finishing getting the 40-page program into final shape to go to the printers. He looked a little tired, but I was on deadline and showed him no mercy. “What’s new this year?” I snapped, clicking …

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Films and Dreams

Okay film-lovers, try this. Go stand close to a mirror, eight or nine inches away. Look steadily for a full second into one eye, then into the other eye. Now move your gaze back and forth as quickly as you can. Can you see your eyes moving? Or does your brain, like most people’s brains, …

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2011 ALFF at a Glance

Among the 25 international and Canadian features at next week’s Available Light Film festival are four of the films the Toronto International Film Festival ranked as “Canada’s top ten” for 2010 (www.tiff.net/topten.ca). The Yukon Film Society’s ninth annual festival will also offer the official selections from three countries for the 2011 Academy Award for best …

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New Option for Film Fans

Whitehorse filmgoers have a new monthly option to indulge their tastes. The Yukon Film Society (YFS) and the Yukon Arts Centre (YAC) have teamed up to present the Available Light Cinema series, starting this Sunday. “This is a vision that I’ve had for a few years, based on the response to the Available Light Film …

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Roofalanches

You might not expect to have to worry too much about falling snow in the Klondike in April. After all, this is not Alberta, where blizzards in the middle of April are common events. Yes, it snowed on the morning of Easter Sunday here in Dawson, but it had turned to drizzle by noon when …

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Short Sightings, Wide Views

On the day before the 13th Annual Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF) schedule was released, I joined festival producer, Dan Sokolowski, in his office in the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture (KIAC). A giant whiteboard with 110 colour-coordinated cards taped to it faced Sokolowski’s desk. Each card was printed with a name …

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Film Time

As we close in on Easter Weekend, otherwise known locally as the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (DCISFF), I have to wonder if Dawson’s obsession with amateur video doesn’t have something to do with the fact that the town has no theatre. Newcomers wouldn’t even know that there used to be one across the …

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Wilder, Wiser Women

Twelve Yukon filmmakers are travelling to Vancouver for the 7th Annual Vancouver Women in Film Festival, held March 8 to 11, at the Vancity Theatre. Curated by Dawson City filmmaker, Lulu Keating, the showcase of films, “Wise + Wild”, consists of works all made by women. Keating has been paving the way for women in …

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People and the Land

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Yukon Film Society’s Available Light Film Festival, highlighting an impressive array of more than 30 feature films ranging from documentaries to political thrillers to comedies, with a fiercely Canadian – and international – scope. One of the overriding themes clearly apparent from a survey of the festival’s …

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A Sokolowski Twin Pack

Visitors to the Atlin Arts and Music Festival this weekend can look forward to an excellent lineup of films to round out their entertainment schedule, thanks to the Yukon Film Society. Featured on Saturday is a pair of films that feature some breathtaking vistas of the beauty of Canada from a Yukon filmmaker, as well …

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A Gift from the Odd Fellows

Last night I attended the delightful Dawson City showing of the David Mamet play, Boston Marriage. Two days earlier the KIAC Christmas Art and Craft Extravaganza filled a room with handicrafts and artwork. On the same date there was a Karaoke Night with visiting artist-in-residence Curtis Grahauer. Two nights before that Grahauer offered a showing …

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Short Film Fest Flurry

A close look at goths who ride Winnipeg buses, an animation about Yukon sledding, and films about climate change will appear among more than 100 short films that will screen in Dawson City from April 21 to 24. This year marks the 12th edition of this annual event that has increasingly become a highlight of …

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A MITY Good Long Weekend of Cinema

DAWSON CITY I t’s a Sunday night in March in Dawson City. Outside, the snow falls lightly in the crisp calm air. But inside the Odd Hall it’s hot. The bulb on the video projector is still cooling while David Curtis, clad in a robin-egg blue suit jacket and a crisp new white dress shirt, …

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