Directed by Randall Okita
Discovery Award, 2017 Canadian Screen Awards
Randall Okita and Producer Tania Thompson in attendance!
Multimedia artist and filmmaker Randall Okita weaves a delicate, nuanced tale of depressed teen Hashi (a wonderful Keigian Umi Tang in a breakthrough role), who suffers tremendously in silence after a close friend’s suicide and acts out through self-harm and thievery. As the eponymous title character, he drifts through his daily routine of school, part-time job, and home willfully closed off from the world at large. With headphones on, he listens to past recordings of conversations engaged in and scribbles in his personal journal observing from a distance, fearful of getting involved or making a deeper human connection. Through surreal and dreamlike imagery and experimental sound design, Okita conveys vividly Hashi’s subjectivity—both his suppressed pain and his inner desires. As he struggles to cope with escalating dreams and nightmares which begins to blur the line between reality and his subconscious, we share in his existential crisis as we descend into those altered states with him.
As much a coming-of-age story as a tour de force character portrait, THE LOCKPICKER commemorates troubled youth in its full bloom through its opening of a mind’s inner eye via the power of the cinematic medium. As Hashi’s nightmares overwhelm his consciousness, he contemplates an escape plan, whether via that summer on the sea youth-work program promoted at school or by his own devices. Through acts of petty theft around his regular stomping grounds, he hopes to collect the funds he needs in order to take off on a journey away from all that is familiar. Whether he gets away is ultimately besides the point as we chart his own intuitive steps towards a kind of self-healing.
The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 San Diego Asian Film Festival and Best First Feature at the 2016 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, it recently received the inaugural John Dunning Discovery Award at the Canadian Screen Awards. In Tang, Okita has found a leading man who recalls the tortured, delicate soul of a River Phoenix in RUNNING ON EMPTY and MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO. Channeling the auteur spirit characteristic of the best of 90s independent filmmaking, this is an accomplished feature film debut by a seasoned artist looking to expand his creative palette.
— Melanie Ramos, with additional contributions by Lindy Leong
Randall Lloyd Okita is a Canadian filmmaker whose work often incorporates elements of sculpture, drama, and rich, often surreal cinematography. His films have won national and international acclaim and have been broadcast and screened at festivals around the world. The Lockpicker is his first feature film.
Producers: Jason Lapeyre, Randall Okita, Robert Fisher, Chris Agoston, Tania Thompson, Darcy Van Poelgeest
Director: Randall Okita
Cinematographer: Jackson Parrell
Cast: Keigian Umi Tang