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Zìyóu (Freedom)

How do you know if you’ve been living your life to the fullest?

Meet Emily, an avid kayaker who feels most free between water and sky. Shattering the mould that had been cast for her life, she has opted instead to live for herself, listening attentively to her inner voice. For Emily, happiness stems from being in control of her life and her choices – a notion that is put to the test when she faces a situation entirely beyond her control.

When she is suddenly confronted with a situation most hope never to encounter, Emily is forced to consider the choices she’s made, and what she’ll do differently in the next chapter of her life.

Join her as she explores what it means to set herself free.

Director’s statement

On the surface, “Ziyou” is a story about an individual overcoming the challenges of her own culture and family traditions, but in actuality it is something much more. It’s a universal story about the will of an individual to carve a path that is genuine to the innermost values by which one lives. To me, Emily’s story represents the true meaning of “freedom.”

And this is what fascinates me the most: despite all the tribulations of her upbringing and personal health, Emily has maintained a strong and consistent perspective throughout her life, choosing her own story and not one that was chosen for her. This story explores how an individual connects with and finds deep meaning, joy and solace in the natural world.


After receiving his B.A. in Human Geography, Goh’s curiosity about the human spirit led him to a career in documentary photography and filmmaking. Everything he learned working in these genres continues to have a huge influence on his commercial work, where he is known for a cinematography that is carefully executed with an authentic and visceral feel. Goh has received numerous awards, including the 2016 Canadian Society of Cinematographers Webeo Award for his short film “We Belong To It.”

To look at his work is to see a filmmaker shaped by the very things he’s captured through a camera lens. From meeting amazing people to exploring some of the planet’s most incredible locations, Goh draws upon a lifetime of unique experiences and his passion for storytelling.

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