In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, Reel Asian presents its first cross-Canada tour SENSE OF WONDER, a dynamic selection of thought-provoking Asian Canadian shorts from across the country. This program will be seen in four different cities this May including Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver, thanks to four presenting partners: Winnipeg Film Group, Accès Asie, Ottawa Asian Heritage Month, and Explorasian.
Reel Asian is Canada's premier pan-Asian international film festival, fostering the exchange of cultural and artistic ideals between east and west. It provides a public forum for homegrown Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada. The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Founded in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun, this non-profit community-based festival has grown into an eagerly anticipated annual event that attracts thousands of attendees to 6 exciting days of screenings, industry sessions and special events. The 2010 festival will take place from November 9-14 in Toronto.
SENSE OF WONDER
Inspiring our imaginations in the darkest of moments, this year’s selection of the best Asian Canadian shorts invokes a playful outlook on tragedy. Guest directors will be visiting each city for screenings and Q&As.
SENSE OF WONDER includes three of the 2009 festival’s award-winning shorts, including:
REX VS. SINGH (Canada 2009) by Richard Fung, John Greyson and Ali Kazimi
This four-part drama, documentary, musical and conceptual video provides an insightful perspective on the history of homophobia and racism towards Sikhs in Vancouver, Canada. The video won the NFB Best Canadian Film Or Video Award at Reel Asian in 2009 “for the artful mining of archival material, for great cast and production, and for the inspired multi-POV structure that looks at how history is interpreted and then re-interpreted.”
Ali Kazimi was born and raised in India and is an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker. He currently teaches film and video at York University in Toronto. His documentary Continuous Journey is a provocative and multilayered film essay that interweaves photographs, newsreels, home movies and official documents.
John Greyson is a prolific video artist, filmmaker and writer whose work has been screened in numerous international festivals and venues. Greyson currently teaches film and video at York University and recently completed his new feature, Fig Trees.
Richard Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based video artist and cultural critic whose work deals with the confluence of race and queer sexuality and with issues of post-colonialism, diaspora and family. Winner of the Bell Canada Award for Outstanding Achievement in Video Art, Fung currently teaches at the Ontario College of Art & Design.
Richard Fung will be in attendance in Montreal and Ottawa for a Q&A following the screenings.
FOUND (Canada 2009) by Paramita Nath is about Toronto poet Souvankham Thammavongsa, who was born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand. Nath beautifully brings together Thammavongsa’s words and his father’s abandoned scrapbook into a moving visual poem. Found was awarded the TSV Visionary Video Award at Reel Asian 2009 for being “a memoir film done exceptionally well and for its haunting poetry.”
Paramita Nath was born in India and moved to Canada 12 years ago to pursue studies in music. She received a BA in music from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an MA in interdisciplinary fine arts from York University in Toronto.
Paramita Nath will be in attendance in Montreal and Ottawa for a Q&A following the screenings.
FISH IN BARREL (Canada 2009) by Randall Okita. In a stunning cinematic exploration of a young man’s internal struggle, director Okita questions what lies below the surface. Fish In Barrel won the Centennial College @ Wallace Studios Most Innovative Film Production Award, where it was described as “brilliantly shot, with a potent and evocative integration of music and sound with image.”
Randall Okita was born in Calgary, lived in Vancouver for a number of years and is currently a director-in-residence at the CFC in Toronto. Fish In Barrel screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and has screened internationally. The Vancouver screening will be the Vancouver premiere of FISH IN BARREL. Randall Okita will be in attendance in Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver for a Q&A following the screenings.
The tour will also include Q&A’s with the following directors:
Leslie Supnet (A SMALL MISUNDERSTANDING, Canada, 2008) is a Filipino illustrator and animator from Winnipeg, who imparts a touch of whimsy in an exploration of isolation, nostalgia, place and identity in a humorous animation about a hungry bird.
Leslie Supnet will be in attendance in Winnipeg and Montreal for a Q&A following the screenings.
Yung Chang (ALI SHAN, Canada, 2009) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who graduated in film production from Montreal’s Concordia University. His work Up the Yangtze recently won best documentary at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. His short film Ali Shan is poetic voyage inspired by childhood memories that takes viewers across the ocean to Taiwan and a breathtaking sunrise at the peaks of a historical mountain.
Yung Chang will be in attendance in Montreal for a Q&A following the screenings.
Lydia Fu (PERMUTE, Canada, 2008) is a Vancouver-based filmmaker. She graduated in chemistry at the University of Chicago and in media arts at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her short tells the story of existential heroine Lulu who is caught in a film-noir cityscape fraught with mystery, anxiety and apprehension.
Lydia Fu will be in attendance in Vancouver for a Q&A following the screenings.
Sense of Wonder also includes:
NOCTURNE FOR THE FIREFLIES (Dir. Victoria Cheong, Canada 2009) and IRMA VEP (Dir. Jong Wook Choi, Canada 2009).
Festival Accès Asie and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival will also be presenting a special selection of films and videos from Quebec, À LA RENCONTRE DU PAYSAGE QUÉBÉCOIS. Including titles by Naoko Kumagai, Nguyen-Anh Nguyen, Anh Minh Truong, Jenny Lin, Khoa Lê and Joanne Hui.
SENSE OF WONDER: SUNDAY MAY 16,1:00 PM
À LA RENCONTRE DU PAYSAGE QUÉBÉCOIS: SUNDAY MAY 16, 2:30PM
Located at 1564 Rue St-Denis
Cost: $ 7 (for both programs)