toronto reel asian international film festival, november 6-17

Hey Toronto film fans! While we Americans are preoccupied with this election nonsense, the 16th annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is now underway, showcasing sixty diverse films and videos reflecting some of the most exciting works in Asian cinema.

It's all going down November 6-11 in downtown Toronto and November 16-17 in Richmond Hill. Here's the funny festival trailer:

And here's a handy overview of some festival highlights, admittedly copied and pasted from a Reel Asian press release:


- TORONTO OPENING NIGHT GALA: FIRST TIME (China/Hong Kong 2012, Canadian Premiere, director Han Yan in attendance)
- CENTREPIECE PRESENTATION: PRISON DANCER (Canada 2012, Canadian Premiere, director Romeo Candido, producer Ana Serrano and cast in attendance)
- TORONTO CLOSING NIGHT GALA: ARCHITECTURE 101 (South Korea 2012, Canadian Premiere, director Lee Yong-joo in attendance)

INTERNATIONAL FEATURES: a selection of award-winning and noteworthy films including

- China – EGG AND STONE by Huang Ji, winner of Tiger Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012
- Kashmir/USA – VALLEY OF SAINTS by Musa Syeed, winner of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize and World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival 2012
- China/Taiwan – HOMETOWN BOY by Yao Hung-I, winner of Best Documentary 2012 at Taipei Golden Horse Award 2011 and Grand Prize for Best Director and Best Documentary at Taipei Film Festival
- Indonesia – THE MIRROR NEVER LIES by Kamila Andini, winner of Earth Grand Pris at Tokyo International Film Festival 2011 and FIPRESCI Prize at Hong Kong International Film Festival 2012
- Taiwan – CHA CHA FOR TWINS by Yang Yi-Chien, winner of Best Narrative Feature and Best Screenplay at Taipei Film Festival 2012
- Japan – THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN by Shuichi Okita, winner of Special Jury Price at Tokyo International Film Festival 2011


- Canadian Premiere of PRISON DANCER (Canada 2012, director Romeo Candido, producer Ana Serrano and cast in attendance)
- Toronto Premiere of THE FRUIT HUNTERS (Canada 2012, director Yung Chang, quest in attendance)
- North American Premiere of DAL PURI DIASPORA (Canada 2012, director Richard Fung in attendance)
- Canadian Spotlight on MICHAEL FUKUSHIMA: THE ART OF PRODUCING ART (Producer/Director Michael Fukushima in attendance)
- Canadian shorts are included in: ONCE LOST, NOW FOUND, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK, ESCAPE OF REALITY, HARD LOOK and UNSUNG HEROES (Various filmmakers in attendance)


Continuing to engage with pan-Asian experimental installations, Reel Asian presents two exciting off-screen projects, each with a unique focus on video art. Hosted at TPW R&D, Innis College, East Gallery and the Monarch Festival Hub.


Reel Asian's 7th Annual Pitch Competition - So You Think You Can Pitch? - is back for 2012. A collaboration between Reel Asian and Charles Street Video (CSV), this competition features prizes worth a combined value of more than $35,000. Teams of filmmakers will have six minutes each to pitch their projects to vie for $2,000 in cash; a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1; $10,000 (emerging category) and $18,000 (professional category) worth of production, post services and artist’s fees at CSV.


As part of our continuing initiative to reach new audiences beyond the downtown core, Reel Asian returns to the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts for its 2nd Annual Richmond Hill weekend film festival. We will be opening with the Canadian premiere of Floating City with Hong Kong veteran director Yim Ho in attendance and closing the uptown festival with Yung Chang’s highly anticipated documentary The Fruit Hunters.
Looks like they've put together a solid program of screenings and events. One of these days, I really hope I can make it out Toronto to join the festivities. For further information about the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, including the full schedule, check out the festival website here.

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