Louanne joined Reel Asian in 2009 as a volunteer on the Special Events Committee. Since then, she has taken on the staff roles of Director of Marketing, Managing Director and currently oversees the festival’s sponsorships, grants and finance as the Executive Director. Prior to Reel Asian, Louanne worked in the business development department at Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto and taught English in Taiwan. Louanne holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in International Business and East Asia from McGill University. Louanne enjoys Stephen Chow comedies, anything with Daniel Wu and can be seen cycling around the city with her Totoro backpack on.
Interim Executive Directorsavine@reelasian.com
Savine is excited to be joining the team as the Interim Executive Director, where she will be responsible for overseeing the festival’s partnerships, development, finance, and general growth. For the last 10 years, Savine has been working in the entertainment financing and programming space, including as part of the entertainment financing teams at National Bank of Canada in Toronto and Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, as well as programming teams at the Toronto International Film Festival. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in finance and languages from Queen’s University and is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Outside of films, Savine spends her time thinking, reading and consuming all things related to food.
Head of Programmingprogramming@reelasian.com
Kristine Estorninos has been a festival distribution strategist for over five years. Before arriving in Canada, she worked in feature film production and distribution in the Philippines. She worked in film distribution at the Canadian Film Centre, as well as at Ouat Media, where festival strategy was key to earning the company’s films numerous Oscar nominations and wins. Kristine has curated and juried for local and international film festivals, and has been involved with Reel Asian over the years in numerous capacities including special events and programming. She holds masterclasses and presentations about film festival strategy and distribution at various institutions and festivals around the world. To find her at any event, search for the small girl holding up a burger the size of her head.
Festival & Operations Managerchris@reelasian.com
Chris Chin is going into his twelfth festival with Reel Asian, having started out as a Front-of-House volunteer back in 2003. He is an Associate Programmer at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival and has worked and volunteered at other festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, Images Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, and Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. In addition to his festival commitments, he has provided event management and operations support to organizations including the Center for Asian American Media (SF), Pride Toronto, and the Canadian Film Centre. Chris sings with choir!choir!choir! and is always up for a night of karaoke.
Philbert has been involved with Reel Asian since 2010. He has worn several hats at the festival as the Marketing Committee Co-chair, Assistant to Volunteer Coordinator, and the Volunteer Coordinator. In the past Philbert has worked with the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Kollaboration Toronto, and the Canadian Film Centre. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at York University where he studied Film and Communication Studies. Philbert is also a graduate of Seneca College’s Social Media Program. Outside of the festival, he deep dives into manga, comic books, basketball, sci-fi, and many other geeky pursuits. #WeTheNorth!
Development Manager & International Programmer, East Asiabetty@reelasian.com
With a background in Cinema Studies and Asia Pacific Studies, Betty started working for Reel Asian in 2013 as the festival’s VIP Guest Service Assistant. Currently, she manages the festival’s membership program and helps to program Chinese language films. When she is not busy working at Reel Asian, she is also an independent filmmaker, making both fiction and documentary films. Her most recent film The Home Promised has traveled to film festivals around the world. Find Betty at the member line-up during the festival, and chat with her about film, food and horoscope.
Amanda has been involved in the Toronto film scene since 2011. She holds a BSc from the University of Toronto in Cinema Studies and Human Biology and is currently working towards her MA in Cinema Studied from York University. Amanda began volunteering with TIFF and since then has been involved with most of the major film and performance festivals in the city as both a volunteer and staff including Hot Docs, Reel Asian, Images, Luminato and The Toronto Fringe Festival. She is the former volunteer coordinator for Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival and is excited to be working with Reel Asian’s awesome crew of volunteers this year. When not working the festival circuit, she is most likely hanging out on the ice, regardless of the season.
Aaditya Aggarwal was the 2016 Online Editorial Intern at Canadian Art and the Sid Adilman Mentee at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and Screen Daily, an industry news publication. Aaditya has also contributed writing to online publications like The New Inquiry, The Review and The Ethnic Aisle.
Special Projects Assistant
Joseph Chung has been involved with Reel Asian since 2016, working as an intern. A graduate of York University’s Cinema Studies program, he is currently an independent filmmaker and is working as an assistant manager for the Reel Asian’s 2017 special project, Been Here So Long, in partnership with V-Tape. He is an amateur cook and is currently experimenting with vegan dishes.
Special Projects Coordinatorjihee@reelasian.com
Jihee has been involved in Reel Asian’s special exhibitions since 2013. Graduate of Concordia University (MFA) and OCADU (BFA), Jihee is a visual artist with multi-disciplinary practices. Her work employs narrative strategies and autobiographical experiences to engage issues of displaced culture and multiculturalism, focusing on stereotypical issues on race, language and memory. She works in a wide range of media, such as sculpture, installation, performance, video, and photography. As a recent downtowner, Jihee enjoys bike rides to commute between home and her studio in Kensington market and to the 401 Richmond. If you see her in the 401 building, she’s either at Reel Asian or making cyanotypes in the basement darkroom at Gallery 44 where she takes part in the education committee.
Reel Ideas Coordinatorindustry@reelasian.com
Vithiya Murugadas hails from Mississauga, Ontario where the boredum of suburban life cultivated a binge watcher of film and television long before Netflix. Tired of not seeing realistic Asian
representation in Canadian media she went into the business to fix that, only to discover so many other people who shared her plight at Reel Asian. For the past three years she has put her binge watching skills to use on Reel Asian’s programming committee. In addition to coordinating the 2017 Reel Ideas program, Vithiya also produces original television content for Canadian broadcaster Channel Zero Inc. including the weekly half hour film preview show, The Watchlist.
Youth Outreach Coordinatoryouthoutreach@reelasian.com
From a young age Yoko has been interested in films. Being educated at the university level in Panama, America, Japan and England allowed Yoko to explore her love of different cultures and societies through the medium of film and animation. After working for Arts and Culture in Tokyo, she moved to Toronto in 2016, and studied Television and Film Business at Centennial College. As the Youth Outreach Coordinator at Reel Asian Film Festival, Yoko is in a unique and challenging position. Her time in Toronto has given her the inspiration to work on an anime film in conjunction with a scriptwriter from England and has given her the drive and determination to be involved hands on in the Canadian film industry.
Programmer of South Asia
Dilani Rabindran is the Founder & Managing Director of the Viewfinder Film Consulting company, an international firm dedicated to taking quality South Indian films around the world. Operating out of both Toronto, Canada and Chennai, India she represents and consults on films from the Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu languages. She got her start in film after completing her MBA at McMaster University and joining the Toronto International Film Festival in project funding and South Asian programming. She is also a well known film critic and columnist within South Asian media and hosts a popular podcast called “1 By 2”, where she interviews desi artists from around the world, exclusively for Raaga.com. Dilani is Reel Asian’s International Programmer in charge of South Asia.