In the face of being cast as “outsiders,” the subjects of these films stand out and stand strong in this selection of moving stories and documentaries.
– Heather Keung
Dir. Jeffrey Tran | Canada 2009 | 3:00 | Beta SP | World Premiere | Director in Attendance
In this homage to silent-film comedies, an old man sitting on a bench daydreams of a Chaplinesque scenario while a modern world rushes past him.
Jeffrey Tran is currently attending Ryerson University’s film program.
My Name is Tuan
Dir. Nguyen-Anh Nguyen | Canada 2008 | 6:30 | DigiBeta | Toronto Premiere
A young Vietnamese boy adjusting in very subtle ways to Western life meets a young girl at his new school and befriends her.
Nguyen-Anh Nguyen, who was born in Saigon and arrived in Quebec at the age of six, completed a doctorate in dental medicine at L’Université de Montréal. His interest in nostalgia led him to a love for film.
Travels with My Brother
Dir. Christine Alexiou, June Chua | Canada 2009 | 15:30 | Digi Beta | World Premiere | Directors in Attendance
A live-action/animated short documentary examines the unique perceptions of Vas, an autistic man, and the complex relationship he has with his sister, Christine, through a series of conversations and clashes about love, art, family, existence and destiny.
Christine Alexiou is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s prime-time television writing program. Among her credits are a documentary, Telling Lives: Portraits of Immigrant Grandmothers; a drama, Degrassi: The Next Generation; and a docudrama series, 72 Hours: True Crime.
June Chua is a Malaysian-born Canadian filmmaker with 17 years’ experience as a journalist working for the CBC as a reporter, announcer, writer and producer. Travels with My Brother won the 2008 Reel Asian Pitch Competition.
When I Grow Up
Dir. Toshimi Ono | Canada 2009 | 9:55 | DigiBeta | World Premiere | Director in Attendance
A portrait of a delightful man who has taught Chinese language and Asian cultures for 40 years in Canada.
Toshimi Ono has born and raised in Tokyo. Her films and artistic work highlight ordinary people living extraordinary lives.
Dir. Adele Free Pham, Bao Nguyen | USA 2009 | 5:40 | DVCAM | World Premiere | Directors in Attendance
Dr. Motoo Unno, a spirited visiting professor from Japan who knocked on more than 1,100 doors to campaign for Barack Obama during the U.S. elections, teaches cross-cultural communication at American University in Washington, D.C.
Adele Free Pham is based in New York City. Her film Parallel Adele, which focused on depictions of mixed-race and minority populations in mediated culture and documentary film, screened at Reel Asian in 2008.
Bao Nguyen is currently pursuing an MFA in social documentary film at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
A Song for Ourselves
Dir. Tadashi Nakamura | USA 2009 | 35:00 | DigiBeta | Canadian Premiere
An intimate documentary about the life of Asian American Movement troubadour Chris Iijima. Animated photographs, archival footage and Iijima’s music allow his sons to realize how their father provided the voice for an entire generation.
Tadashi Nakamura has an MA in social documentation from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a BA in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. A Song for Ourselves is the third installment of Nakamura’s trilogy on the early Asian American Movement. The trilogy includes Yellow Brotherhood (Reel Asian, 2003) and Pilgrimage (Reel Asian, 2007).