The 2014 Reel Asian® Festival Awards will be presented at the Industry Awards Reception on Sunday, November 9th, 2014.
MENKES AUDIENCE AWARD
All feature films are eligible for this prize
$2,000 cash prize
FASKEN MARTINEAU BEST FEATURE FILM OR VIDEO AWARD
All feature works are eligible for this prize
$2,000 cash prize
CHCH BEST CANADIAN FILM OR VIDEO AWARD
All Canadian works are eligible for this prize
$500 cash prize
NATIONAL BANK BEST FIRST FEATURE FILM AWARD
All first feature films are eligible for this prize
$500 cash prize
All animated films and videos are eligible for this prize
$500 cash prize
All films made by female GTA-based artists are eligible for this prize.
$1,200 programming pass, one-year membership from WIFT-T
2014 FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL JURY
Samuel Jamier is the co-director of the New York Asian Film Festival, conceived and produced by Subway Cinema. Until 2013, he was senior film programmer and curator at Japan Society, responsible for the selection and organization of all films, series and festivals. Previously, he was senior program officer at The Korea Society, where he designed and executed cultural programming initiatives including an annual program of 60 public lectures and workshops on topics ranging from foreign policy and corporate symposia to Korean cinema and traditional performing arts.
Danish Vahidy is currently the Director of Marketing at Mongrel Media, one of Canada’s leading film distribution companies and home to some of the very best films made in Canada and specializing in art house, foreign and independent feature films as well as documentaries. Danish is a veteran of the film industry with over 20 years of experience in Canadian theatrical distribution and has worked on the campaigns for numerous high-profile films including Water, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and Boyhood. Danish also sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Picture Pioneers, an organization dedicated to the welfare of all members of the motion picture industry in Canada.
Thom Ernst is a Toronto based film critic and writer and an active member of the (TFCA) Toronto Film Critic’s Association. Currently he is the regular Friday night film critic on CTV National News. He is also well known to CBC Radio listeners as a frequent contributor to CBC Radio Fresh Air with Mary Ito, as well as the fill-in critic on CBC Radio Syndication. Thom has served on the FIPRESCI international film jury for the TIFF Discovery program and has served twice as a jury member for the Italian International Film Festival. He was also the on-air reviewer film for CBC’s PLAY with Jian Ghomeshi and appeared as a regular film critic and commentator on TVO’s More To Life, Studio 2, and The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
2014 FESTIVAL CANADIAN JURY
Rupal Shah is the producer at Nightswimming, a company focused on commissioning and developing new Canadian theatre work. Most recently, she produced the world premiere and Canadian tour of Carmen Aguirre’s Blue Box. Upcoming is the world premiere of Anita Majumdar’s The Fish Eyes Trilogy, playing this season in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Banff. Currently, she sits on the board of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) as the Chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee and she is a member of the Creative Strategies Incubator Advisory at the Metcalf Foundation. Rupal is also the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP).
A producer that focuses on films with international appeal, Sidney Chiu’s credits include: Coconut Hero (dir. Florian Cossen), Three Days in Havana (dir. Tony Pantages and Gil Bellows), and Bang Bang Baby (dir. Jeffrey St. Jules), which recently won the TIFF 2014 award for Best Canadian First Feature. Chiu also worked on Edko Film’s Mandarin romantic comedy Finding Mr. Right starring Tang Wei with Director Xue Xiaolu, and Producers Mathew Tang and Shan Tam, which has grossed over US$80 Million in China according to Hollywood Reporter.
Brad Horvath is a producer, sales executive, and content rights strategist. He has managed international film acquisitions and North American sales for Toronto-based Ouat Media and was the North American Sales and Acquisitions Executive for London-based Cineflix Rights. Recently, he joined the sales team at BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation. He has a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree from Dalhousie University, with concentrated studies in Film.
2014 FESTIVAL PITCH JURY
Stephen Gong is the Executive Director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Stephen has been associated with CAAM since its founding in 1980, and has served as Executive Director since 2006. He has been a lecturer in the Asian American Studies program at UC Berkeley, where he developed and taught a course on the history of Asian American media. Stephen is the Board Chair of the Center for Rural Strategies and serves on the Advisory Board of the San Francisco Silent Film Society.
Michael Fukushima is an award-winning filmmaker and producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s world-renowned Animation Studio. Two of his most recent productions, The End of Pinky (Claire Blanchet) and Impromptu (Bruce Alcock), had their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013.
Jennifer Chen is Vice President of the Programming managing acquired content and original productions for multiple Canadian television networks: CHCH in Toronto-Hamilton-Niagara region, Rewing-the Gen X movie channel, Silver Screen Classics and the new Halla Bol! – the only network dedicated to children’s programming in the Hindi language. She was formerly the General Manager of Ouat Media, managing one of the largest distribution companies specializing in world sales of short film content including Oscar-winning short films in live action and animation. Jennifer has shared her knowledge of the film and television industry with audiences at film festivals around the world, consulted on distribution strategies for award-winning shorts, and published papers on the subject. She currently serves on the Board of the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival and loves it!