The 2017 Reel Asian® Festival Awards will be presented at the Awards Reception on November 12th at our 21st festival, which runs November 9–18, 2017 in Downtown Toronto and North York.
2017 Festival Awards
MENKES AUDIENCE AWARD
All feature films are eligible for this prize.
$5,000 cash prize.
FASKEN MARTINEAU BEST FEATURE FILM AWARD
All feature works are eligible for this prize.
$4,000 cash prize.
NATIONAL BANK BEST FIRST FEATURE FILM AWARD
All first feature films are eligible for this prize.
$4,000 cash prize.
CENTENNIAL BEST CANADIAN FILM OR VIDEO AWARD
All Canadian works are eligible for this prize.
$1,000 cash prize.
All animated films and videos are eligible for this prize.
$800 cash prize.
AIR CANADA SHORT FILM OR VIDEO AWARD
All Canadian short films and videos are eligible for this prize. Opportunity to broadcast on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment screens on international flights.
DGC ONTARIO & WIFT-T FILM AWARD
All films made by female Ontario-based artists are eligible for this prize. $1,000 cash prize and a $1200 programming pass and one-year membership from WIFT-T.
REEL ASIAN BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY AWARD
All feature-length documentary films are eligible for this prize. $1,000 cash prize.
2017 FEATURES JURY
Helen du Toit has a background in independent film production and curation of international film festivals. As Senior Interim Director, she currently oversees CBC’s Breaking Barriers Film Fund, a program established to support the work of under-represented filmmakers.
Albert Shin graduated from York University with a B.F.A. in Film and Video Production in 2006 and directed his debut feature, Point Traverse in 2010. He returned to the director’s chair for his second-feature, In Her Place (2014), which premiered at TIFF and went on to receive 7 Canadian Screen Award nominations including Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay. Albert was also a producer on Igor Drljaca’s Krivina (2012) and The Waiting Room (2015).
Jason Anderson is the co-programmer for Short Cuts at the Toronto International Film Festival and the director of programming for the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. He regularly writes about film, music and the arts for such publications as Sight and Sound, Uncut, Cinema Scope and the Toronto Star. He also teaches at the University of Toronto and the Ryerson School of Journalism.
2017 SHORTS JURY
Joyce Wong is an award-winning director and writer. Her debut fiction feature, Wexford Plaza, screened in competition at the Slamdance Film Festival and won the Center for Asian American Media’s 2017 Best Narrative Feature Award. She is an alumna of the 2008 Berlinale Talent Campus and the 2016 TIFF Talent Lab. Her work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Milda Yoo is the Director of Sales & Acquisitions at Pacific Northwest Pictures, a Canadian film distributor that releases content across all platforms. She has extensive experience in the film industry, specializing in digital, on-demand and broadcast sales and having previously held positions at Warner Bros. Entertainment, eOne Films and Alliance Films. In addition to her experience in distribution, she has worked at film festivals, served on festival juries and produces short films.
Lisa Valencia-Svensson is an award-winning documentary film producer based in Toronto. Her first feature length documentary Herman’s House won an Emmy for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming. Her second feature Migrant Dreams was a Top Ten Audience Favourite at Hot Docs. Her passion is for film projects which explore issues of inequality and social justice, and which encourage audiences to view their world through a constructively critical and creatively unique lens.
2017 PITCH JURY
Shasha Nakhai is a filmmaker based out of Toronto with Compy Films. Her award-winning short films have screened at festivals and aired on TV worldwide, been released on iTunes, gone viral and been awarded Vimeo Staff Pick and Short of the Week. Her latest film, Frame 394, was shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. It was named one of TIFF’s Top 10 Films of 2016, and was nominated for 2 Canadian Screen Awards.
Michael Fukushima is an award-winning filmmaker and producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s world-renowned Animation Studio. He has been making films since 1984, which is a lot of water under the bridge. Fukushima joined the NFB Animation Studio in 1990 where he’s been a filmmaker, producer, and now executive producer. He now mostly produces the producers and offers up sagacity and wise-cracking bon mots.
Heidi Tao Yang currently manages the Hot Docs Film Funds where she oversees Hot Docs’ portfolio of documentary film funds for Canadian and international documentary films. In this role she works with filmmakers from around the world on their projects and oversee Hot Docs’ investment in their work and professional development. Heidi has a background in producing and developing fiction and nonfiction for film and TV. Heidi is an alumnus of the Producer’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre. If there is spare time, she devotes it to reading books.