Last year Reel Asian launched our first ever Summer Youth Video Production Workshop where we provided 6 youth with the equipment and mentorship to each create their own short video. In addition to making their own work, they were also required to act as a crew member on each of the other 5 films, which provided them each with team-building and leadership skills of their own. Saying we felt proud of each and every one of them on the day their work premiered at Reel Asian last November is an understatement.
In particular, I’d like to highlight Althea Balmes (Director, Suman Ladies). Not only did she participate as a guest speaker in our industry food panel (alongside veteran filmmakers Yung Chang and Richard Fung), she won the Reel Asian WIFT-T Award, has continued to hone her new filmmaking skills by participating in the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival‘s T24 Project and has recently taken on a community comic book she will be creating in collaboration with Filipina migrant workers as part of the Mayworks Festival. You can find out more about this project on May 12, 1-3PM at the East Gallery. But it doesn’t stop there – Althea will be one of 4 filmmakers taking part in Reel Asian’s Asian Heritage Month school tour, visiting GTA high schools to talk to students about her experience as a filmmaker. We are sure her experiences will inspire the next generation of Asian Canadians to be creative too!
Stay tuned for details on this year’s 2nd annual Summer Youth Video Production Workshops (maybe by then we will also have a shorter, snappier name for the program!).