While we often shorten it to just “RA”, it’s worth remembering that we’re the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. We try very hard not just to show local audiences the world of East and Southeast Asian film, but to bring Canadian work to the world beyond our borders.
With 47 years of history behind it, Taipei’s venerable Golden Horse Film Festival is one of the most respected festivals in Asia. They just released their list of Top 100 Chinese-Language Films and it was really satisfying to see the names of films and directors that have also appeared at Reel Asian over the years.
We have always strived to support independent work over the mega-budget industry blockbusters, so for every Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or Infernal Affairs that we don’t get a chance to present, it’s nice to see there’s a Made in Hong Kong (a Toronto premiere at RA 1998) or Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (RA 2005 Closing Gala) that also made the list.
At the same time, Reel Asian is really happy to see Asian Canadian filmmakers being showcased on the world stage. Some recent successes include Deborah Chow‘s The High Cost of Living representing Canada at the Berlinale and Lixin Fan‘s nomination from the Director’s Guild of America for his debut film Last Train Home (winner announced tomorrow, Jan 29, in Los Angeles).
Reel Asian is doing our part to bring Asian Canadian work to international audiences through our touring initiatives. This year, we’ll be taking our original commissioned work Suite Suite Chinatown on the road to festivals in Montreal, San Francisco, Winnipeg, and New York – watch our main site for an announcement in February!