Saturday brunch + films at TELUS TAIWANfest

Studio TheatreReel Asian and imagineNATIVE are joint community partners for all the films being presented this weekend at TELUS TAIWANfest.  Subtitled CROSSOVER: Rise of Indie Nation, this is the Vancouver-based organization’s second year in Toronto. I headed down to the Studio Theatre at Harbourfront Centre to do the intros for today’s films.  A huge crowd filled the site to enjoy the sunshine by the lake; their numbers boosted by busload after busload of suburban seniors arriving throughout the day.  But before all that, there was brunch…

Brunch with good friends is the best way to nurse a karaoke hangover (RA volunteer coordinator Gina Rim has the telltale photo proof here), so I kicked off my Saturday on the Wheat Sheaf patio:

Brunch friends at the Wheat Sheaf

That’s Renata Mohamed (LIFT), Christina Sit Yee (The Learning Partnership) and Rebecca Gimmi (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery), from left to right.  Rebecca and I couldn’t decide between eggs benny and steak-and-eggs, so we each ordered one and split them between us.  Yum!

Fortified with brunch, I met up with my imagineNATIVE counterpart, Jessica Fleming, and her volunteer Bryan Wright. The lineups for the matinée of E Sha Age took us by surprise, stretching all the way down the hall in what seemed like the blink of an eye!

TAIWANfest lineups

It’s a good thing Jessica and Bryan were also there doing outreach – I would’ve been totally overwhelmed if I had been there all by myself.  Gong-ke, the winner of our audience draw, laughed and promised the prize (a Reel Asian water bottle) to his grandson.

E Sha Age bannerThere will be an encore screening of E Sha Age tomorrow (Sunday) at 4pm if you missed it today. Crowds were less busy for the 6pm show of Viva Tonal – The Dance Age, but the air-conditioned venue provided welcome relief on a hot August evening.  Congratulations to our second water bottle winner, Francine, who was visiting Toronto from Reston, Virginia, with her husband and mother.  “We don’t have anything like this back home!” she said.  Glad you enjoyed the film, Francine – you should check out our friends at the DC APA Film Festival though, it’s not far from Reston!

This is Reel Asian’s second year supporting the film programming for TELUS TAIWANfest and we plan on being back again for many more years.  It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with our contacts in the Taiwanese community, and reach out to a key constituency of our festival fanbase.