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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Julie Chang
Chair

As Blue Ant Media’s EVP, Business Strategy and Co-productions, Julie Chang oversees commercial deal negotiation and strategic co-production opportunities for Global Media’s originals commissioning slate for linear and global free streaming channels. With expertise in commercial deal negotiation and strategic co-productions, Julie heads up all aspects of business operations for the originals group, including production management supporting the editorial commissioning process. In her previous role as EVP of International Co-Productions, she focused on global partnerships to strengthen Blue Ant Media’s Production group.

Prior to joining Blue Ant Media, Chang was the SVP of Business and Legal Affairs with Peace Point Rights and Peace Point Entertainment Group, where she had a first hand in building Peace Point’s International Rights division and oversaw the business and legal affairs of all production for various platforms on a global basis. Previous to Peace Point, Julie was with Behind the Scenes Services Inc. and was an associate at Lewis Birnberg Hanet, LLP where she represented international distributors and executive producers for scripted/lifestyle/factual programming. Chang has held executive positions in a number of areas of the industry including home distribution for Lions Gate Films, business and legal affairs for the former Alliance Atlantis and UK-based Café Productions.

Shaheen Ali
Vice Chair

Shaheen Ali is a Multiplatform Programmer at WildBrain, a global children’s content and brands company. She spearheads programming strategic content offerings and scheduling plans for global partner initiatives across SVOD, FAST and other non-linear platforms.

Previously, she worked as Channel Producer for specialty channels overlooking creative development and production. As a First-Generation Indo-Canadian, she champions broadening opportunities for diverse voices and independent thinkers in media arts by facilitating collaboration and partnerships.

Eric Ho
Treasurer

Eric Ho is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant and Chartered Investment Manager with a career in Financial Services. As a Director in Scotiabank’s Global Wealth Management Audit Department, he leads a team in assessing various risks and controls across the Wealth business units. Prior to Scotiabank, he worked at various financial institutions including Barclays Global Investors and Macquarie Private Wealth and achieved his CA designation at Ernst and Young.  In September 2020, Eric joined the Reel Asian board in the capacity of treasurer.

Sydney Wong
Secretary

Sydney Wong is a Business Development Strategist at Corus Entertainment with the digital team. Her focus is on the Global News website and video licensing partnerships.

Her background in media and project management, has propelled her to work in television programming, producing live-action and animated shows, and short film distribution. Sydney has served on juries and panels at the Toronto Youth Shorts and Hamilton Film Festival. She is passionate about sharing the Asian experience through various forms of media in order to drive significant change in our community.

Kristle Bautista

Kristle Bautista is an award-winning author, course director at York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, and HR advisory within the Canadian Aerospace industry. Kristle’s published book, The Pivotal Moment, was celebrated as a #1 new release and bestseller within weeks of release in both Canada and the US, and is in the process of becoming a feature film. Her global HR advisory, mentorship and training experience spans across the aerospace, business consulting, not-for-profit, and food and consumer packaged goods industries over nearly 20 years. She has successfully delved into different industries, fascinated with what makes employees tick, and the common thread between HR professionals — the thing that makes us all human.

Michael Fukushima

In his 36-year career, Michael Fukushima has been an animator, a filmmaker, a producer, and more recently, executive producer of the NFB’s English Animation Studio. He’s a member of the AMPAS® Academy, with over 200 films (and some nice awards) under his belt. His last films, by Oscar®-winners Alison Snowden and David Fine, and Torill Kove, were each Academy Award® nominees. His final NFB film is Joanna Quinn’s AFFAIRS OF THE ART. Freshly retired from the NFB, Fukushima is enjoying the freedom to ski all winter and cycle the rest of the time, cherry-picking the film work that most interests him. As a longtime member of Reel Asian’s advisory committee, Michael has already contributed to the organization as a years-long jury member for our Pitch! competition, a contributor to our AnimAsian award, and general all-around supporter.

Victor Kim

Victor Kim is a labour and employment lawyer at McMillan LLP. Acting for employers at the provincial and federal levels, Victor advances the interest of his clients in labour arbitrations, collective bargaining, labour board proceedings, wrongful dismissal and human rights litigation, and occupational health and safety proceedings. In his advisory practice, Victor coaches employers on workplace investigations and the development of workplace policies.

Aron Levitz

Aron Levitz is President of Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, where he leads a visionary team of global entertainment and publishing experts to create data-backed, fan-driven hit TV shows, films, and books from WEBTOON and Wattpad. Levitz pioneered Wattpad’s adaptation business, launching Wattpad Studios in 2016 and serving as the company’s global studio head until the creation of Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. In just a few short years, Levitz grew Wattpad Studios from a concept to global leader in creating can’t-miss entertainment.

Prior to his role as Head of Wattpad Studios, Levitz was Head of Business Development at Wattpad, building the company’s monetization strategy and native advertising solution. He was also instrumental in launching the Wattpad Stars program that gives top influencers access to a variety of opportunities.

FESTIVAL ADVISORY

Nobu Adilman
Karla Bobadilla
Jennifer Chen
Linda Fong
Richard Fung

Colin Geddes
Carolynne Hew
Diang-Yee Iu
Cheuk Kwan
Anita Lee

Helen Lee
Sally Lee
Keith Lock
Winnie Luk
Joanna Miles

Kerri Sakamoto
Sonia Sakamoto-Jog
Ana Serrano
Victoria Shen
Alice Shih

CHAIR EMERITUS & FOUNDER

Anita Lee

LEGACY CIRCLE

CO-FOUNDER

Andrew Sun

FORMER BOARD MEMBERS

Elaine Chang
Richard Cheung
Kwoi Gin
Richard Kim
Cheuk Kwan
Du-Yi Leu
Pablo de Ocampo
Geoffrey Peers
Simran Prihar
Simon Racioppa
Elliot Richmond
Bobby Sahni
Evelyn Siu
Philip Tsui
Danish Vahidy
Bob Wang
Dave Wong
Immanuel Lanzaderas

FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

Grace Bai
Louanne Chan
Kristine Estorninos
Sally Lee
Alka Sharma
Caroline Sin
Sonia Sakamoto-Jog
Savine Wong

FOUNDING STAFF

Ann Chiu
Shelly Hong

Seeking new board members

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a not-for-profit festival with strong roots in the community. In a strong, effective governance model, strategic planning is the full responsibility of a Board of Directors. The board sets the strategy and the priorities to then enable and support the staff to operationalize the strategy on a day-to-day basis. Strategic planning is the most critical investment of time a Board can contribute to any organization.

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