Best Feature


All feature works are eligible for this award.

$2,000 cash prize

Three Sisters, Lee Seung-won

Jury Statement

This feature film showcases superb performances by actors and powerful close-ups utilized by the director to let the audience closely follow the lives of three sisters facing their dark past brought upon by chauvinistic patriarchy. Unfolding like a road film, Three Sisters is more than just a message about anti-patriarchy, anti-military dictatorship and the dark history of Korea. In the end, each sister finally stands up for their respective hopes and happiness.

CineSend & Front Row Insurance
Best First Feature

All first feature films are eligible for this award:

$1,500 cash prize + CineSend Files Team Annual Plan (valued at $4,500)

Inbetween Girl, Mei Makino

Jury Statement

The jury awards CineSend and Front Row Insurance Best First Feature to Inbetween Girl by debut director/writer Mei Makino. In this coming-of-age story set in Galveston, Texas, Mei weaves an indelible story of race, marginalization, and female liberation.

The Truth to Power
Documentary Award


All documentary films are eligible for this $1,500 cash prize, donated by Karla Bobadilla, Diang-Yee Iu, Immanuel Lanzaderas, Sonia Sakamoto-Jog, Victoria Shen and Jason Tam

This Stained Dawn, Anam Abbas

Jury Statement

This vibrant and clamorous film shines its lens on contemporary Pakistan, and more importantly, its women, as they prepare for the multi-city Women’s March in 2019. From striking images of 10,000 protesters in the streets of Karachi, to intimate portraits of young women organizing in living rooms and on roof tops, This Stained Dawn is a reminder that the fight for gender equality is relentless, universal, and far from over.

Change Connect Under 30
Feature Award


All feature filmmakers under the age of 30 are eligible for this award.

$500 cash prize

Taipei Suicide Story, KEFF

Jury Statement

We gave the Change Connect Under 30 award to KEFF’s Taipei Suicide Story. A brilliant, playfully downbeat concept allied with economical use of resources, crisp, precisely designed cinematography, and spot-on performances makes this low budget conceptual mini-narrative fascinating to contemplate, while also giving it a real emotional punch.

Reel Asian Under 30
Short Award

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All shorts filmmakers under the age of 30 are eligible for this award.

$500 cash prize

F1-100, Emory Chao Johnson

Jury Statement

F1-100 by Emory Chao Johnson was selected as the winner of the Reel Asian Under 30 Award for its fresh portrait of a young artist facing a unique set of struggles made even more complicated by the global pandemic. We appreciated the intimacy, creativity and timeliness of this film, as well as the challenges that both featured artist and filmmaker faced in their exploration of identity.

Honourable Mention

Sorry For The Inconvenience, Jane Chow

Jury Statement

We would also like to recognize this film for it’s poignant, well-crafted story of a family struggling in the time of COVID.  We found this film to be a beautiful love letter to Chinatowns, and to the sacrifices made by their communities to survive.

National Film Board
Best Canadian Short Film


All short works made by emerging Canadian artists (with credits fewer than 4 films) are eligible for this prize of post-production services.

$5,000 value


Jury Statement

The complexity of an intergenerational mother-daughter relationship is told with gentle sensitivity. There is an honesty to the characters and we were impressed by the directorial voice. 

Honourable Mention

Srikandi, Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto

Jury Statement

For its ability to capture its characters’ emotional nuances and its well-crafted storytelling, we would like to give a honorable mention to Srikandi by Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto.

Air Canada
Short Film or Video Award

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All short films and videos are eligible for this prize. Opportunity to broadcast on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment screens on all Air Canada flights.

Jury Statement

The seven films selected for this award are undeniable standouts, showcasing an eclectic mix of narrative styles and perspectives across Asia and the Asian diaspora. As a set, these films find substance in their exploration of the personal, whether that be in Sasha Lee’s unexpectedly melancholic synth-y pop song in Misery Loves Company or the deadpan delivery of Kayla Abuda Galang’s Tagalog language tutorial. The winning films manage to find balance and a certain lightness, unafraid to linger on the darker and sometimes bleak reality of our enduring, uncertain present.

Age of Youth
Myo Thai Khin

A Trip To Heaven
Linh Duong

Misery Loves Company
Sasha Lee

Sexy Sushi
Caleen Koh Yee Lin

I Don’t Feel at Home Anywhere, Anymore
Viv Li

A Guitar In The Bucket
Boyoung Kim

Learning Tagalog With Kayla
Kayla Abuda Galang

DGC Ontario and WIFT Toronto Film Award

All films made by female-identified Ontario-based artists are eligible for this award.

$1,000 cash prize, $500 in programming gift certificates, and 2 one-year memberships to WIFT Toronto

A Hundred Joys, Amanda Ann-Min Wong

Jury Statement

A Hundred Joys encapsulates the community, the people and the environment of East Chinatown, Toronto in such a heartwarming way. We could feel the love that the filmmaker had for the people and the neighbourhood. 

Michael Fukushima AnimAsian Award

All animated works are eligible for this award. In recognition of Michael’s significant contribution to the animation community as a creator and mentor, Reel Asian is renaming the AnimAsian award in honour of his legacy. Read more about this award here

Cash prize of $1,200

4 North A, Jordan Canning & Howie Shia

Jury Statement

For the Michael Fukushima Animasian Award we selected Jordan Canning & Howie Shia’s 4 North A. We were impressed with how the film beautifully captured small moments, both mundane and vibrant; the powerful emotion of memory; and the incredible isolation of grief, even amidst the shared space of hospital life.

Blue Ant Media
Audience Choice Feature


The winner of the Reel Asian Audience Award—Feature is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 25th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

$2,500 cash prize

Islands, Martin Edralin

Martin Edralin is a Filipino Canadian, Toronto-based filmmaker. His first short film, Hole (2014), won the grand prize at Clermont-Ferrand, jury prizes at Locarno and Seattle, and screened at Sundance, TIFF, and BFI London. His second short, Emma (2016), was selected in TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten and won Best Live Action Short at the Rhode Island IFF. Islands is his debut feature film.

Audience Choice Short


The winner of the Reel Asian Audience Award—Short Film is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 25th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

$1,500 cash prize

This year the audience choice for short film resulted in a first-place tie between two oustanding films

Perfect Restaurant, Aiken Chau

Aiken Chau is a Chinese Canadian artist and animator who enjoys storytelling and creating characters. A graduate from the Sheridan College animation program, he experiments with animation of all mediums.

Ahu’s Journal, Weeda Azim

Weeda Azim is one of the four emerging filmmakers who embarked on a summer-long filmmaking journey online in our Unsung Voices program. She is an Afghan Canadian writer and filmmaker based in Toronto. Her ultimate goal is to embrace chaos and failure in her work, to create in order to understand herself, and to meet like-minded individuals along the way.

2021 Co-hosts

Angela Sun

Angela Sun is a Mad, plus-size, first generation/ settler actor, theatre creator, producer, writer, and arts administrator of East Asian descent. She is also known for her advocacy for cultural diversity, size-inclusivity, and access for the invisible disability community. She has worked with many emerging and established artistic organizations throughout her career including CBC Arts, Theatre Passe Muraille, Cahoots Theatre, Durham Art Gallery, Toronto Fringe, The Gardiner Museum, The Bentway, the National Theatre School, Outside the March, and more.

Ann Pornel

Ann Pornel is a Canadian Comedy Award winner and winner of the 2017 Entertainer of the Year award from My Entertainment World. Ann’s unique perspectives on diversity, body image and inclusion have garnered her spots at NBC’s Break Out Comedy Festival and JFL 42. You can hear Ann as a panelist on CBC’s BECAUSE NEWS or on award-winning television shows such as ODD SQUAD, THE BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, THE BEAVERTON and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES.

2021 Features Jury

Shelly Kraicer was born in Toronto, Canada, and received a BA in philosophy at Yale University. He lived in Beijing, China, for 11 years, where he studied Chinese language and researched contemporary Chinese language cinema. A frequent visitor to Hong Kong, he has written extensively on Hong Kong cinema and curated retrospectives on the Fourth Generation of Chinese directors and on Hong Kong director Johnnie To. Kracier has published in Cinema Scope, Cineaste, the Village Voice, and The New York Times, as well as translated subtitles for over 40 recent Chinese films. He is currently a programmer at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Lee Won-suk

Head of Incheon Film Commission, Lee Won-suk is also a film director from South Korea. Lee made his filmmaking debut with the romantic comedy How to Use Guys with Secret Tips (2013), which won the Golden Mulberry Award (Audience Award) at the 15th Far East Film Festival and the Bronze Prize for Best Asian Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival in 2013. His second film, the period drama The Royal Tailor (2014), screened at Reel Asian in 2015. Lee’s upcoming comic thriller musical feature Killing Romance tells the story of a retired actress who marries an island chaebol and meets a 3-time-test-taker who lives next door. 

Jan Wong

Jan Wong is a journalist and academic. Her first of six books, Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now, was named one of Time magazine’s top ten books of 1996. It remains banned in China. A third-generation Canadian born and raised in Montreal, she first went to China in 1972 at the height of the Cultural Revolution as one of only two Westerners permitted to enrol at Beijing University. Wong later was China correspondent for the Globe and Mail. Her coverage included the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. She lives in Toronto.

2021 Shorts Jury

Puiyee Leong

Puiyee Leong is an arts manager and film programmer based in Singapore. She was the Programme Manager of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) from 2014 – 2019, taking lead of the Short Films programme. She was part of the Short Films pre-selection team with the Busan International Film Festival 2020, and the 2020-2021 Short Films selection team of the Bangkok-ASEAN Film Festival. Leong is currently the Senior Manager at Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, where she manages the film programmes and projects.

Rupali Morzaria

Rupali Morzaria is a designer and film programmer currently based in Tiohti:áke/ Montreal. She is the founder of SanghumFilm, a film collective and resource dedicated to celebrating the range of cinematic forms from and about the Indian subcontinent.

Tim Chiou

Tim Chiou is an actor from Los Angeles, known for his roles in shows such as Seal Team, Silicon Valley, iZombie, and Interrogation. He is honoured to be a part of the festival, appearing in three different features this year:I Was a Simple Man, Definition Please, and See You Then.

So You Think You Can Pitch Competition

Lead Sponsor

Special Sponsors

with support from

Pitch Winner

$8,000 cash prize + more than $3,500 in services


Nedda Sarshar

Pitch Finalists

$1,000 cash prize + more than $350 in services

An Apology

Helmann Wilhelm

Don’t Forget Me

Alice Wang

It Happens To Us

Anubhav Singh


Nikki Shaffeeullah

2021 Pitch Jury

Victoria Morado
Media Director, NBCUniversal

Richard Young
Screenwriter and Actor

Aisha Jamal
Filmmaker & Film Programmer, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival

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