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Blue Ant Media Audience Choice Feature Film Award

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The winner of the Reel Asian Audience Award—Feature is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 26th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

$2,500 cash prize

The Grizzlie Truth, Kat Jayme

Reel Asian Audience Choice Short Film Award

The winner of the Reel Asian Audience Award—Short is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 26th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

$500 cash prize

Desi Standard Time Travel, Kashif Pasta

Osler Best Feature Film Award

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All feature films are eligible for this award:

$2,000 cash prize

Free Chol Soo Lee, Eugene Yi & Julie Ha

Jury Statement: The jury awards the Osler Best Feature Film Award to Julie Ha and Eugene Yi’s Free Chol Soo Lee, a moving and brilliantly constructed documentary that sheds light on a pivotal moment in American history and offers us all urgent lessons on how to navigate our fraught present. Relying on exhaustive research, stellar editing, and deep empathy, Ha and Yi’s film provides not just compelling historical and social insight, but a profound and ultimately tragic portrait of an Asian-American icon. Free Chol Soo Lee is an absolute must-see film for Asian-Americans, Asian-Canadians, and everyone who is interested in understanding the full cost of fighting injustice.

Reel Asian Best Canadian Feature Film Award

All Canadian feature films are eligible for this prize.

$1,000 cash prize

Riceboy sleeps, Anthony Shim

Jury Statement: This beautifully crafted film highlights the need for community and familial connection. From its heartrending script, its haunting cinematography, and an incredible cast of actors – this film is a clear standout in Canadian cinema this year. Through its genuine reflection of an immigrant single mother and the growing pains of her son as a second generation Korean in Canada,

Cinesend Best First Feature Award

All first feature films are eligible for this prize.

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

Bad Axe, David Siev

Jury Statement: The jury awards the CineSend Best First Feature to “Bad Axe.” In this personal documentary, director David Siev turns the camera on his family in rural Michigan during the pandemic, as the adult children come back to their hometown to help their parents with their family restaurant. Siev courageously and delicately documents each family member’s vulnerabilities, and captures the complex emotions that arise from generational trauma and the racial tensions that are exacerbated during this time.

National Film Board of Canada Best Canadian Short Film Award

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

$5,000 value

Majboor-e-Mamool, Haaris Qadri

Jury Statement: On behalf of the jury, the winner of the NFB Best Canada Short Film Award is majboor-e-mamool by director Haaris Qadri. Director Qadri took great care and attention in a simple trip to the doctor. The duty of a daughter to her mother reveals a delicate balance of resistance, authority, and unconditional care. With an outstanding mature performance by the lead performer, the film handles the eternal and universal story between mother and daughter with great warmth and subtlety.

Air Canada Short Film or Video Award

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

$2,000 cash prize

Everything will be All Right, Farhad Pakdel

Desi Standard Time Travel, Kashif Pasta

Further & Further Away, Polen Ly

Madhu, Tanmay Chowdhary + Tanvi Chowdhary

The jury selected 4 films for this year’s Air Canada Short Film award. It’s undeniable that these films all stood out, highlighting a great mix of perspectives and styles.

Everything will be All Right, directed by Farhad Pakdel, did a great job of capturing the moments at the start of COVID, when so much felt uncertain. He was able to seize a moment in time that reflected the unknown.

Desi Standard Time Travel, dir. Kashif Pasta was so heartwarming. It really allows an audience a moment to reflect on family and how at the end of the day we are all doing the best we can.

Further & Further Away, dir. Polen Ly, is such a unique look at the struggle of needing to leave a place you are comfortable with, but it can be made easier with the thoughts of what are truly important in life.

Madhu, dir. Tanmay and Tanvi Chowdhary, is filled with vivid colours and unique shots. It really captures a beautiful moment in time showcasing 2 young women enjoying themselves!

All films really showcase the reality of unsettled moments in life, while leaning into humor, beauty and the resilience of relationships.

Michael Fukushima Animasian Award

All animated works are eligible for this award.

$600 cash prize

To Kill the Birds and the Bees, Calleen Koh

Jury Statement: For the Michael Fukushima Animasian Award, the jury selected To Kill the Birds and the Bees directed by Calleen Koh. This film tackled the way gender cultures and norms are viewed by various generations and delivers a strong message that navigates the conflict caused by differences in thoughts. The film’s tempo and witty comedic elements intensified the film’s intent and left a lasting impression on the jury.

Reel Asian Best Documentary Award

All documentary works are eligible for this award.

$1,500 cash prize

The Grizzlie Truth, Kat Jayme

Jury Statement: This year’s Reel Asian Best Documentary Award goes to “The Grizzlie Truth” from filmmaker and superfan – Kat Jayme.

In this expertly crafted, engaging and delightful documentary, we follow Kat’s journey to discover the truth behind why her beloved NBA basketball team, the Grizzlies, were moved from Vancouver to Memphis. Featuring candid interviews with players, team owners, coaches, and fans, she leaves no stone unturned in her search for answers. But the real revelation is Vancouver’s continuing emotional connection to the sports team and the community of fans which endures. Sports have the power to inspire and unite, to uplift and heartbreak. The Grizzlies were a way for Kat to connect with her family, with her roots in Canada and the Philippines. We applaud her positive, heartwarming, and authentic portrayal of Asians finding connection and community through sports.

DGC Ontario and WIFT Toronto Film Award

All films made by female-identified or non-binary 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

Wherever you are, Wherever I am, Kay Chan

Jury Statement: The jury would like to present the DGC Ontario and WIFT-T Film Award to Wherever You Are, Wherever I Am by director Kay Chan. Chan’s poetics in the spoken word and visual expression of their cross-cultural ancestry sets new perspectives that live within our skin and thrive upon the lands that define us. A lyrical film that crafts a simple sentiment into a grand movement of compassion.

Nathalie Younglai Award

All Canadian short filmmakers over the age of 40 with less than 2 writer/director credits (film OR television) in the last 5 years are eligible for this award.

$2,500 cash prize

Natalie Pelletier

Jury Statement: Thank you to everyone who submitted to the Nathalie Younglai award for indegenious, black, asian, and people of colour, who are emerging creatives and crew 40 and over. An honourable mention to michiko singh, a professional musician whos filming her first documentary about her families history of japanese canadian interment. Everyones letters were heartfelt and inspiring. Keep on. Your vocies and life expereinces are needed in this industry. and now we’re thrilled to be presenting the inagural award to Natalie Pelletier. An indeginous middle school teacher who went back to school for film making and is writing her first drama pilot about an indeginous woman who helps others while being haunted by an evil ghost from residential school. I admire Natalies courage and making such a jurastic career change to pursue her dreams, the strength of her vision, and I believe her pilot can get her into writing rooms which embodies what this award is about. Congratulations Natalie.

Armstrong Acting Studios Outstanding Performer in a Canadian Feature Film

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The award recipient will receive full class tuition coverage of a class at Armstrong Acting Studios.

$2,250 value

Riceboy Sleeps, Ethan Hwang

Jury Statement: For his role in Riceboy Sleeps, Ethan Hwang receives the Armstrong Acting Studios Outstanding Performer in a Canadian Feature Film. Hwang’s riveting performance as Dong-Hyun marks the arrival of one of North America’s most promising young actors.

Armstrong Acting Studios Outstanding Performer in a Canadian Short Film

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The award recipient will receive full class tuition coverage of a class at Armstrong Acting Studios.

$2,250 value

Knots, Kim Villagante, aka Kimmortal

Jury Statement: For the Armstrong Acting Studios Outstanding Performer in a Canadian Short Film Award, the jury selected Kim “Kimmortal” Villagante in Knots. We were very impressed by Kim’s performance in this film, in the way they brilliantly played the main character who struggles with various external factors. In particular, we noted the change in emotional performance in the final scene by Kim was outstanding.

2022 Host

Lainey Lui

ETALK senior correspondent, co-host of The Social and scribe of the immensely popular celebrity gossip blog, LaineyGossip.com, Lui does what she does for one reason – to provide a gossip education to the Canadian public.

The Toronto-born, self-proclaimed gossip maven trailblazed her own way into the gossip game. What started as an email to two friends grew to a website with millions of readers from around the world. As friends told friends about Lui’s non-sycophantic email updates, she received so many requests to get on her mailing list that her server crashed.

More than one million readers and Twitter followers read LaineyGossip.com every month and listen to her two in-house podcasts, making it a leading international celebrity and pop culture source. Recognizing Lui’s talent, she joined the ETALK team in 2006.

Lainey has previously co-hosted the Reel Asian Awards in 2020 and we’re so excited to have her back as our host for the 2022 Reel Asian Awards show.

2022 Features Jury

Ada Tseng

Ada Tseng is an assistant editor on the utility journalism team at the Los Angeles Times. The team publishes stories and information that help people solve problems, answer questions and make big decisions about life in and around Los Angeles. She previously led coverage of Orange County as TimesOC’s entertainment editor, and she co-hosts the Asian American pop-culture history podcast Saturday School.

Sami Khan

Sami Khan is an Oscar-nominated writer and director whose work has been supported by the Sundance and Tribeca film institutes, Rooftop Films, the Gotham, the Berlinale, and the NBCUniversal’s Directors Fellowship. His films have screened at leading festivals, including Tribeca, Toronto, Hot Docs, and Mumbai. Khan’s latest release is “Guha,” an episode he directed for the Emmy-nominated Apple TV+ docuseries HOME.

Aashna Thakkar

Aashna Thakkar is a Toronto-based artist, writer, and film programmer. She is currently the manager of programming at the Regent Park Film Festival and has previously worked with Breakthroughs Film Festival and Hot Docs. Thakkar was a writer in the 2020–2021 cohort of TACLA Youth Critics Initiative. She has previously sat on juries for the Winnipeg Film Group and aluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival.

2022 Shorts Jury

Micah Kernan

Micah Kernan is the development manager for both drama and comedy at CBC, where she coordinates the management, tracking, and distribution of projects. She is also the current programmer for Canada’s longest- running short-film showcase, Canadian Reflections.

Kim Sun-woo

Kim Sun-woo has produced short films in Korea for 10 years, and currently works as a programmer at the Cheongju International Short Film Festival. He has also programmed for the Chungbuk International Martial Arts & Action Film Festival for the past three years.

Chris Chong Chan Fui

Chris Chong Chan Fui works with varying materials that connect early cinema, natural science, sports, and economics. Chong’s films have premiered at the Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, Vienna, BFI London, and have won TIFF’s Best Canadian Short Film two years in a row. He is a Smithsonian Institute fellow, a Ford Foundation fellow, and most recently, he was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Arts Fellowship in Italy.

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