Best Feature


All feature films are eligible for this prize.

$2,000 cash prize

Terrestrial Verses, Alireza Khatami & Ali Asgari

Jury Statement

The jury is pleased to present the Osler Best Feature Award to Ali Asgari and Alireza Khatami’s Terrestrial Verses, an uncomfortably captivating feature of revealing scenes between regular Tehranis and their frustrating interactions with oppressive authority figures. The jury recognizes the duo’s homage to classic Iranian cinema with performances so convincing one may mistake the film for a stylized documentary. The film’s austere form kept the jury riveted and is a challenge to audiences everywhere to consider personal agency in the face of tyrannical oppression.

Honourable Mention

Okiku and the World

Junji Sakamoto

Jury Statement 

We wish to acknowledge Okiku and the World with an honourable mention for its unique depiction of Edo-era Japan and its impressive homage to the Golden Age of Japanese cinema.

Best Canadian Feature


All Canadian feature films are eligible for this prize.

$2,000 cash prize

The Queen of My Dreams, Fawzia Mirza

Jury Statement
Fawzia Mirza’s The Queen of My Dreams is this year’s jury selection for Best Canadian feature. This audacious film takes us on a captivating joyride through Bollywood dreams, the swinging Karachi of the 60s via the generational conflicts within a contemporary Pakistani family. Full of theatrical flair, bold design, and a hint of camp The Queen of My Dreams marks the debut of a strong new voice, making Fawzia Mirza a filmmaker to keep a close eye on.

Best First Feature

All first feature films are eligible for this prize.

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

Q, Jude Chehab

Jury Statement

Q is a personal documentary delving into the dynamic between filmmaker Jude Chehab and her mother Hiba, whose devotion to an all-female religious order becomes the film’s primary lens. Chehab artfully blends home movies along with her striking cinematography to contemplate desire, spiritual longing, and family bonds. Resisting the urge to over-explain, her storytelling allows mystery to simmer, resulting in a complex, emotionally nuanced portrait. In honour of this bold new voice, the jury awards Jude Chehab’s Q the Best First Feature prize.

Honourable Mention


Imran J. Khan

Jury Statement

The jury wishes to bestow an honourable mention for Imran J. Khan and the team behind Mustache, for crafting a rare film that effortlessly mines the coming-of-age genre while infusing it with fresh and exhilarating elements.

Reel Asian
Best Documentary

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

$1,500 cash prize

Starring Jerry As Himself, Law Chen

Jury Statement

Starring Jerry As Himself is an imaginative meta-narrative that kept us on our toes from beginning to end. Jerry Hsu’s journey is a cautionary tale that is touching and one that will resonate with audiences. For its inventive storytelling and its thoughtful reflection on family and duty, we are pleased to award the film with the Reel Asian Best Documentary Award.

Reel Asian
Best International Short

All international short films are eligible for this prize.

$500 cash prize

默 (To Write From Memory), Emory Chao Johnson

Jury Statement

The Best International Short Film category challenged the jury to passionately debate on what the quintessential core of cinema today? Is it an indescribable emotion that leads to compelling images? Or is it a meticulous construction of images that elicits an undeniable emotion?

The jury recognizes To Write From Memory by Emory Chao Johnson as the Winner of Reel Asian Best International Short Film Award in the spirit of enunciating the unspeakable feelings of a personal experience with unrelenting honesty.

Honourable Mention

Invasive Species

Annie Ning

Jury Statement

The jury also gives an honorable mention to Invasive Species by Annie Ning for a riveting and meticulously unique portrayal of an artist’s imposter syndrome, silent rage and the maddening pursuit of belonging.

National Film Board
Best Emerging Canadian Short


All short works that meet the three criteria—Canadian or permanent resident, emerging filmmaker with no more than 3 completed projects, and not a student—are eligible for post-production services supported by the National Film Board of Canada.

$5,000 value

Abby, Fanny Lord-Bourcier

Jury Statement

Drawing from the director’s personal journey, Abby is an animated short that offers a poignant exploration of the unspoken feelings of isolation experienced as a transracial adoptee, all expressed with a gentle and sincere voice. We are delighted to announce Abby by Fanny Lord-Bourcier as the winner of the NFB Best Emerging Canadian Short Film Award

Air Canada Short Film or Video Award

All Canadian short films and videos are eligible for this prize, with an opportunity to broadcast on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment screens on domestic and international flights.

$2,000 cash prize distributed among winning films

Jury Statement

The six films honored with this year’s Air Canada Short Film or Video Award are testaments to bold directorial vision and a deep, poignant exploration of the Asian-Canadian narrative. This selection courageously transforms the personal into the political, illustrated by Namaï Kham Po’s intimate and touching piece, The Repair Shop, and Warren Chan’s Pixels of the Orient, which offers an intriguing, offbeat reflection on Asian representation. Each film is sharply unique thanks to each director’s distinct perspective, yet each delves into the universal complexities of connection and the struggles, fears, and hopes of being truly seen.

The Repair Shop (L’Atelier), Namaï Kham Po

Unibrow, Nedda Sarshar

Pixels of the Orient, Warren Chan

Adagio, Emma Zuck

Junglefowl, Kalainithan Kalaichelvan

Sawo Matang, Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto

Michael Fukushima
AnimAsian Award

All animated works are eligible for this award. With support from Seneca College School of Creative Arts and Animation.

$1,000 cash prize

The Sea On The Day When The Magic Returns, Ji-won Han

Jury Statement

For the Michael Fukushima Animasian Award, we have chosen The Sea On The Day When The Magic Returns by director Ji-won Han. This captivating short employs ingenious visuals to explore personal desires and the essence of the human experience. Its delicate storytelling and open vulnerability linger, leaving a lasting resonance.

Honourable Mention

Hot Buns

Calleen Koh

Jury Statement

We would also like to extend an honorable mention to Hot Buns by director Calleen Koh for its witty and quirky exploration of the absurdity within our media-saturated world.

DGC Ontario & WIFT Toronto
Film Award

All films made by women 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

hi ading, Dinaly Tran

Jury Statement

The jury recognizes hi ading by Dinaly Tran and commends the strength to display vulnerability on screen, gifting their heart to the audience. hi ading is awarded the DGC Ontario and WIFT-T Award and we hope to see more works from them in the future.

Armstrong Acting Studios Outstanding Performer in a Canadian Feature Film

AAS Circ Logo Est 1997 Cut Out

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

$2,250 value

The Queen of My Dreams, performance by Amrit Kaur

Jury Statement

The jury was captivated by Amrit Kaur’s range of performance and her ability to embody two distinct women in one film, which is why we enthusiastically present her with Outstanding Performance in a Canadian Film in The Queen of My Dreams.

Armstrong Acting Studios Outstanding Performer in a Canadian Short Film

AAS Circ Logo Est 1997 Cut Out

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

$2,250 value

Apoy, performance by Sherrylyn Vivero

Jury Statement

For the Armstrong Acting Studios Outstanding Performer in a Canadian Short Film Award, we selected Sherrylyn Vivero in Apoy. Sherrylyn brought a special nuance to her performance as the main character’s mother, which made her incredibly engrossing to watch. The complex emotions she is able to convey in this charged piece showcases that she is truly a talent to watch.

Blue Ant Media
Audience Choice Feature


The winner of the Blue Ant Media Audience Choice Feature is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 27th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

$2,500 cash prize

We Will Be Brave, Chrisann Hessing

Front Row Insurance
Audience Choice Short

The winner of the Front Row Insurance Audience Choice Short is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 27th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

$800 cash prize

Unibrow, Nedda Sarshar

So You Think You Can Pitch Winners

Special Partners

and with support from

Pitch Winner

$5,000 cash prize + over $3,000 in services

Bison’s Farewell

Kay Chan


Bison’s Farewell is an animated and silent short film that portrays an underrepresented intersectional experience of endometriosis within the trans community.

Pitch Finalists

$500 cash prize + over $350 in services for each finalist

The Only Son

Giran Findlay & Lina Li


The Only Son is a short narrative drama that follows Beatrice Zhu, an aging Chinese immigrant who is forced to navigate the sprawling city on her own after getting lost on the way to her son’s birthday dinner.

of Intimacy

Hannah Polinski & Dédé Chen


Topographies of Intimacy is a docufictional short that weaves together sexual fantasy with intimate interviews to explore how Asian women express their sexual desires.

Behold The Man
Who Is A Bean

Miru Yogarajah


A short documentary that serves as a look at the joy, shared experiences, and deep understanding that the British television show Mr. Bean gave to immigrant communities.


Gordon Tomoya de Groot


A narrative short that follows Brandon (40) a seasoned trauma cleaner who is forced into the role of a dead son, in order to comfort the son’s mother and find comfort in himself.

2023 Features Jury

Sherien Barsoum

Sherien Barsoum directed and produced Cynara, Ride for Promise, and Player Zero, winning the Hot Docs Short Film Pitch and Best Canadian Documentary at NorthWest Fest. She was the producer of Dreams in Vantablack and Babe, I Hate To Go, which played top festivals internationally and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. She is a producer with the National Film Board of Canada and based in Toronto.

Omar Majeed

Omar Majeed is an award-winning Pakistani Canadian writer, editor, and filmmaker. His directing credits include the films Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam, The Frog Princes, Stitched Glass, and the upcoming music doc Disco’s Revenge. As an editor, he’s cut many award-winning documentaries including The Fruit Hunters, This Stained Dawn, and the critically acclaimed HBO/CBC show, Sort Of. Majeed currently resides in Toronto with his wife and young child.

Priscilla Galvez

Priscilla Galvez is a Toronto-based filmmaker. She has produced award-winning documentary and narrative shorts and features that have premiered at international film festivals including TIFF, DOC NYC, Fantastic Fest and SXSW. Most recently, Priscilla produced the feature film, Islands, directed by Martin Edralin, which was awarded a special jury prize at SXSW ’21. Priscilla is the co-founder of the production company Silent Tower and works as a line producer and a director. Her latest short film A Fermenting Woman is currently in post-production.

2023 Shorts Jury

Rabiya Mansoor

Rabiya Mansoor (she/they) is a Pakistani Calgarian comedian, writer, actor, producer, and recovering lawyer. They like to produce and create work with their friends, including Get Up Aisha (CBC Gem) and Don Valley Girls (Toronto Fringe Patron’s Pick). When not dreading the abyss of existence, they like to read.

Eddy Tan

Eddy Tan is a film educator, and organizer based in Malaysia. As an educator, he is a faculty member of the Faculty of Cinematic Arts, Multimedia University – MMU Cyberjaya, holding the position of Deputy Dean of Academic and International Relations. As an organizer, Eddy was previously involved in projects such as Johor Bahru Film Grants and Johor Bahru Writers and Film Festival 2017. Now heavily involved in SeaShorts Film Festival, his previous roles include Technical Manager, where he oversees the digital infrastructure of SeaShorts Film Festival 2020 and 2021 online editions, Festival Coordinator for 2022 and Programme Manager for 2023.

Ivyy Chen

Originally from Taiwan, Ivyy Chen is an animation filmmaker and illustrator living in London. Chen has a strong design sensibility, and uses visual metaphors and a distinct colour palette to tell emotive stories. Inspired by her own experiences, she often explores clashes and similarities in culture throughout her work, which has been screened at festivals worldwide. She has previously worked for clients including Greenpeace, WaterAid, Opéra National de Paris, Facebook, and the Wellcome Trust. Her self-initiated film isle of Chair has been selected by several international festivals and won the Animasian Award at Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2020.

2023 Pitch Jury

Jay Carolyn Wu
Writer-Director, Development Exec

Jay Carolyn Wu (they/them) is a queer/non-binary Hong Kong-Canadian writer/director and development exec. Their most recent short Toe the Line screened at Inside Out Toronto 2022, Vancouver Asian Film Festival 2021, and was nominated for the Golden Sheaf for Scripted Short, Yorkton Film Festival 2022.

As a development exec, they also developed scripted originals across both comedy and drama for Crave and CTV at Bell Media from 2021 to 2023. They now lead the development of series and features at LaRue Entertainment.

Maya Bastian

Maya Bastian (she/they) is an award winning filmmaker and artist. Her work has been supported by Netflix, HBO, UN IOM, CBC and the Canadian Film Centre. Her most recent film Tigress participated at CANNES COURT METRAGE 2021 and premiered at Festival De Nouveau Cinema.

She is in development on multiple features with BLACKOUT MEDIA and KARMA FILMS and is currently co-writing and directing a paranormal mystery series set in 1970’s Southeast Asia with REFLECTOR ENTERTAINMENT. She is an alumni of TIFF Series Accelerator 2023 with her comedy series How to be Brown. Her work frequently explores the trauma related to displacement and migration.

Aram Siu Wai Collier
Artistic Director, Reel Asian

Aram Siu Wai Collier (he/him) is a filmmaker, educator, and film festival programmer. He is currently the Artistic Director at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

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