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In 2020 and 2021, Reel Asian’s Unsung Voices program for first-time and emerging filmmakers was conducted and exhibited online. Two years of remote productions, eight emerging filmmakers from across Canada who only met online, these artists told stories inspired by the themes of interiority and proximity. Far from unseen but finally these Unsung Voices will be “re-sung” for the first time together with a live audience at this celebration of blooming creativity.
All filmmakers will be in attendance for the post screening Q&A session which will be followed by an outdoor reception with nostalgic Asian grocery store snacks from Haisue, bites from local Vietnamese restaurant Tâm, and a DJ set by Discography.
Now in its 11th year, Unsung Voices continues to provide young, emerging filmmakers the tools and experience to navigate making a short film of any genre within a safe, explorative space along with mentors from the industry who provide guidance on their journey. Such a program would not be possible without the support of the Reel Asian community. To those who are interested in being a part of Unsung Voice’s growth, Reel Asian will be accepting donations at the reception.
July 9 at 6PM
Innis Town Hall
2 Sussex Ave, Toronto
Tickets are now SOLD OUT
A limited number of rush tickets may be available on a first come/first served basis at the door. Rush seating is strictly subject to availability and is not guaranteed
FREE (with pre-registration)
This screening will be presented with a mix of open captions and no captions.
If you require wheelchair-accessible seating (with or without a companion), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Masking is required while indoors at this venue.
Kim Hayung | Canada | 2020 | 4 min | English, Korean with English Subtitles
Sunday is a semi-autobiographical animation based on the filmmaker’s childhood memories of growing up within her father’s church.
Born in Suncheon, South Korea, Kim Hayung is an interdisciplinary artist currently residing in Toronto.
Maryanna Chan | Canada | 2020 | 4 min 40 | English
Navigating her thoughts on white beauty standards, a girl seeks to understand her relationship to them, and express the damaging effects and harm that fetishizing Asian women causes.
Illustrator and Scenographer
Maryanna Chan (she/her) is a Chinese-Canadian Illustrator and Scenographer from Treaty 6 Territory (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). Her work focuses on representation, cultural identities, equality, and liberation.
Her work focuses on representation, cultural identities, equality, and liberation. She aims to highlight the stories of underrepresented and marginalized communities in her work. Maryanna wants her work to communicate the truth, and to encourage people to be more thoughtful, accepting, and open minded in every aspect of their lives.
Angelina Guo | Canada | 2020 | 8 min | French with English Subtitles
Torn between her mental illness and her desire for long-standing love, a young woman named Maria tries to tame her self-destructive tendencies in an attempt to preserve her partner’s affection.
Poet and Translator
Angelina Guo is a Quebec-born poet, translator and literature student. She is interested in multilingualism, social justice and identity formation within the Chinese diaspora. Her most recent work, “For a New Language to Come” (DARE-DARE), was exhibited in Sainte-Cunégonde Park in 2022. In her spare time, she likes to read, take pictures and organize picnics with her friends.
Aidan Chan | Canada | 2020 | 6 min 30 | English
On a journey to a small island town, two city boys explore their shared love for fishing. Travelling alongside an ocean run of salmon, they find there is much more to discover about themselves.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Aidan Chan aims to bring people closer to their surrounding nature through film, music, and other forms of art.
Ganesh Thava | Canada | 2021 | 11 min | English
The echoes of grief linger decades after in a South Asian family that didn’t— couldn’t—get around to talking about it.
Writer, Director and Actor
Ganesh Thava is a Tamil-Canadian writer, director and actor working in film and theatre. He uses his artistic voice to explore everyday moments like family feuds or love affairs and investigate them from underrepresented perspectives. His fascination with how humanity survives change and adversity is inspired by watching his immigrant father raise a family and run a business. He especially seeks to explore the intersectionalities within these lived experiences through the lenses of ethnicity, status and sexuality. Above all, as a creator, his goal is always to create rich, exciting, challenging spaces for diverse voices to express their most profound, most complex truths.
James Legaspi | Canada | 2021 | 7 min | English
watering is a semi-autobiographical short film through which the filmmaker reflects on the passing of their childhood dog, and how it continues to inform their navigation of daily life.
James Legaspi is an emerging Filipino Canadian multimedia artist living and working in Brampton, Ontario.
Harman Kang | Canada | 2021 | 8 min | English, Punjabi w/ English Subtitles
Driving in a rural Albertan neighbourhood, a young woman is stopped by a middle-aged Punjabi woman standing on the side of the road; things take a turn for the uncanny, as the young woman is presented with a choice that will change the course of her life.
Harman Kang’s passion for writing was spurred by a desire to entertain herself and her friends, and a lifelong attitude of “I can do that.” Currently based in Edmonton and working in the non-profit sector, Chakar is Kang’s debut short film.
Weeda Azim | Canada | 2021 | 7 min | English, Farsi with English Subtitles
Eager for an escape from family, Safiya moves out to a sublet of an acquaintance, Ahu. Her new place is peaceful, but she soon comes across a journal with entries that take her on a reflective journey—Ahu’s Journal.
Weeda Azim 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.
Unsung Voices is made possible by:
With additional support from:
Charles Street Video
Trinity Square Video
Film and Video Arts Society (FAVA)
Reception support by:
The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival’s UNSUNG VOICES Video Production Workshop provides emerging Asian Canadian artists a chance to express themselves through film and media art, learn from professionals in the field, and to produce a distinctly Asian Canadian story for the screen.
Explore the photos that give insight on the creative journey that the 2020 and 2021 Unsung Voices cohorts experienced.