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From a pile of deteriorating 16 mm home movies from 1936 to 1951, a moving story emerges of a Chinese American family, set against the backdrop of race and class in Chicago. Rescued from an online auction, the filmmaker’s quest to make sense of these home movies connects him with Irena Lum, the surviving daughter of the graphic artist and collector Silas Henry Fung. The retrieved footage offers an intimate and radically different visual perspective on the Chinese American community in Chicago—with a surprising feminist twist.
Best Documentary Award, CAAMFest, San Francisco, 2017
Honorable Mention for Best Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, 2016
Special Mention for Best Documentary, Philadelphia Asian American Festival, 2016
Ali Kazimi is Reel Asian’s Canadian Artist Spotlight in 2021. Appropriately for our 25th festival, the documentary filmmaker, media artist, activist, author, and educator has been a fixture in the Asian Canadian community, and we celebrate his over three decades of vital contributions to Canadian media. In 2019, Kazimi became the first Indo Canadian to receive the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual and Media Arts award winner. His documentary and media-arts work deals with race, social justice, migration, and memory, and emphasizes essential connections across racialized communities, between personal and public, through past and present.
Born, raised, and educated in India, Kazimi came to Canada to study film production at York University in 1983. Two decades later, after receiving over two-dozen awards and honours as an independent filmmaker, Kazimi returned to York, where he is currently an associate professor in the cinema and media arts department.
10 Nov, 2021
to 19 Nov, 2021
First programmed as part of last year’s festival, this panel continues to reckon with the function of art, festival, and gallery spaces in a time of crisis.
15 Nov. 4:30 pm
Damascus Dreams is a reflexive documentary essay presented in a series of sections framed by voiceovers of Serri and her father. The film explores and interrogates the fraught notions of dreams, and memories of “home,” moving loosely through old video footage of the family home in Syria, interviews with Syrians who had to leave or flee because of the civil war, conversations between Serri and her father, and poetic, dreamlike sequences.
10 Nov. - 19 Nov.
In a society different from what we know, a hotel in Taipei welcomes suicidal people and assists them in committing the act by providing several methods that they can choose from. Over the course of one night, a receptionist starts to defy the rules and develops an unusual friendship with a hotel guest who can't make up her mind if she wants to live or die.
10 Nov. - 19 Nov.