401 Richmond St W
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Delve into the profound connections filmmakers Fawzia Mirza (The Queen of My Dreams) and Zarrar Kahn (In Flames) forge when revisiting their roots in Pakistan, through a cinematic lens. This in-depth conversation explores how filmmakers turn place into its own dynamic character, and unpacks the emotive pull of returning, despite its tensions and contradictions. Join us as they showcase how "home" can transcend geographical boundaries, ignite stories with new interpretations of place, and animate narratives with the rich tapestry of personal heritage.
Shehrezade Mian (she/her) is a Pakistani producer based in Toronto. Mian is an alumnus of the TIFF-Netflix Talent Accelerator, the European Audio-Visual Entrepreneurs EAVE Producers Program presented by the NSI and CMF, and the WIFT mentorship program with the SVP of VICE Media. Mian is also a two time recipient of the competitive Telefilm Talent To Watch program. Her feature film Concrete Valley by Antoine Bourges made its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and its international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2023. Founder of Markhor Pictures, in 2022 Mian launched Markhor Mentorships, a tailored mentorship program for emerging South Asian filmmakers in Canada. As a well-connected member of the Pakistani film and television industry, Mian frequently acts as an international liaison between the two countries. Shehrezade also recently served as the development and production manager at Hawkeye Pictures, Brother (2022).
Fawzia Mirza (she/they) co-wrote & starred in the feature Signature Move which world premiered at SXSW, won 15 awards (including the US Grand Jury Prize Outfest) and starred Indian film legend Shabana Azmi. Her feature script Heirloom was named to the 2022 Muslim List, published by The Black List. She’s written for TV, executive produced documentaries and her award-winning short films have screened all over the world. Her feature directorial debut The Queen of My Dreams (supported by TIFF’s Writer Studio & Filmmaker Lab) world premiered at TIFF with its international premier at the BFI London Film Festival and was nominated for the Director’s Guild of Canada’s Jean-Marc Vallée Discovery Award.
Zarrar Kahn (he/him) is a Pakistani-Canadian film director and screenwriter, whose debut feature film In Flames premiered at the 2023 Cannes and TIFF Film Festivals. He directed a number of short films in the late 2010s and early 2020s, earning a reputation as one of the most exciting new Pakistani filmmakers, before making In Flames. He is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab, Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Open Doors Locarno, Asian Film Academy and Director’s Lab program at the Canadian Film Centre. His works have been screened and awarded in over 100+ film festivals worldwide, including TIFF, Locarno, and BFI London.
9 Nov, 2023 2:30 pmFestival Lounge
401 Richmond St W
This Reel Ideas session takes place in a venue accessible to wheelchairs and people who need step-free access. Let us know about your accessibility needs by clicking below.
In our inaugural First Films event, award-winning Asian Canadian filmmakers show the first films they’ve ever made. They will reveal their origin stories—that time they caught the movie bug; the place their creative voices first started cracking.
18 Nov. 7:00 pm
From the team behind Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (Reel Asian Official Selection, 2021) comes Junta Yamaguchi’s latest time loop comedy, River. Set in a quaint inn along the Kibune river near Kyoto—a one-street village wedged between a riverbed on one side and mountains on the other—staff and guests find themselves stuck in a continuous two-minute time loop.
10 Nov. 8:00 pm
Directed by Meredith Hama-Brown. Judith, a Japanese Canadian woman, and her reluctant white husband attend a week-long couple’s retreat on a coastal British Columbia island, their two daughters in tow. With Judith grieving the recent loss of her mother, and her connection to her Japanese Canadian identity, the couple’s disconnect grows as she finds herself infatuated with another, seemingly perfect, interracial couple at the retreat.
12 Nov. 5:00 pm