We all have some connection to food: survival, pleasure, longing, remembrance. These nine films showcase the myriad ways food impacts us in our lives, whether through enjoyment or to confront a difficult situation.
Derek Kwan • Canada • 2018 • 10:14 • English, Vietnamese with English Subtitles • Toronto Premiere • Documentary
Following the story of two generations of mothers in the process of creating a new dish for their restaurant, this documentary follows the story of a Vietnamese family legacy through their humble family restaurant.
Derek Kwan* is a Vancouver-based actor and filmmaker. His film Mẹ was funded by Telus Storyhive and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Documentary at the 2019 Seattle Asian American Film Festival, as well as Best Short Documentary at the 2019 DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon.
* In attendance
Kazuma Yano • Japan • 2019 • 9:14 • Japanese with English Subtitles • Canadian Premiere • Documentary
A contemplation into the philosophy of care embodied in the making of a bento.
Kazuma Yano was born in 1974 in Kobe. He is a filmmaker at Tearful Production Committee. His previous works include short film The First Feeling in My Life which was awarded the Audience Award at the Linkage Short Film Festival.
Renee Liang • Canada • 2019 • 2:45 • Other • Animation / Supernatural / Experimental
Ever wonder what an egg experiences? This wacky animation follows the life-cycle of one particular egg.
Renee Liang* loves to eat eggs. They were her go-to student meal, and now she’s pleased to ruin it for everybody else. She still loves eggs though. In the future, she hopes to keep making experimental film of different mediums and genres.
* In attendance
Amar Wala • Canada • 2019 • 11:33 • English • Canadian Premiere • Drama
This day starts off like any other for Ash (or Asheesh) until he sees a note from his Mom about reaching out to his estranged father.
Born in India and raised in Toronto, Amar Wala*‘s documentary and fiction work explores themes of immigration, justice and identity. Wala’s debut feature The Secret Trial 5 won the Emerging Filmmaker Jury Award at Hot Docs, and the Magnus Isacsson Award at RIDM. Using his cinema as activism, Wala has firmly planted himself as a daring and vital young voice in Canadian film.
* In attendance
Maddy Chang • Canada • 2019 • 9:05 • English • World Premiere • Coming of Age
Nora is turning 16 which means party time. Except it doesn’t seem to feel that way when Nora feels caught between her parents and friends.
Maddy Chang is a film student at the University of British Columbia. This is her first time directing a short film and had an absolute pleasure bringing Sixteen to life.
Gayatri Bajpai & Nirav Bhakta • USA • 2019 • 15:00 • English, Hindi with English Subtitles • Canadian Premiere • Drama
On the eve of her wedding anniversary, empty-nester Sujata attempts to find some joy in her broken marriage and comes across the passing of her childhood companion’s spouse on Facebook. Out of touch for over 30 years due to a misunderstanding, Sujata finds the courage to reach out to Premila and send her condolences.
Gayatri Bajpai* is the director of the short films Muck (‘14), Housewarming (‘17) and Rio (‘17). With a multiethnic, international upbringing, Bajpai is interested in stories about people caught between cultures. She is developing a feature screenplay as an Indian and North American co-production and finishing a documentary with co-director Nirav Bhakta about a Mexican trans woman who escaped a cartel.
Raised as an undocumented immigrant in motels, Nirav Bhakta* began his journey in film as an actor. With the lack of authentic roles for Asian Americans, Bhakta began to create narratives focusing on the immigrant experience. He created his first experimental short film Honor around the topic of honor killings, which traveled to film festivals, including the UK Asian Film Festival.
* In attendance
Van B. Nguyen • USA • 2018 • 10:43 • English, Vietnamese with English Subtitles • International Premiere • Drama
Ma and Ba are preparing a huge Thanksgiving dinner for the entire family. They did not anticipate to see their son, Tuan bringing home another man.
A first-generation Vietnamese-American, Van B. Nguyen is a LA-based Texas native writer/director. Video-chatting with her niece and nephew also keeps her grounded and reminds her why she’s doing what she is doing — to someday inspire kids of different ethnic backgrounds that it is possible to pursue your dreams.
LES LÈVRES GERCÉES
Kelsi Phung & Fabien Corre • France • 2018 • 4:51 • French with English Subtitles • Other • Animation / Drama
Over a series of meals, a child and their mother try to establish a connection in conversation.
Kelsi Phung is a student in the Animation Cinema at the GOBELINS school. Phung’s artistic approach revolves around their commitment to the LGBT+ community to which they seek to give more visibility in the animation film landscape.
Fabien Corre is a graduate of GOBELINS from Brittany, France. Corre moved to Paris to learn animation cinema, where his passion continues to motivate him to continue developing his personal projects.
BUNNY MAN (人中之兔)
Athena Han 韓睿芷 • Canada • 2018 • 7:51 • English and Mandarin with Chinese and English Subtitles • Other • Drama / Comedy
Four Taiwanese friends get into a heated conversation about the differences between the categories of CBC (Chinese Born Canadian) and FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) over a meal when a mysterious bunny enters the restaurant.
Athena Han (韓睿芷) is a Taiwanese-Canadian writer-director based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bunny Man (人中之兔), her latest film, was selected for short film competition – Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon. It has won 1st Place for the 10-Minute Short and People’s Choice Award for Best Overall Short.