Telling “Asian” Stories


Racialized filmmakers often wrestle with the narrative limits of identity politics when wanting to celebrate and push for complexity and abundance. Join us in conversation with filmmakers working in different mediums for various platforms on how they negotiate their relationships with storytelling and identity politics within Canadian filmmaking. What are their considerations in telling stories? How do they navigate stereotypes, personal experiences, and craft? What are the stories they dream of telling?



Karen B. K. ChanEducator, Fluid Exchange 

Karen B. K. Chan is an award-winning sex and emotional literacy educator in Toronto, with 20+ years of experience. Trained in Creative Facilitation, Productive Thinking, and Non-Violent Communication, BK's engages people through stories, metaphors, diagrams, and things that make people laugh. Above all, BK is dedicated to having difficult conversations that are real, transformative, and kind.


Maya Bastian • Filmmaker

Maya Bastian is an award winning filmmaker and writer with roots in conflict journalism. Her short drama AIR SHOW received national press and is currently airing on CBC. Her most recent film TIGRESS was produced by BLACKOUT MEDIA and India’s JAR PICTURES and was supported by CBC, NETFLIX and the CANADIAN FILM CENTRE, and recently participated in CANNES COURT METRAGE 2021.She is in development on multiple features with BLACKOUT MEDIA and is currently show running a 1/2 hour comedy series on race & representation ‘HOW TO BE BROWN’ with CINEFAM as well as co-writing and directing a paranormal mystery series with REFLECTOR ENTERTAINMENT. Her work frequently explores the trauma related to displacement and migration.

Randall OkitaFilmmaker and Artist

Randall Okita is a Japanese Canadian artist and filmmaker known for creating work that involves rich visual language and innovative approaches to storytelling. His work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions, awarded internationally, and screened around the world. Recent work includes directing the feature film See for Me (Tribeca, BFI, VIFF), the virtual reality experience The Book of Distance (Sundance, Venice, Tribeca), and showing A Place Between, a solo exhibition of artwork at the Prince Takamado Gallery in Tokyo. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Okita lives and works in Toronto and Japan.

Catherine Hernandez Author and Screenwriter

Catherine Hernandez's (she/her) novel, Scarborough, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award and was longlisted for Canada Reads. She wrote the film adaptation of Scarborough (Compy Films, distributed by levelFILM), which premiered at TIFF 2021, where it earned 1st runner up in the People's Choice Award and won the Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. She is the creator of Audible Original’s sketch comedy series Imminent Disaster.

14 Nov, 2021 4:30 pm


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