Join us for the Third Annual Fire Horse Award Luncheon in support of Reel Asian


Thurs, May 23, 2024

Shangri-La Toronto, 188 University Ave

Single Tickets: $250 ($125 tax receipt)
Tables: Starting at $3,000

Tickets on sale now! We hope you’ll join us and 200+ members of our community in celebrating the 3rd annual Reel Asian Fire Horse Fundraiser and Award Ceremony.

This must-attend event raises critical funds for Reel Asian while paying tribute to an industry icon, during Asian Heritage Month. Help us raise a glass, and raise much needed revenue to ensure our year-round programming, November festival, and so much more.

Last year’s gathering sold out early, so don’t miss out. Become a sponsor, purchase a table or buy tickets to the ceremony – enjoy lunch and refreshments amongst notable Asian Canadian talent and industry leaders in Toronto, while supporting storytellers who are in need of our collective help. Your purchase ensures Asian diasporic voices and their stories are uplifted and seen on screens everywhere.

This year’s Award recipient is the interdisciplinary visual and media artist Paul Wong.

Event Sponsors

“By honouring trailblazers of the Asian Canadian media arts community, we are recognizing ourselves. It deeply matters who makes our images, and to these pioneers we owe a debt—and our promise to keep striving to tell our stories to the world.” – Fire Horse donor, Sandra Oh 


Named and conceived in honour of Reel Asian’s founder and trailblazing producer Anita Lee, whose lunar zodiac sign is the Fire Horse, the $25,000 award will be presented to an accomplished individual in the media arts and/or screen-based industries who has dedicated their energy and talents to breaking down barriers, uplifting Asian Canadian communities, and sparking cultural change. Previous recipients include Keith Lock and Mary Stephen. Reel Asian would like to thank the Fire Horse Award’s lead donors, Lap Chan and Ha-kyung Helen Song and Sandra Oh; and major donor Pan Asia Food Co., Ltd., without whom this award would not be possible. Ongoing contributions from the Reel Asian community will ensure the sustainability of the award for years to come.


Keith Lock

Keith Lock, MFA, is a filmmaker who works in both experimental as well as dramatic and documentary films. He is also Canada’s first Chinese Canadian filmmaker. Keith has worked as Claude Jutra’s assistant, he was also Michael Snow’s cinematographer on several projects, including “Two Sides to Every Story“, one of TIFF’s 150 Essential Works of Canadian Cinema. He was a founding member and first Chair of the Toronto Filmmaker’s Co-op, Canada’s first film co-op, which later became LIFT. He also founded “New Films”, the first regular screenings of independent and experimental films in Toronto, which later became The Funnel.

Keith Lock’s high school film, “Flights of Frenzy“, won the Best Super 8 award at the UNESCO 10th Muse International, Amsterdam,1969. His experimental feature, “Everything Everywhere Again Alive“, 1975, screened in TIFF’s Retrospective of Canadian Cinema,1984, “A Brighter Moon“, received a Gemini Award Nomination for Best Short Drama, 1987. Keith was the first recipient of the Chinese Canadian National Council’s Media Applause Award in 1998. “The Road Chosen: The Lem Wong Story“, received the NFB Innoversity Conference Award, 2002, “The Dreaming House“, 2005, received Best GTA Filmmaker Award at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

More recently, Keith was the featured artist at 8 Fest Toronto, 2016. He created a 360 Virtual Reality prototype for the NFB, “The Secret“, 2017. His experimental feature, “Everything Everywhere Again Alive,” is being released on Blu-Ray by Black Zero Releasing, 2022 and was selected one of “100 Best Canadian Films of All Time” by AGO Film Curator, Jim Shedden, 2019. Keith is the inaugural winner of Reel Asian Film Festival’s trailblazing Firehorse Award, 2022. He is Executive Producer of the feature film, Café Daughter, winner Audience Choice Award at the Imaginative Film Festival, Toronto, 2023.

Ali Kazimi
Filmmaker & Academic

Ali Kazimi is filmmaker, author and media artist whose work deals with race, social justice migration, history and memory. He is the recipient of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts. and the same year he received a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from the University of British Columbia. In 2023 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has taught film production in the Department of Cinema and Media Arts at York University, where he is a full professor.

His critically acclaimed documentaries include NarmadaA Valley Rises (’94), Shooting Indians: A Journey with Jeffrey Thomas (’97), Documenting Dissent (’01), Continuous Journey (’04), Runaway Grooms (’06), Rex versus Singh (’09), Random Acts of Legacy (’16) & Beyond Extinction: Sinixt Resurgence (2022).

The films have been shown at festivals around the world, winning more than 30 national and international honours and awards. Highlights include a Gemini Award (Donald Brittain Award) for Best Social/Political Documentary; Golden Gate Award, San Fran. Intl. Film Fest; Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival; Golden Sheaf, Yorkton Short Film Festival; Best Director & Best Political Documentary, Hot Docs and audience awards for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and Los Angeles Indian Film Festival.

Hannah Sung
Journalist & Podcaster

Hannah Sung is a co-founder of the award-winning Media Girlfriends, a production company led by journalists of colour who prioritize inclusive perspectives in media. She is a 20+ year veteran of Canadian media and the founder of At The End Of the Day newsletter and podcast, an Apple Podcasts Best of 2022. Previously, she worked at the Globe and Mail and CBC. In 2020, she was the Asper Fellow at the University of Western Ontario. Hannah began her career in music television at MuchMusic, where she was the host of shows including MuchNews and The NewMusic.


2023 Fire Horse Award Ceremony
2022 Fire Horse Award Ceremony
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