March 12, 2020
A message from the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival:
Both as individuals and collectively as part of Toronto’s pan-Asian community, we have been following the situation regarding the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 respiratory illness. Like many others we are heartbroken and disappointed to see the rise of racism against members of the Chinese and Asian community and stand firmly against it.
By creating space and opportunities to tell our stories, Reel Asian works to dispel myths and stereotypes, break barriers, and build bridges. Much of our work includes community organizing to bring people together through events, screenings, and workshops. We are looking forward to continuing this work — now more than ever. In doing so, the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, and the public are our priority. We are closely following both the Public Health Agency of Canada and Toronto Public Health’s advisories and staying informed. We encourage others to act responsibly and with consideration for those who are most vulnerable in our community.
Please note that the Reel Asian offices will be closed and our staff will be working remotely until further notice. Reel Asian will continue to monitor the situation and will act accordingly.
For more information about how to protect yourself and those around you, please visit:
Lastly, if you experience racism, please reach out to your community for support or report it to the appropriate authorities if you feel comfortable. If you witness racism, be that community and support if you are able. The Chinese Canadian National Council is collecting reports of racism against the Chinese and Asian community on their website for their #fightncovfightracism awareness campaign.
It is a stressful time for all but we also want to take the time to thank all healthcare professionals and those who are working tirelessly during the pandemic.