Side by Side

Canada, South Korea, Taiwan65 minEnglish and various languages with English SubtitlesAnimation, Dance, Documentary, Drama, Family, LQBTQ+ Filmmakers, Women Filmmakers

Starting from a place of silence, these five films poignantly position the ways intergenerational trauma is held and healing can begin.

The Way We Are

Amanda Ann-Min Wong Profile Image

Canada202015 minEnglish with English SubtitlesDocumentary, Family, LQBTQ+ Filmmakers, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

Pairing personal home videos with audio-recorded stories from Katherine Chun, Wenda Li, Tamai Kobayashi, and Nancy Seto - four queer Asian women recall, relive, and reflect upon their adolescent years.  

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Inside Out Film Festival, 2020
Iris Prize Film Festival, 2020

AWARDS
Nominated, Iris Prize, 2020

Directors Bio

Amanda Ann-Min Wong

Amanda Ann-Min Wong is a filmmaker, writer, and musician originally from Singapore who now lives in Toronto. In her free time, she loves jamming out with her queer alt-rock band, cutsleeve.

In the Shadow of the Pines

Anne Koizumi Profile Image

Canada20208 minEnglishAnimation, Documentary, Family, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

Tenderly crafted, director Anne Koizumi recounts a shameful childhood memory spurring conversation and a self-realization that which felt out of reach was there all along.

Recognitions

AWARDS
Honorable Mention – Betty Youson Award for Best Canadian Short Documentary, Hot Docs, 2020
Best Canadian Animation Winner, Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Anne Koizumi

Anne Koizumi’s films have screened nationally and internationally. Additionally, Koizumi teaches stop-motion animation workshops across Canada and is currently a media arts educator at the NFB.

Ikebana

Alejandro Yoshizawa Profile Image

Canada20194 minEnglishToronto PremiereDocumentary, Family

Rated PG

Drawing parallels between ikebana and finding belonging, Japanese Canadian elder Kaz Takahashi shares stories of her upbringing.

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Seattle Asian American Film Festival, 2020
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Alejandro Yoshizawa

Alejandro Yoshizawa is a filmmaker from Vancouver, British Columbia and currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Theatre and Film as well as the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program.

Tiger and Ox
호랑이와 소

Seunghee Kim Profile Image

South Korea20198 minKorean with English SubtitlesCanadian PremiereAnimation, Documentary, Family, Open Captions, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG-13

Confronting patriarchy and societal gender norms aside, Tiger and Ox is about a fraught yet loving relationship between mother and daughter.

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Festival Internacional de Cine de Huesca, 2020
Palm Springs International Shorts Fest, 2020
San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Seunghee Kim

Seunghee Kim has pursued a career as an animation filmmaker since 2014. Her previous films Mirror in Mind and SimSim (The Realm of Deepest Knowing) won awards and screened at numerous international film festivals.

Sing Me a Lullaby

Tiffany Hsiung Profile Image

Canada202029 minEnglish, Taiwanese with English SubtitlesDocumentary, Family, LQBTQ+ Filmmakers, Open Captions, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

A film that began over 15 years ago, Sing Me a Lullaby is a heartachingly touching story of a daughter’s attempt to piece together the missing parts in her mother’s history.

Recognitions

AWARDS
Short Cuts Share Her Journey Award, Toronto International Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Tiffany Hsiung

Tiffany Hsiung is an international award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. Her approach to storytelling is driven by the relationship that is built with the people she meets both in front and behind the lens.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY TICKET
BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS

Live online Q&A with special guests

Join us in conversation with directors and special guests in attendance! ASL interpretation will be made available thanks to Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Services. Ticket holders can watch on the CineSend Reel Asian portal.

November 18, 2020 at 9PM

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Shorts
Resurgence

Abundant with hope, desire, and resiliency, all six of these films make a statement to queer histories, presents, and futures—in front of and behind the screen.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Shorts
Discomfort Zone

From the mundane to the spectacular, our characters in these five films pave their own paths as some take matters into their own hands, while others come across new points of understanding and acceptance.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Shorts
Collective Memory

Each of these extraordinary films call upon the act of remembrance as important and timely work for community care, knowledge, and abundance.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Artistic Statement

Canada, China, USA65 minEnglish and various languages with English SubtitlesAnimation, Dance, Documentary, Drama, Family, LQBTQ+ Filmmakers, Women Filmmakers

These six dynamic films touch upon art not solely as a creative practice for self expression but an integral force in making space, along with the responsibilities that come with it.

Dancing On My Own

Alexandra Cuerdo Profile Image

USA202013 minEnglishInternational Premiere Dance, Documentary, Family, LQBTQ+ Filmmakers, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

A love letter to the queer Asian community, director Allie Cuerdo finds the strength to come out and rebuild a relationship with her mom with a little help and inspiration from New York’s radical dance party Bubble_T.

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Bentonville Film Festival, 2020
Asian American International Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Alexandra Cuerdo

Alexandra “Allie” Cuerdo is an award-winning Filipino-American director, writer and producer recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women In the World by the Filipina Women’s Network.

Atomic Café: The Noisiest Corner in J-Town

Tadashi Nakamura, Akira Boch Profile Image

USA202010 minEnglishInternational Premiere Documentary

Rated PG

Hardcore and punk to the max, this electric documentary shares the story of Atomic Nancy and the infamous Atomic Café in L.A.

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTION
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Tadashi Nakamura, Akira Boch

Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock” for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and listed as one of the “Top Rising Asian American Directors” on IMDb.

Akira Boch is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and Director of the Watase Media Arts Center at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

Margo

Steffi Tupe Profile Image

Canada201914 minEnglishDrama, Family, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG-13
CW: Sexual harassment

A newcomer to the film industry, Margo’s careful and cautious actions make clear the insidious traces of misogyny that permeate through.

Cast

Maya Wong
Anthony Caputo
Logan Freeman
Sam
Emily Bolanos

Directors Bio

Steffi Tupe

Steffi Tupe is a first-generation Filipino-Canadian writer, director and producer with three dramatic short films under her belt Two Ladies, Sister and Margo.

Novena

Shirley Camia Profile Image

Canada20202 minEnglish with English SubtitlesInternational Premiere Animation, Family, Open Captions, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

Created by a community of local Filipinx creatives, Novena is an affectingly crafted poetry animation touching upon grief, mourning, and healing.

Director Bio

Shirley Camia

Born in Winnipeg, Shirley Camia is a Filipina-Canadian poet who has lived across Canada, the Philippines, Japan and Kenya. Novena, based on her poem of the same name, is her debut poetry film.

Father Figure

Tanya Hoshi Profile Image

Canada20195 minEnglishWorld Premiere Documentary, Family, Open Captions, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

Pakistani-Canadian artist Wahab Jaffer endearingly retells his journey from collector to artist and imparts the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Director Bio

Tanya Hoshi

Tanya Hoshi is a Pakistani-Canadian film and web series producer/director based in Toronto, Canada. When she’s not working, Hoshi is mentoring emerging filmmakers by helping them find their footing in the industry.

Handscape
夏青

Yiru Chen 陈伊如 Profile Image

China202019 minChinese Sign Language and Shanghainese with English SubtitlesCanadian PremiereClosed Captions, Dance, Drama, Family, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG-13
CW: Homophobic statements

Beautifully poetic, Handscape tells the story of Xia Qing and his desire to dance despite his mother’s outright disapproval.

Cast

Zhenyu Tang

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Show Low Film Festival 2020
National Film Festival for Talented Youth, 2020

Directors Bio

Yiru Chen 陈伊如

Yiru Chen is a film director, artist, and poet. Her goal is to promote education and art of sign languages – an essential key to Deaf culture, along with members of both communities.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY TICKET
BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS

Live online Q&A with special guests

Join us in conversation with directors and special guests in attendance! ASL interpretation will be made available thanks to Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Services. Ticket holders can watch on the CineSend Reel Asian portal.

November 16, 2020 at 8PM

You May Also Like...

Shorts
Side by Side

Starting from a place of silence, these five films poignantly position the ways intergenerational trauma is held and healing can begin.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Shorts
Discomfort Zone

From the mundane to the spectacular, our characters in these five films pave their own paths as some take matters into their own hands, while others come across new points of understanding and acceptance.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Shorts
Film Frenzy

A retired hitman, telephone counselor, Ronggeng dancer, and pug take the lead in these four cult-worthy shorts that are bound to make you question everything you thought you knew.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Handscape
夏青

China202019 minChinese Sign Language and Shanghainese with English SubtitlesCanadian PremiereClosed Captions, Dance, Drama, Family, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG-13
CW: Homophobic statements

Beautifully poetic, Handscape tells the story of Xia Qing and his desire to dance despite his mother’s outright disapproval.

Cast

Zhenyu Tang

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Show Low Film Festival 2020
National Film Festival for Talented Youth, 2020

Director Bio

Yiru Chen 陈伊如

Yiru Chen is a film director, artist, and poet. Her goal is to promote education and art of sign languages – an essential key to Deaf culture, along with members of both communities.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY TICKET
BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS

Margo

Canada201914 minEnglishDrama, Family, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG-13
CW: Sexual harassment

A newcomer to the film industry, Margo’s careful and cautious actions make clear the insidious traces of misogyny that permeate through.

Cast

Maya Wong
Anthony Caputo
Logan Freeman
Sam
Emily Bolanos

Director Bio

Steffi Tupe

Steffi Tupe is a first-generation Filipino-Canadian writer, director and producer with three dramatic short films under her belt Two Ladies, Sister and Margo.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY TICKET
BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS

Scarborough: Live Script Read and Artist Talk

Canada2020120 minEnglishDrama, Family, Women Filmmakers

Reel Asian is proud to present as its Closing Night event a live script read presentation of Scarborough, the anticipated forthcoming film by Reel Asian stalwart filmmaking duo of Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson. The film, an adaptation of Catherine Hernandez’ award-winning novel of the same name, follows three kids in a low-income neighbourhood who find community, compassion, and resilience at a drop-in literacy centre over the course of a school year.

Having just wrapped shooting this summer and looking ahead to a 2021 premiere, we take pause to provide audiences an opportunity to see a sneak preview of select scenes acted out live by members of the cast. The script read will be followed by an intimate discussion about the themes and creative process of bringing this heralded book to life on screen by this trio of celebrated Toronto artists. 

19 Nov, 2020 7:00 pm

to 9:00 pm

BUY TICKETS
BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS

Lead Sponsor

Special Sponsor

Featuring the cast of Scarborough

Liam Diaz
Cast as Bing

Liam Diaz is excited to be making his on-screen debut in his first movie role as Bing in Scarborough. He is an avid performer, and loves singing, dancing, and acting. He also enjoys expressing his artistic side through SFX makeup which he uses on his free time. His favourite stage role to date was playing the role of “young P.T Barnum” from the musical film, The Greatest Showman during the JDL Performing Arts summer showcase.

Ellie Posadas
Cast as Edna

Ellie Posadas is a Filipina-Canadian, Actor, Singer-Songwriter, and Creator from Toronto. She is a member of the award winning comedy group ‘Tita Collective’. Ellie is an alumni of Randolph Academy’s Musical Theatre program. She was featured in the 34th Torino Film Festival Official Selection, Wexford Plaza (CAAMfest, Slamdance) and is also featured in the short film The Morning After (Toronto Inside OUT Festival, Los Angeles OUT fest). Other selected Theatre/Film
credits include: Baby Blue Canoe (Wattpad productions), Tita Jokes (Tita Collective), The Penelopiad (Hart House), Emily & EV (Nöta Collective), Silenced (HERstory Counts), and Avenue Q (LOT).

Cherish Violet Blood
Cast as Marie

Cherish Violet Blood is an actor, storyteller, activist and Blackfoot woman hailing from the Blood reserve. Based in Toronto, Cherish is a professionally trained and seasoned performer with active followings in the national Indigenous and international theatre community. Cherish  has performed all over North America. Select credits include creator/performer in Material Witness (Spiderwoman Theatre La Mama,NYC), creator/performer in Making Treaty 7 directed by Michelle Thrush in Calgary, AB. The lead role in Deer Woman, a new play that has been touring internationally by Tara Beagan . As a natural comedian Cherish has hosted album release parties as well as community events and fundraisers.

Aliya Kanani
Cast as Ms. Hina

Aliya Kanani is a Toronto-based artist and creator, who has worn many hats, including those of comedian, actor, writer, director, producer and entertainer. She spent the better part of the last year touring internationally with her solo show, Where You From, From?, which sold out at the 2019 Just for Laughs Festival, 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and 2020 World Fringe in Perth. In 2015, Aliya co-created, wrote and co-starred in the wacky sketch web series, Juicy. In addition, she has created, written, directed and produced various online sketches and short films, including It’s My Turn, and short doc, 36 Questions to Love, which she co-directed and co-produced.

Alexis Hancey
Cast as Fern

Alexis Hancey is a Toronto based actress & screenwriter, best known for her role as Narrator in a widely popular/CBC-covered performance of Threepenny Opera at Humber College. She stars as Susan in PG: Psycho Goreman, a feature described by Variety magazine as “blowing the roof off (drive ins) where there was no roof,” and is currently developing a web series in which she plays an HSP patient who wasn’t actually fixed by therapy.

Live online artist talk and Q&A with the team of Scarborough

Following the live script read, join moderator Amar Wala as he discusses the journey of bringing Scarborough to the big screen with directors Shasha Nakhai & Rich Williamson and writer Catherine Hernandez.

ASL interpretation will be made available thanks to Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Services. Ticket holders can watch on the CineSend Reel Asian portal.

Shasha Nakhai
Director and Producer, Scarborough

Shasha Nakhai is a filmmaker from Toronto whose work has aired on the BBC, CBC, ZDF, and Arte; screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); been nominated for 3 Canadian Screen Awards; and shortlisted for an Oscar. She recently released her first feature documentary, Take Light, which enters the tangled web of Nigeria’s energy crisis.

Rich Williamson
Director, Scarborough

Rich Williamson is an Oscar-shortlisted filmmaker from Toronto. His award-winning films have screened at festivals worldwide, aired on TV, been released on iTunes, gone viral, and featured on the BBC, CBC, Bravo, Arte, ZDF, Al Jazeera, Short of the Week, The Hollywood Reporter, AV Club, Slashfilm, Screenrant, Gizmodo, Mashable, Collider and Nerdist.

Catherine Hernandez
Writer, Scarborough

Catherine Hernandez is the award-winning author of Scarborough and its screenplay adaptation, and the outgoing artistic director of b current performing arts. She has written the critically acclaimed plays Singkil, The Femme Playlist and Eating with Lola and the children’s books M Is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book and I Promise. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was published in September 2020.

Amar Wala
Moderator

Using his cinema to deconstruct notions of race and identity, Amar Wala has directed series for CBC, Viceland, and Shopify Studios. He directed the feature documentary The Secret Trial 5 and is currently director and consulting producer of CBC Arts series In The Making.

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Features
I Do My Work

Students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music gather for the start of the school day. They laugh, practice, and take tests while preparing for a concert celebrating 100 years of Afghanistan's independence. Ranging from five-year-olds to young adults, some are middle-class kids and others are orphans, and they come from Afghanistan's many ethnic groups.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Shorts
Discomfort Zone

From the mundane to the spectacular, our characters in these five films pave their own paths as some take matters into their own hands, while others come across new points of understanding and acceptance.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Reel Ideas
Digital Strategies In Evolving Times

This panel considers how digital tools have been mobilized through varying methods to adapt, respond and address changing socio-cultural contexts, and engage with communities. This event is part of the Reel Ideas Symposium.

17 Nov. 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The Taste of Pho

Germany, Poland201984 minPolish, Vietnamese with English subtitlesDrama, Family, Family-friendly, Women Filmmakers

What does a hot bowl of lovingly prepared soup remind you of? The taste of home? The warm embrace of a loved one? For Long, a widower and cook at a Vietnamese restaurant in Warsaw, his famous pho is his pride, and his grade-school daughter Mia is his joy. But their world changes when the restaurant is sold, forcing Long to learn to make sushi. Meanwhile, Mia is frustrated by her father's caring but old-fashioned ways, while fearing he is moving on from the memory of her late mother.

Japan-born, Polish-educated director Mariko Bobrik’s first feature tells a tender and bittersweet look at an intergenerational immigrant family with a confidently light touch from (perhaps) an unexpected Eastern European source. While Poland is their home, Long and Mia both must navigate what the idea of home means for them when dealing with change, while finding a better understanding of each other.

– Aram Siu Wai Collier

Cast

Thang Long Do
Lena Nguyen
Aleksandra Domanska

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTION
San Sebastián Film Festival, 2019
Osaka Asian Film Festival, 2020
FIN Atlantic International Film Festival, 2020

Director Bio

Mariko Bobrik

Mariko Bobrik was born in Japan in 1983. She graduated from the directing course of the Lodz Film School. She participated in Cinéfondation: Résidence du Festival de Cannes and Berlinale Talents. The Taste of Pho is her first feature. She currently lives in Warsaw.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS
BUY TICKET

Rating

PG
CW: Racial slurs

Sponsor

Live online Q&A with director & writer Mariko Bobrik

ASL interpretation will be made available thanks to Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Services. Ticket holders can watch on the CineSend Reel Asian portal.

November 15, 2020 at 4PM

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Shorts
In Relation

In a world that feels ever so divisive, these three documentaries take a closer look at what it means to create new pathways for community mobilizing, recognize shortcomings of identity markers, and acknowledge the solidarity work that remains undone.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Features
The Greatest Country in the World

A right-wing government controls Quebec, closing its borders and pushing immigrants to leave. Widower Hiên lives a meager life running a dépanneur. Enticed by his daughter Phuong’s move to Vietnam, Hiên makes arrangements to leave everything behind. But when a neighbourhood boy is left under the temporary care of Phuong’s aimless Quebecois boyfriend, Hiên is driven to solve the mystery of the boy’s missing mother.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Special Presentation
Down a Dark Stairwell: Special Screening and Live Panel

Down a Dark Stairwell takes a nuanced and careful look at the events following the 2014 case where Akai Gurley was shot and killed in the stairwell of an apartment building by Chinese-American NYPD officer Peter Liang. This opening night presentation is followed by a panel discussion with ASL support and accompanied by an active listening service. Available only in Ontario for a limited time

12 Nov. 7:00 pm - 13 Nov. 7:00 pm

Mogul Mowgli

UK202090 minEnglish, Urdu with English SubtitlesToronto PremiereClosed Captions, Drama, Family

On the brink of his first international tour, Zed, a British Pakistani rapper, decides to fly home to the U.K. to reconnect with his family, only to find out his first big international break could be jeopardized by an unexpected and quickly debilitating autoimmune disease. As his condition worsens and his medical treatments intensify, Zed descends into a physical and emotional crisis. His days are marked by vivid hallucinations and long-buried childhood memories of his parents fleeing India during the Partition, forcing him to face resurfaced trauma.

A film co-written, produced by and starring Emmy Award-winning actor Riz Ahmed, Mogul Mowgli is a disquieting and electrifying exploration of identity, self-expression and intergenerational trauma. Bassam Tariq’s directorial lead and Ahmed’s transfixing performance create a gutsy, beat-packed drama authored by bi-cultural artists powerfully expressing their right to thrive in all spaces, especially those that have been built to reject them.

– Mariam Zaidi

Cast

Riz Ahmed
Alyy Khan
Sudha Bhuchar
Nabhaan Rizwan
Anjana Vasan
Aiysha Hart
Hussain Manawer
Kiran
Sonia Sawar
Jeff Mirza

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTION
Berlin International Film Festival, 2020

Director Bio

Bassam Tariq

Bassam Tariq is a writer and director currently based between Texas and London. His previous film, Ghosts of Sugar Land (2019) won the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for a Short Documentary Oscar.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS
BUY TICKET

Rating

14A
CW: Racial slurs

Sponsor

You May Also Like...

Shorts
In Relation

In a world that feels ever so divisive, these three documentaries take a closer look at what it means to create new pathways for community mobilizing, recognize shortcomings of identity markers, and acknowledge the solidarity work that remains undone.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Features
The Taste of Pho

What does a hot bowl of lovingly prepared soup remind you of? The taste of home? The warm embrace of a loved one? For Long, a widower and cook at a Vietnamese restaurant in Warsaw, his famous pho is his pride, and his grade-school daughter Mia is his joy. But their world changes when the restaurant is sold, forcing Long to learn to make sushi. Meanwhile, Mia is frustrated by her father's caring but old-fashioned ways, while fearing he is moving on from the memory of her late mother.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Features
A Rifle and a Bag

Somi and her husband met and fell in love while fighting alongside fellow Naxalites, a communist rebel group fighting for the rights of tribal communities in India for the past 50 years. Although the group represents a quarter of the population and lives in extreme poverty, Naxalites are seen as the biggest threat to national security for the State of India.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time
オルジャスの白い馬

Japan, Kazakhstan201984 minKazakh with English SubtitlesCanadian PremiereDrama, Women Filmmakers

A cowardly horse robbery ends in murder, leaving a boy fatherless and his family in disarray. When the boy’s mother is forced to move the family out of their village, a mysterious man arrives who might be able to help restore order. What may appear to us as a “Western,” with its familiar framing of vast vistas and sublime steppes, is really a story about fractured families and survival in the wake of violence.

Inspired by true events, co-directors Yerlan Nurmukhambetov and Lisa Takeba join forces for a landmark Kazakhstan/Japan co-production, starring decorated actors Samal Yeslyamova and Mirai Moriyama. These disparate yet collaborative elements are able to make something familiar but fresh, an Asian “Western”, an art film that builds to a satisfying genre conclusion and culminates with an epilogue of renowned Kazakh artist Gali Myrzashev paintings. The Horse Thieves is an atmospheric treat. Watch it full-screen, volume up.

- Aram Siu Wai Collier

Cast

Samal Yeslyamova
Madi Minaidarov
Mirai Moriyama
Dulyga Akmolda

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTION
Busan International Film Festival, 2019
Tokyo International Film Festival, 2019
Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2020

Director Bio

Yerlan Nurmukhambetov, Lisa Takeba

Lisa Takeba is a Japanese film director and screenwriter known for Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory (2015) and The Pinkie (2014). Yerlan Nurmukhambetov is a director and writer known for Walnut Tree (2015) and The First Rains of Spring (2011).

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS
BUY TICKET

Rating

14A

Bonus content!

Ticket holders can watch Reel Asian Programmer June Kim's conversation with directors Yerlan Nurmukhambetov and Lisa Takeba on the CineSend Reel Asian portal.

You May Also Like...

Features
I Do My Work

Students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music gather for the start of the school day. They laugh, practice, and take tests while preparing for a concert celebrating 100 years of Afghanistan's independence. Ranging from five-year-olds to young adults, some are middle-class kids and others are orphans, and they come from Afghanistan's many ethnic groups.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Features
Dust and Ashes

Unfolding over a tumultuous three days, Dust And Ashes is a quiet thriller following a grieving Hae-su, forced to learn and navigate the system in order to collect insurance after the death of her mother. Overworked, underpaid, and facing eviction, Hae-su takes desperate measures in order to escape impoverishment.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Features
The Taste of Pho

What does a hot bowl of lovingly prepared soup remind you of? The taste of home? The warm embrace of a loved one? For Long, a widower and cook at a Vietnamese restaurant in Warsaw, his famous pho is his pride, and his grade-school daughter Mia is his joy. But their world changes when the restaurant is sold, forcing Long to learn to make sushi. Meanwhile, Mia is frustrated by her father's caring but old-fashioned ways, while fearing he is moving on from the memory of her late mother.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Film Frenzy

Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, USA64 minEnglish and various languages with English subtitlesAction, Closed Captions, Comedy, Drama, Experimental, Fantasy, Horror, Open Captions, Thriller, Women Filmmakers

A retired hitman, telephone counselor, Ronggeng dancer, and pug take the lead in these four cult-worthy shorts that are bound to make you question everything you thought you knew.

The Last Ferry From Grass Island
島嶼故事

Linhan Zhang 張林翰 Profile Image

Hong Kong, USA2020 14 minCantonese, Mandarin with English SubtitlesToronto PremiereDrama, Open Captions

Rated 14A
CW: Guns

Our focus shifts from the oversaturated cityscape of Hong Kong to the mundane, yet peaceful fisherman’s life of a retired hitman. When his apprentice arrives unannounced, will the tranquility last?

Cast

Tai Bo 太保
Wang Yang 汪洋

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Tribeca Film Festival, 2020
Cannes Cinéfondation, 2020
Palm Springs Shorts Fest, 2020
Calgary International Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Linhan Zhang 張林翰

Linhan Zhang 張林翰 is a film and television undergraduate at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, a 2017-2018 Sundance Ignite Fellow, and a recipient of the 2019 Adobe Creativity Scholarship.

Receiver

Cavan Campbell Profile Image

Canada2020 15 minEnglish with English Subtitles World PremiereClosed Captions, Horror, Thriller

Rating 14A
CW: Psychological horror, Manipulation

Addressing the harm racialized women as professional and informal caregivers face and can internalize, Tahirih Vejdani delivers a resonating performance as Sriyani, an overtaxed social care worker.

Cast

Tahirih Vejdani
David Tompa

Directors Bio

Cavan Campbell

Raised on Prince Edward Island by his Island father, a painter, and his Sri Lankan mother, a writer, Cavan Campbell has worked on It, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, and Star Trek: Discovery.

RONG

Indira Iman Profile Image

Indonesia2019 13 minIndonesian with English subtitlesCanadian PremiereFantasy, Horror, Open Captions, Thriller, Women Filmmakers

Rating 18A
CW: Sexual assault and violence, Genital mutilation

Blending Indonesian tradition and culture with fantasy and mysticism, RONG is a terrifying yet satisfying take on a girl who walks home alone at night as the hunted becomes the hunter.

Cast

Maryam Supraba
Ancoeamar

Directors Bio

Indira Iman

Indira Iman is a director and writer based in Jakarta, Indonesia, who believes film can inspire social change.

Bow-wow
멍멍, 바우와우, 와프와프

Hyungnam Pak 박형남 Profile Image

South Korea2019 22 minKorean with English SubtitlesInternational PremiereComedy, Drama, Experimental, Fantasy, Open Captions

Rated PG

If three dogs who dabble with dog-ception to save their fellow four-legged friend isn’t enticing enough, it’s also a musical with some animation and features Donggyu Lee, the Korean Benedict Cumberbatch.

Cast

Kang Chan
Lee Donggyu
Park Shinyoung
Ko Hyungkyung

Recognitions

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Chungmuro International Musical Film Festival, 2020

Directors Bio

Hyungnam Pak 박형남

Born in 1990, Hyungnam Pak is a film major at the Korea National University of Arts. His previous films include Sailing A Paper Boat and When We Meet Us.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY TICKET
BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS

Live online Q&A with special guests

Join us in conversation with directors and special guests in attendance! ASL interpretation will be made available thanks to Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Services. Ticket holders can watch on the CineSend Reel Asian portal.

November 15, 2020 at 10am

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Artistic Statement

These six dynamic films touch upon art not solely as a creative practice for self expression but an integral force in making space, along with the responsibilities that come with it.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

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Moving On

Broke and evicted from their basement apartment in Seoul, teenager Okju, her little brother Dongju, and their divorced father must move in with their ailing grandfather at the city’s outskirts. Soon joined by an aunt reeling from her own failed marriage, they spend the summer getting reacquainted with each other as an ad hoc multigenerational family unit, which was the norm just a generation ago.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Features
I Do My Work

Students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music gather for the start of the school day. They laugh, practice, and take tests while preparing for a concert celebrating 100 years of Afghanistan's independence. Ranging from five-year-olds to young adults, some are middle-class kids and others are orphans, and they come from Afghanistan's many ethnic groups.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

Unsung Voices 9

Canada202023 minEnglish, French, Korean with English subtitlesAnimation, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Women Filmmakers

Four fearless emerging filmmakers embarked on a summer-long filmmaking journey online. We’re proud to present their world premiere here. Thanks to Jeff Yang, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, the casts of Kim’s Convenience and Fresh Off the Boat, and donors of the Kim’s Off The Boat fundraiser for supporting Unsung Voices this year.

일요일
Sunday

kim hayung Profile Image

Canada2020 4 minEnglish, Korean with English Subtitles World PremiereAnimation, Documentary, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

일요일 (Sunday) is a semi-autobiographical animation based on the filmmaker’s childhood memories of growing up within her father’s church.

Director Bio

kim hayung

Born in Suncheon, South Korea, kim hayung is an interdisciplinary artist currently residing in Toronto.

How You See Me

Maryanna Chan Profile Image

Canada2020 5 minEnglish World PremiereAnimation, Documentary, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

Navigating her thoughts on white beauty standards, a girl seeks to understand her relationship to them, and express the damaging effects and harm that fetishizing Asian women causes.

Director Bio

Maryanna Chan

Maryanna Chan is an illustrator from Saskatoon. She is currently studying scénographie in Montreal and is passionate about truthful storytelling.

Apprends-moi à disparaître
Teach Me How to Disappear

Angelina Guo Profile Image

Canada2020 8 minFrench with English Subtitles World PremiereDrama, Women Filmmakers

Rated PG

Torn between her mental illness and her desire for long standing love, a young woman named Maria tries to tame her self-destructive tendencies in an attempt to preserve her partner's affection.

Director Bio

Angelina Guo

Born in Montreal, Angelina Guo has earned a few prizes and a scholarship for her literary works. She is currently studying French literature at McGill University.

Homewater

Aidan Chan Profile Image

Canada2020 6 minEnglish World PremiereDrama

Rated PG

On a journey to a small island town, two city boys explore their shared love for fishing. Travelling alongside an ocean run of salmon, they find there is much more to discover about themselves.

Director Bio

Aidan Chan

Born and raised in Vancouver, Aidan Chan aims to bring people closer to their surrounding nature through film, music, and other forms of art.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm

BUY TICKET
BUY STUDENT • SENIOR • ARTS WORKER • UN(DER)WAGED TICKETS

With Support from

Live online Q&A with Unsung Voices directors

ASL interpretation will be made available thanks to Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Services. Ticket holders can watch on the CineSend Reel Asian portal.

November 14, 2020 at 9PM

Stories at Work: Unsung Voices Mentors Fireside Chat

This fireside chat gathers together filmmaker mentors from Reel Asian’s 2020 Unsung Voices incubator to discuss what the building blocks of a good narrative are.

November 14, 2020 at 1PM

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Artistic Statement

These six dynamic films touch upon art not solely as a creative practice for self expression but an integral force in making space, along with the responsibilities that come with it.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

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Film Frenzy

A retired hitman, telephone counselor, Ronggeng dancer, and pug take the lead in these four cult-worthy shorts that are bound to make you question everything you thought you knew.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

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Resurgence

Abundant with hope, desire, and resiliency, all six of these films make a statement to queer histories, presents, and futures—in front of and behind the screen.

12 Nov. 10:00 am - 19 Nov. 11:59 pm

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