Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival presents Backstory Podcast by Reel Asian is a podcast that highlights artists and issues relating to the Asian and Asian Canadian media landscape. Hosted by Aram Collier and Kelly Lui, the Reel Asian programming team is here to talk all things film. Uploaded monthly. Except when it isn’t.
Backstory is written and hosted by Aram Collier and Kelly Lui, and is produced by Seungwoo Baek.
Listen to all podcast episodes on the following platforms:
One Year Later
APR 2, 2021
It has been a year of the pandemic, and so many things have happened between then and now. In this episode, Aram and Kelly talk to filmmaker kim hayung and Insomniac Film Festival programmers Khanh Tudo and Seb Decter who all continued to create art through the past year.
The Serious Funny Business (feat. Franco Nguyen of TallBoyz)
MAR 4, 2021
Aram and Kelly talk with Franco about the new season of the sketch comedy show TALLBOYZ and the serious business of being funny. You can find Franco on instagram and twitter @francowins, and you can watch the second season of TallBoyz for free on CBC Gem.
This episode uses the following multimedia samples and sources:
“Say Good Night”, Joakim Karud
“Morpho Diana”, Rachel Collier
“Oasis” excerpt from “Mercy” (Cobra Kai, S1E10)
We're Back! The Reel Asian Film Festival in 2020
JAN 6, 2021
At the end of a momentous year, Kelly and Aram take a moment to reflect on what 2020 meant for the Reel Asian Film Festival and bring along some friends for the ride. First, guests Mimi Vuong and Josephine Cruz, the digital producers behind the scenes of Reel Asian’s digital festival. Meanwhile, we searched the farthest reaches of the globe to get an audience member’s perspective from superfan James Goh. In our last segment, Kelly and Aram share their own thoughts on what got them through the year and the carb questionnaire.
Follow the link here for an extended show note (incl. guest bios) and episode transcript: https://bit.ly/398tPIo
Content Warning: mild swearing
Irrational Summer Loves: It's Love that Never Ends
AUG 21, 2020
In preparation for his summer movie showdown last month, Aram had trained for weeks on end. He’s visited every local waterfall to train under, sparred with burning logs and smouldering bbq pits, and reached out to his closest confidants about their secret takes on Karate Kid II. In this episode, Aram shares with Backstory podcast the conversations he’s had with his friends and loved ones about their shared nostalgia and memories of Karate Kid II.
Aram and Kelly share their summer movie picks with each other. What starts out as a congenial display of friendship and shared love for the cinema devolves into a thunderdome-styled fight to the bitter end of their friendship in defense of their honour and film tastes.
Content Warning: horror, violence on screen, gore, decapitation, body mutilation, nudity, death
Big Sky, Wild Mushrooms (feat. Howie Shia, Anne Koizumi) -- pt. 2
JUL 2, 2020
Aram and Kelly continue their talk with animator extraordinaire Howie Shia and master puppeteer Anne Koizuimi in an attempt to answer the question: “what is an animation?” This episode includes Anne Koizumi’s live commentary of IN THE SHADOW OF THE PINES . The first part of the conversation included Howie Shia’s live commentary of MARCO’S ORIENTAL NOODLES. Both of their works can be found on YouTube and on CBC Gem.
Big Sky, Wild Mushrooms (feat. Howie Shia, Anne Koizumi) -- pt. 1
JUN 25, 2020
Aram and Kelly talk with animator extraordinaire Howie Shia and master puppeteer Anne Koizuimi in an attempt to answer the question: “what is an animation?” This episode includes Howie Shia’s live commentary of MARCO’S ORIENTAL NOODLES (https://youtu.be/IobYgrLpCX8). The second part of this conversation, which includes Anne Koizumi’s live commentary of IN THE SHADOW OF THE PINES (https://youtu.be/nI85ahkSmSA), will be available next week. Both of their works can be found on YouTube and on CBC Gem.
In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, Aram and Kelly take a trip down memory lane(s) to reconnect with friends of the festival. They talk with Chris Chin, festival and operations manager for Reel Asian, about the festival’s latest archival campaign “#untiltomorrow”, which bring together works featured at past Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
Content Warning: light swearing
Creative2Creative, Take One (feat. Albert Shin, Gloria Ui Young Kim) -- pt. 2
MAY 7, 2020
We continue on our conversation with Albert Shin and Gloria Ui Young Kim, delving deeper into the themes of creative distance and formative films. Albert and Gloria interview each other and become the first ever guests to make the gauntlet run of “7 RA Questions”.
Content Warning: mention of abuse, sexual violence, kidnapping.
Creative2Creative, Take One (feat. Albert Shin, Gloria Ui Young Kim) -- pt. 1
APR 30, 2020
In this inaugural episode, Aram and Kelly host Albert Shin (Disappearance at Clifton Hill) and Gloria Ui Young Kim (Queen of the Morning Calm) to talk about their respective works. Albert and Gloria interview each other and become the first ever guests to make the gauntlet run of “7 RA Questions”.
Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by East, South and Southeast Asian artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.