Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Reel Asian International Film Festival 2017 Preview

The 21st annual Reel Asian International Film Festival runs from November 9 to 18, in Toronto and North York.

The 21st annual Reel Asian International Film Festival runs from November 9 to 18, in Toronto and North York.

Attention movie lovers! Tomorrow marks the launch of one of Toronto’s most exciting, accessible, and diverse film festivals: the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Reel Asian). The ten-day festival, now in its 21st year, runs from November 9th to the 18th and offers feature films, shorts, presentations, and industry sessions which highlight, “contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora.” Festivalgoers can expect to experience the work of “East, South and Southeast Asian artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world.”

While discussing the upcoming festival, Reel Asian’s Interim Executive Director, Savine Wong, had this to say,

“We are extremely proud of the creators, panelists and media influencers whose films, events, exhibits and industry sessions make up this year’s festival. All of their work is sure to spark meaningful conversations on Asian representation in the arts.”

Like many festivals, Reel Asian is broken down into several programs, each one with its own distinct flavour. Whether you’re a fan of rom-coms, documentaries, or melodramatic wuxia flicks, Reel Asian likely has a couple films right up your alley.


Welcome the stars of the red carpet who are master storytellers that perfect the craft of story, design, acting, and adaptation. The Marquee programme includes the previously announced Opening (Dear Etranger) and Closing Night Galas (Stand Up Man), as well as the Centrepiece Presentation, In Your Dreams, a poignant love story between a 16-year-old who lives with his drunkard father, and a teacher living with her cheating husband. The film stars acclaimed Hong Kong actress Carina Lau and promising newcomer Ng Siu Hin.

‘Dear Etranger’


Look beyond the horizon, below the surface, outside the box. Dare to explore with filmmakers as they take you through their worlds of animation, fiction, and documentary, reflecting on connections with their community and their culture.


A festival programme that highlights film projects that stretch beyond the four walls of a cinema.


Wee Asian is back for its second year! Kids can explore the art of moviemaking and fuel their creativity through films, crafts, and dance from the next generation of media makers. Takes place November 11 and 12 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Green Room. This event is free.

‘The Fox and the Whale’

PULSE (Shorts Programme)

Great things come in small packages. The eclectic short film programmes have something for everyone. Laugh, cry, sing, and shout with these powerful bursts of cinema.

This year’s Pulse programming includes: Been Here So Long (2017 marks the 150th year of the Confederation of Canada). With funding from the Ontario 150 program and in partnership with Vtape, Reel Asian asked various young artists to rework and reimagine archival footage and home videos based on and inspired by Asian Canadian histories within the province


Content creation is both an art and a business. Immerse in the community where creative and industry minds come together through panels and artist talks and look at what’s ahead for Asian cinema in Canada and around the world. The goal of the programme is to provide local emerging talent, visiting delegates, and established filmmakers a chance to connect with one another and explore multiple facets of Toronto’s entertainment industry. Reel Ideas is an extension of Reel Asian’s ongoing mandate to nourish the growth of Asians in the arts.

Reel Asian VR

‘Yumi and Boom’

One of the best parts of Reel Asian is the accessibility. I enjoy the face to face time with writers, actors, and directors at industry panels and So You Think You Can Pitch sessions. I can’t recommend enough how important it is for aspiring content creators to take advantage of the opportunities available at Reel Asian. Aside from the inexpensive industry talks, all films and programmes before 5PM are FREE to students and seniors. You can’t beat that.

I’m a big VR nerd, so I’m looking forward to checking out Lillian Chan’s episodic VR series, Yumi and Boom. The story is about a “girl named Yumi and her unlikely friendship with a creature named Boom.” I’m down for any installation that gives me access to a pair of VR goggles, so I’m an easy sell, but I’m also excited for Reel Asian X’s augmented reality exhibit, Everything In Place. If you make your way to Reel Asian, you can probably find me lost in VR at The Commons @ 401 Richmond (401 Richmond Street West).

The 21st annual Reel Asian International Film Festival runs from November 9 to 18, in Toronto and North York.

Written By

Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based pop culture writer and film critic who enjoys covering the city's biggest (and nerdiest) events. Victor has covered TIFF, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Toronto ComiCon, and Fan Expo Canada for publications all over the internet. You can find his latest posts on Twitter and Instagram.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We update daily. Support our site by simply following us on Twitter and Facebook

You May Also Like


What is the best Donkey Kong Country Game? The Donkey Kong Country games are fun. Ridiculously fun, even. So fun that they’ve stamped themselves into gaming...


The Donkey Kong Country Soundtracks “If you listen, you can hear it coming…” Reggie Fils-Aime’s famous words before the reveal of Donkey Kong Country Returns on...


10 Years Later: Donkey Kong Country Returns stands head and shoulders above the rest! The idea of bringing back older games and genres from...


Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin Best Survivor Series Matches (1996) The greatest and arguably most important match in Survivor Series history is without a doubt, Bret...


Deadman Walking Best Survivor Series Matches (1991) Survivor Series 1990 is known for the iconic debut of The Undertaker, and technically that is correct...


Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle vs Los Guerreros vs Edge & Rey Mysterio Best Survivor Series Matches (2002) The 2002 Survivor Series Tag Team Championship match...


Back at it again with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales with this awesome recreation of one of the best scenes from the Spider-Man: Into the...


At some point, someone will probably run Doom on a smart toaster. If someone hasn’t managed such a feat already, it’s just a matter...