Thursday, 15 November 2007

Reel Asian 2007 Day 2 - November 15/07

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Very exciting day at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. I attended Power Play screening of shorts made showcasing Canadian talent, which was very exciting and many of the directors were in attendance for introduction as well as a Q&A. Also on the bill was No Regret, the contemporary Korean queer romance film. A new element was added to the daily fun with the 'pig toss' (stuffed pig. Fuzzy stuffed animal pig..), that is thrown into the audience to determine winners of prize give aways. If you win, remember to pass that piggie back!

Power Play- Shorts Program

Flutter
Dir: Howie Shia - in attendance
Canada, 7 min
This was a visual delight, with an amazing textural feel. I was captivated by the newspaper winged shoes and graffiti girl.

Miss Popularity
Dir: Wayne Yung
Germany, 7 min
Wild ride showing happy tv family images and activities white adeptly describing the cut-and-dry logistics of dates two boys at the same time. Conceptually bizarre, beautifully realized.

The Contest
Dir: Naoko Kumagai - in attendance
Canada, 13 min
This 70's set short about a woman who becomes a little more than slightly obssessed with Guy LaFleur was a complete crowd pleaser. "Game on!"

Good Luck Counting Sheep
Dir: Khanhthuan Tran - in attendance
Canada, 4 min
Captivating minimalist style animated short about pushing the boundaries of commercialism and..well... a sheep.

Souvenirs From Asia
Dir: Joyce Wong - in attendance
Canada, 11 min
Dark yet often hilarious film from the perspective of an adopted Korean teenager on the ideas surrounding passive and aggressive responses to cultural identity.

50/Fifty
Dir: Jane Kim - in attendance
Canada, 3 min
Quiet and touching, this beautiful tribute film allows us to journey through memories from home movies and hand-processed film.

Rock Garden: A Love Story
Dir: Gloria Kim - in attendance
Canada, 11 min
Spectacular in concept and result this short shows us love can cross the barriers of rocks, flowers and fences. Visually stunning.

The Official Guide To Watching A Saturday Night Hockey Game (For Intermediates)
Dir: Tak Koyama
Canada, 8 min
Slightly bizarre yet giggle inspiring animated 'how to' guide for watching Saturday Night Hockey complete with food, beer and random off screen curse words. Classic.

Reel Asian Link - Power Play shorts program

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Left to Right: Howie Shia, Gloria Kim, Khanhthuan Tran, Joyce Wong, Jane Kim, Naoko Kumagai, Heather Keung

No Regret / 후회하지 않아
Dir: Leesong Hee-li (Sugar Hill, Good Romance)
South Korea

Introduced by Raymond Phathanvirangoon (International Programmer) as the first time a gay filmmaker has made a gay film in Korea that is a contemporary love story. It was very controversial but a the most successful independent film.

Impressions: What a triumph this film is. A contemporary love story for sure, with characters facing age old difficulties. Beautiful performances from Lee Young-hoon as the orphan Sumin and Lee Han as Jae-min. It is not always easy to watch, to see two people with so many barriers not only working against them but often times between them. You are, however, rooting for them every step of the way.

Reel Asian No Regret link
No Regret imdb link

Reoccuring themes of the night:
reconciliation and making amends

Cutest moment of the night during the screening of the short Good Luck Counting Sheep the sheep 'baa's' for us. A heartbeat after we hear the almost exact same noise from a wee lil'one in the audience. Completely charming.

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2007 runs from November 14-18, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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