Friday, 23 November 2007

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival - Awards and Wrap Up

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Five days of reeling wonder was the 2007 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. Out of all the festivals I’ve been to this year, The Toronto Reel Asian International Film festival has the strongest programming. The films were fantastic, their was a huge range in types of films (feature, shorts, documentaries, silent) and the quality of the films were excellent. Even if something didn't suit personal taste, they were all solid.

Official Reel Asian Award Winners
The Reel Asian Awards were presented on Day 5 before the screening of Sakuran. It was quite a night! Lesley Loksi Chan's speech takes the cake as the cutest, she let us know it was her first festival and she thought getting a badge was cool! A round of applause to all the winners

Animasian Award went to Yellow Sticky Notes dir. Jeff Chiba Stearns
and honourable mention to Flutter dir. Howie Shia

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Jeff Chiba Sterns accepting the award for Yellow Sticky Notes

TSV Visionary Video Award went to I No I No dir. Lesley Loksi Chan

Centennial College @ Wallace Studios Most Innovative Film Production Award went to Wanda and Miles dir. Lesley Loksi Chan

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First time festivaller and two time awards winner Lesley Loksi Chan

NFB Best Documentary Award went to Koryo Saram - The Unreliable People dir. Y David Chung and Matt Dibble

Charles Street Video and Reel Asian SEE ME! HEAR ME! PITCH ME! pitch winners
Winner in the Professional Category is Castle in the Sky - Dean Vargas and Lena Lee
Winner in the Emerging Category is What You Eat Jennifer Liao

NOW Audience Award went to Getting Home dir. Zhang Yang

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In a bizarre stroke of luck (good or bad I'm not certain), I saw a grand total of zero of the award winning films. So, I am going to share what I felt were the stand out films.

Features: Owl and the Sparrow, Finishing the Game

Documentary: And Thereafter II, Total Bangkok

Shorts (live action): Smile, The Contest, Souvenirs From Asia, Rock Garden

Shorts (animated): Flutter

Silent: Factory

Favourite Program: Total Pen-ek - Shorts Programme on the works of Pen-ek Ratanaruang on Day 4

Best Experience: Opening Night screening of Finishing the Game. Guys in yellow and black jumpsuits, high energy crowd, fantastic film and Dustin Nguyen did a Q&A/Trivia game. What a night!

Funnest collective experience: The pig toss! Every screening a pig was tossed into the audience and the catcher won a prize!

Best Q&A's: Owl and the Sparrow, Smile

Happy unexpected moment: Julia Kwan in attendance for Smile

Most unexpected: Loving And Thereafter II and not loving Love Conquers All

Repeating themes: Orphans, love, social inacceptance/culture clash

Fullest Screenings: Finishing the Game, Owl and the Sparrow, Sakuran

Wish I hadn't missed: The World Of Lesley Loksi Chan

Most Compelling Imagery: Factory

Weirdest venue thing: Why are different seats at Innis different widths? Some were cozy, others were a little smaller. Very odd. Front row on the left is mine though, called it!

It was an amazing festival, and just like little piggy here time to rest up for next year, as this with definitely make its way to my schedule again next November.

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Oinked out!

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


Polly said...

Just want to say that in addition to your reviews, I always enjoy seeing the pics of the speakers, as well as your own close-ups that give us a view into your world!

Jeff said...

Nice coverage of the Reel Asian! Too bad you weren't able to see my film Yellow Sticky Notes...I will hopefully screen in Toronto again. I'll let you know if it plays again and hopefully you can come out and catch the film!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Hi Jeff!

Yes, please do let me know if your film is screening again in Toronto - I would love to see it. Congratulations on the award! It was a fantastic festival.

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