Thursday, 13 November 2008

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2008 Day 1 - Wednesday November 12, 2008


The red carpet was out, photographers were snapping shots left right & centre and a set of drums were set up on the stage of the Bloor Theatre. That can only mean one thing: The opening night of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2008! The evening was filled with energy and love for the arts, film and the festival. An awesome introduction by Reel Asian Executive Director Deanna Wong followed by numerous inspiring speeches from members of the Toronto community including Mayor David Miller and Olivia Chow. Then the audience was treated to the beats of Toronto's Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers and the films for the evening: The Others (Aram Siu Wai Collier) and The Drummer (Kenneth Bi).

Want to hear all about it? Check out Reel Asian Vlog for Day 1

Mayor David Miller

Olivia Chow

Toronto's Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers. See vid of the performance here!

The Others
Dir: Aram Siu Wai Collier
Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips
Canada, 2008
9 minutes

The Others is a fascinating exploration of the numerous roles depicting a variety of ethnicity all played by Lou Diamond Phillips. The film succeeds not only is showing the range of 'the other man' but through creative editing tells us a very different story than any of the films ever have. Clever & witty, this short had the crowd laughing along from beginning to end.

Hear a selection from Q&A with director Aram Siu Wai Collier here.

The Others director Aram Siu Wai Collier, The Drummer director Kenneth Bi

The Drummer / Zhan. gu
Dir: Kenneth Bi
Cast: Jaycee Chan, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Lee Sinje, Josie Ho, Angelica Lee
Hong Kong/Taiwan/Germany

The Drummer is quite a unique film, and certainly the first gangster/Zen drumming film I've ever seen. It shows us two different worlds with very different objectives but both have a unique, collective structure. We see Sid, the son of a gangster, as he fumbles through both of these worlds not even trying to fit in. How will these worlds respond to his impulsive and self-centric nature? Who will change, the world or Sid? A beautiful journey in transformation.

Selections from Q&A with director Kenneth Bi here.
See The Drummer official website here.

The Drummer director Kenneth Bi

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2008 runs from November 12-16, 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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