Thursday, 12 November 2009

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2009 Day 1 - Wednesday November 11, 2009

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It was exciting to see a packed house last night at The Bloor Cinema for the opening night of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, now in it's 13th year. The crowd was lively and the red carpet was out and guests in attendance included Olivia Chow and Overheard actor Dominic Lam Ka Wha. Speeches and thanks started the night off and then we were treated to the multimedia/live performance of Live Long and Prosper along with the feature presentation of the Hong Kong crime flick Overheard.

Hear more about Day 1 on my Vlog here.

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Olivia Chow, one of the many guests of the evening

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Live Long and Prosper directors Lesley Loksi Chan and Serena Lee (centre & right)

Live Long and Prosper
Dirs: Lesley Loksi Chan and Serena Lee
Canada, 10 minutes

Live Long and Prosper was a fantastic way to start off the festival. The short was a unique display of overhead projection with live performance by the directors Serena Lee and Lesley Loksi Chan. Using a combination of video and live projection we see the story of collective wisdom of Asian women shared in the familiar streets of Toronto. The welcoming short was delightful to watch.

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Overheard / Qie ting feng yun
Dirs: Alan Mak and Felix Chong
Cast: Lau Ching-Wan, Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, Alex Fong, Zhang Jingchu, Michael Wong, Dominic Lam Ka Wha
Hong Kong

Crime drama Overheard introduces us to the police trio of Johnny (Lau Ching-Wan), Gene (Louis Koo) and Max (Daniel Wu), who are a surveillance team investigating insider trading. The films does a great job of blending the crime world and day to day life of that of the police officers, including their home lives and responsibilities. It shows how easy it is to blur the fine line when wanting to provide for loved ones when faced with limited means. When do you settle for what you have, and when do you take a chance.. and what chance will you take? An interesting question to contemplate. The heart of the film lies in the characters whom we feel so strongly for in their predicaments. The performance by Lau Ching-Wan it stellar as Johnny, the leader and moral compass of the trio. Michael Wong is very entertaining as the corporate baddie, especially when telling limerick like stories to prove his point.

You can hear the message from Overheard director Felix Chong here.

Actor Dominic Lam Ka Wha was in attendance and shared stories of working on the film including re-enacting the experience of working with two directors (Alan Mak and Felix Chong).

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Actor Dominic Lam Ka Wha (right)

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2009 runs from November 11-15, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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