If you haven't noticed, we do a lot of film festival coverage here at Flixist. But aside from Xander's annual coverage of the London Film Festival, all that coverage is based in the good old USA. Today we're going to change that, slightly, by bringing you a few reviews from the Reel Asian Film Festival, which is going on in Toronto right now. If you are in the Toronto area, you should definitely check it out, because it looks like it's going to be really cool. Also, they're showing A Fish in 3D. I don't think I can even comprehend how insane that is, but it sounds incredible.
Unfortunately, jumping the border is illegal and we're too cheap to get passports (or bus tickets), so we will hardly be doing anything even verging on comprehensive. Still, we'll have a few things, and we felt it was a good idea to let all of you interested parties know that it's a festival that you can (and should) check out.
If this all sounds interesting to you, head below for the festival's full schedule or hit up the source link for more info.
[Via Reel Asian]
Opening Night Gala | Tue Nov 6, 7:00 PM | Isabel Bader Theatre
Director Han Yan | China/Hong Kong 2012 | 106:00 | Canadian Premiere | Director in attendance
Yearning to experience all the firsts of a young girl in love, terminally ill Shiqiao records her memories on a cassette tape when a high school crush reappears in her world. Starring two of Asia’s rising young stars Mark Chao and Angelababy.
Canadian Spotlight | Wed Nov 7, 5:30 PM | Innis Town Hall
MICHAEL FUKUSHIMA: THE ART OF PRODUCING ART
Award-winning producer Michael Fukushima investigates the role of creativity and demystifies the producing process. Fukushima and several directors will be in attendance to address topics unique to creative producing such as risk taking, building creative teams and the vagaries of success.
TIFF Cinematheque’s Free Screen | Wed Nov 7, 7:00 PM | TIFF Bell Lightbox
IT MAY BE THAT BEAUTY HAS STRENGTHENED OUR RESOLVE: MASAO ADACHI
Director Philippe Grandrieux | France 2011 | 73:00 | Toronto Premiere
Focusing on one of Japan’s most revolutionary film directors, Grandrieux’s portrait finds Masao Adachi in Tokyo and unfolds as a conversation about revolution, desire and cinema. Co-presented by Reel Asian & TIFF.
Shorts Presentation | Wed Nov 7, 7:15 PM | Innis Town Hall
ONCE LOST, NOW FOUND
Presenting meditations on memory and loss, connection, and pure joy, these films address some of the most powerful yet peripheral facets of human experience with quiet restraint and creative narratives. Including work by Keith Lock, Quek Shio Chuan, Christopher Makoto Yogi, Han Han Li and Kimi Takesue.
Feature Presentation | Wed Nov 7, 9:15 PM | Innis Town Hall
Director Kim Kyung-mook | South Korea 2011 | 115:00 | Toronto Premiere | Director in attendance
A North Korean migrant worker and young gay man are trapped by their social status, both physically and psychologically in the heartless megacity of Seoul in this dark and dreamy film by internationally acclaimed indie director Kim Kyung-mook.
Youth Shorts Presentation | Thu Nov 8, 1:00 PM | AGO Jackman Hall
IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK
Amateur Sumo wrestling, street dancing friends, a felt turtle and copious cats remind us that stories of the unexpected are everywhere. Including work by Patrick Ng, Alisi Telengut, Stephanie Law, Jessica Wu, Vivienne AuYeung, Xiao Yang and Greg Masuda.
Feature Presentation | Thu Nov 8, 5:40 PM | Innis Town Hall
Director Dave Boyle | USA 2012 | 73:00 | Toronto Premiere | Director and Actor in attendance
This charming romantic follow up to last year’s Surrogate Valentine finds singer songwriter Goh Nakamura on the wrong side of love again. While nursing a broken heart, a Vegas roadtrip yields unexpected results.
Shorts Presentation | Thu Nov 8, 6:00 PM | AGO Jackman Hall
Reel Asian proudly presents our inaugural Summer Youth Video Production Workshop, which launched this past summer with a merry band of intrepid youth who possessed little to no formal filmmaking experience, but had great stories to tell.
Feature Presentation | Thu Nov 8, 7:40 PM | Innis Town Hall
EGG AND STONE
Director Huang Ji | China 2012 | 100:00 | Toronto Premiere | Director in attendance
Shot in Director Huang Ji’s hometown in Hunan, this quietly disturbing autobiographical and award-winning debut feature uncovers the taboo subject of family abuse through the eyes of 14-year-old Honggui.
Feature Presentation | Thu Nov 8, 8:00 PM | AGO Jackman Hall
LUNG NEAW VISITS HIS NEIGHBOURS
Director Rirkrit Tiravanija | Mexico/Thailand 2011 | 154:00 | Canadian Premiere
The first feature film from acclaimed visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is an exquisitely photographed, minimalist “portraiture” of retired rice farmer Lung Neaw; a quiet and boyish man who spends his idle days conversing with neighbors, doing odd jobs and walking through the jungle.
Feature Presentation | Thu Nov 8, 9:55 PM | Innis Town Hall
Director Ron Morales | USA/Philippines 2012 | 84:00 | Toronto Premiere | Director in attendance
The driver for a corrupt politician gets embroiled in a botched kidnapping and must traverse the seedy underbelly of Manila to save his daughter in this gritty noir.
Youth Shorts Presentation | Fri Nov 9, 1:00 PM | AGO Jackman Hall
ESCAPE OR REALITY
Want to get away? You may or may not find what you’re looking for. These stories show us the potential and pitfalls of escaping from life’s impositions. Including work by Jack Shih, Leslie Supnet, Jeff Tran, Louis Yeum, Kim Young-sam, Eri Asai and Mina Son.
Centrepiece Presentation | Fri Nov 9, 6:45 PM | The Royal
Director Romeo Candido | Canada 2012 | 60:00 | Canadian Premiere | Director, Crew and Cast in attendance
Inspired by the real-life dancing rehabilitation program that went viral on YouTube, Prison Dancer tells the personal, poignant, and hilarious stories of six Filipino prison dancers whose group dancing turned a maximum-security prison into a world stage. This unique presentation will integrate on-screen projection and live performance from the cast.
Feature Presentation | Fri Nov 9, 7:00 PM | AGO Jackman Hall
Directors Libbie D. Cohn, J.P. Sniadecki | USA/China 2012 | 78:00 | Canadian Premiere | Directors in attendance
This dynamic single shot documentary is a visual and aural adventure that glides through a public space in Chengdu, China revealing waltzing couples, karaoke singers and curious onlookers.
Special Presentation | Fri Nov 9, 8:45 PM | The Royal
VALLEY OF SAINTS
Director Musa Sayeed | USA/Kashmir | 82:00 | Toronto Premiere | Director in attendance
Upon the beautiful but troubled Dal Lake in Kashmir, a young boatman’s world is opened up by a visiting scientist in this lyrical drama about friendship, family and home. Winner of two Sundance awards.
Feature Presentation | Fri Nov 9, 9:00 PM | AGO Jackman Hall
Director Yao Hung-yi | China/Taiwan 2011 | 72:00 | Canadian Premiere
Famous Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong returns home after 30 years to paint portraits of his boyhood friends while discovering the passage of time and economic developments that have altered the character of his rural hometown. Produced by iconic Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien.
Feature Presentation | Fri Nov 9, 11:00 PM | The Royal
Director Eric Khoo | Singapore 2011 | 98:00 | Toronto Premiere
The fascinating life and sinister stories of legendary manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi are brought to life on the big screen in this animated biography about the man who pioneered gekiga, a genre of dark adult-themed comics. Tatsumi premiered at Cannes in 2011.
3D Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 10, 11:45 AM | The Royal
Director Park Hong Min | South Korea 2011 | 100:00 | Toronto Premiere | Director in attendance
A professor traces rumours revealing his wife has become a possessed shaman in this mesmerizing exploration of the spirit world. A Fish is Reel Asian’s first 3D film presentation.
Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 10, 2:15 PM | The Royal
THE MIRROR NEVER LIES
Director Kamila Andini | Indonesia 2011 | 100:00 | Toronto Premiere
Reaching beneath the mere beauty of the renowned Wakatobi region comes this award-winning coming-of-age story about the tenuous relationships between sea and community, mother and daughter, life and death.
Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 10, 4:30 PM | The Royal
DAL PURI DIASPORA
Director Richard Fung | Canada 2012 | 80:00 | Canadian Premiere | Director in attendance
Trinidad-born Toronto filmmaker Richard Fung takes an inquisitive food journey through the Caribbean and India to discover the mouth-watering roots of one of his (and Toronto’s) favourite foods, the dal puri, most commonly known as the roti.
Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 10, 6:30 PM | The Royal
JAKE SHIMABUKURO: LIFE ON FOUR STRINGS
Director Tadashi Nakamura | USA | 60:00 | Canadian Premiere | Director in attendance
Jake Shimabukuro plays the ukulele but not like anything ever seen or heard before in this rock documentary on the pioneering Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso who propelled this simple four-string instrument to dazzling heights. The screening includes a live performance produced by torontoUKES and the Corktown Uke Jam
Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 10, 8:15 PM | The Royal
Director Mamoru Hosoda | Japan 2012 | 117:00 | Canadian Premiere
From director Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars) comes his latest animated masterpiece about Hana, a young woman who falls in love with a werewolf and bears wolf children.
Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 10, 10:45 PM | The Royal
Director David Wu | China 2011 | 101:00 | Toronto Premiere | Director in attendance
Bullets fly, swords are drawn and enemies slashed in John Woo’s longtime collaborator David Wu’s historical film that recalls the energy and glory of classic 1980s Hong Kong action films. Starring Tony Leung Ka Fai.
Feature Presentation | Sun Nov 11, 1:00 PM | The Royal
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE
Director Debbie Lum | USA 2012 | 85:00 | Toronto Premiere
Shorts Presentation | Sun Nov 11, 3:00 PM | The Royal
From the full frontal stare of an unbatting, mascara-laced eye to the dispassionate gaze of a child who has seen it all, these films consider fallen heroes and arrested dreams. Including work by Nobu Adilman, Eui Yong Zong, Hayoun Kwon, Wesley Cho, Lou Nakasako, Victoria Molina de Carranza and Jahel José Guerra Roa.
Omnibus Presentation | Sun Nov 11, 5:15 PM | The Royal
Taiwan 2011 | 115:00 | Toronto Premiere
Twenty of Taiwan’s top young and veteran directors each direct five-minute shorts to highlight the uniqueness of Taiwan. The results are a panorama of Taiwanese society ranging from thriller to silent cinema to dark comedy. Including work by Hou Hsiao-hsien, Arvin Chen and Chang Tso-chi.
Closing Night Gala | Sun Nov 11, 8:15 PM | The Royal
Director Lee Yong Joo | Korea 2012 | 115:00 | Canadian Premiere | Director in Attendance
Han Ga-In, Uhm Tae-Woong and Bae Suzy star in this Korean box office hit about a woman who commissions her first love to build a new home in hopes to make good on a past promise.
Richmond Hill Opening | Fri Nov 16, 7:00 PM | Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
Director Yim Ho | Hong Kong 2012 | 104:00 | North American Premiere | Director in attendance
Directed by pioneering Hong Kong New Wave auteur Yim Ho, Floating City tells the true story of Bo Wah-Chuen (Aaron Kwok), as he rises from being an orphan on a Chinese fishing boat to the upper echelons of the notorious Imperial East India Trading Company.
Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 17, 1:30 PM | Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
CHA CHA FOR TWINS
Directors Yang Yi-Chien, Jim Wang | Taiwan 2012 | 101:00 | Canadian Premiere
Writer and co-Director Yang Yi-Chien, herself a twin, reaches into the emotional side of relationships between twin siblings in this charming Taiwanese film for all ages. Winner of Best Narrative Feature and Best Screenplay at the Taipei Film Festival.
Feature Presentation | Sat Nov 17, 4:00 PM | Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN
Director Shuichi Okita | Japan 2011 | 127:00 | Canadian Premiere
Celebrated Japanese actor Koji Yakusho plays a lonely lumberjack whose life is drastically changed when he’s unwittingly enlisted into helping a spineless young filmmaker to complete his low budget zombie movie.
Richmond Hill Closing | Sat Nov 17, 7:00 PM | Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
THE FRUIT HUNTERS
Director Yung Chang | Canada 2012 | 90:00 | Toronto Premiere | Guest in Attendance
Award-winning Canadian documentary filmmaker Yung Chang’s The Fruit Hunters is a globetrotting tour of faraway places, filled with eccentric people to whom fruit is a way of life and not just a suggested daily dietary recommendation.