Home » ‘Riceboy Sleeps’ opens Reel Asian Film Festival

‘Riceboy Sleeps’ opens Reel Asian Film Festival

by Stewart Cole

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival kicked off the festival’s 26th season on Wednesday, highlighting the work of innovative filmmakers, storytellers and performers from the Asian diaspora in and outside of Canada.

Over the years, the team at Reel Asian, led by Executive Director Deanna Wong and Artistic Director Aram Siu Wai Collier, have made it their mission to showcase the work of established directors, such as Chinese-American writer-director Cathy Yan, whose dark comedy Dead Pigs was shown. at the festival in 2018, and those who are young to get behind the camera.

This includes creatives like up-and-coming Canadian director Anthony Shim, who took on multiple roles as writer, director, actor, editor and producer to bring his opening night story of immigration, family, acceptance and nostalgia to the Korean Canadian drama ».Riceboy is sleeping.”

Movie l 도스보이 슬립스 Riceboy Sleeps

The film turns out to be a favorite festival winning Shim the Jean-Marc Vallée Discovery Award from the Directors Guild of Canada, a $25,000 prize at the Windsor International Film Festival, the Best Canadian Film Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and a prestigious Platform Award at the Toronto International Film Festival .

As a festival, Reel Asian offers people from every Asian ethnic, cultural and national population the opportunity to see their own stories reflected back to them in a way that is rarely done in North America. And while Reel Asian is dedicated to portraying Asian stories, that in no way means that those outside of those communities are left out or unable to connect with the films and programs.

The themes of feeling displaced and confused within our families or the fear of disappointing our parents due to certain cultural and gender expectations are universal for people of color, as explored in the short film “Lucky fish” by O’hau native Emily Jampel.

With accessibility being a key concern for many, Reel Asian has created a system where audiences have the ability to watch in person at the cinema or online. . Below is a list of some of the feature films, documentaries and shorts screening throughout the festival.

Stay the night

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For many, a successful meet-cute in Toronto might be the stuff of legend, but in Renuka Jeyapalan’s (“Kim’s Convenience,” “Sort Of,” “Workin’ Moms”) first feature film, the stars may be aligning with Grace, played by local favorite Andrea Bang (“Kim’s Convenience”), who wants to break out of her shy and reserved nature to see what new opportunities await. Spending the night walking downtown Toronto, Grace and new acquaintance Carter (Joe Scarpellino), an NHL athlete also looking for a new direction in life, take time to get to know each other, their city, and themselves them in new and unexpected ways.

An Act of Worship

Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker and Emmy-winning documentarian Nausheen Dadabhoy (“The Ground Under Their Feet”), “An Act of Worship” follows three Muslim activists. Aber and Khadega, community organizers in New York and Michigan, and Ameena, a civil rights attorney in California, as they share what it means to be women, mothers, politicians and religious in a country where all of these alone create daily challenges , but in a post-9/11 world, they also mean more scrutiny and prejudice from people outside their community. Through her lens, Dadabhoy shows how these three women and those around them continue to be resilient and more than people expect them to be.


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In this debut short film from Emmy Award-winning storyboard and comic artist Wei Li (Netflix’s “Carmen Sandiago,” “Blue Eyed Samurai”) she explores Tahitian culture and identity from the perspective of a Tahitian woman trying to reclaim the meaning of traditional dancing on her own terms, in front of an audience of tourists. In a short running time of less than 10 minutes, ‘Tehurashows how colonialism, sexism, racism and even commercialization create a distorted view of women and their bodies.


When the hopes and dreams of a small Japanese island are placed heavily on the shoulders of young fig farmer Keita – played by actor Tatsuya Fujiwara of “Battle Royale” fame – the weight turns out to have more consequences than anyone could imagine . Based on Tetsuya Tsutsui’s manga of the same name and directed by acclaimed director Ryūichi Hiroki (“Side Job,” “The Egoists”), “Noise” is like a murder mystery that reveals the island’s hidden grudges and obsessions. residents, but beneath the surface it turns out to be a critique of how Japan’s aging population could be in dire straits.

To learn more about the films screening at the festival and their filmmakers, visit reelasian.com for information and showtimes.


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