7 Reel Asian Film Festival titles worth your time, and how to watch from home


Toronto’s Reel Asian Film Festival launched for its twenty sixth yr earlier this week, that includes movies from creators unfold all the world over. 

It was additionally one thing of a homecoming for the competition, which, like many others, have been pressured to swap to a digital format for the previous two years. Now again in individual, organizers promised to ship a competition targeted on neighborhood — with out leaving the remainder of the nation behind.

Here, CBC gathers among the most fun movies at this yr’s competition, lots of which can be found for $15 digital streaming from wherever in Canada.

The Grizzlie Truth

98 minutes
Streaming Nov. 14 – 17

Filmmaker Kathleen Jayme’s The Grizzlie Truth already took home the Audience Award at VIFF earlier this yr, for a tongue-in-cheek documentary firmly rooted within the metropolis’s historical past. 

The iconic basketball workforce — who, together with the Toronto Raptors, joined the league in 1995 as the primary two fashionable Canadian franchises — lasted solely six seasons in Vancouver earlier than relocating to Memphis as an athletic and monetary dud. While every thing from an absence of sponsorships to poor draft picks to the NBA lockout have been put ahead as the explanation (not to point out shedding greater than 70 per cent of all their video games) Jayme says there’s one thing extra. 

In her fourth movie on the workforce, Jayme talked to former Grizzlies gamers Bryant (Big Country) Reeves, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Mike Bibby — and uncovers extra in regards to the story than you are most likely conscious of. 

Stay the Night

89 minutes
Streaming Nov. 14-17

(*7*)</span></p><p>Star Andrea Bang and director Renuka Jeyapalan reunite for this subdued romance after years collaborating on <em>Kim's Convenience</em>. And although this movie a few lady caught in an prolonged and awkward meet-cute with an NHL hockey participant takes place over the course of a single night time, it took years to make. </p><p>Filmed over three subsequent Marches due to reshoots and COVID-related delays, Bang mentioned she was simply glad to see it makes it manner to the competition. </p><p>"It's a movie that may be a love letter to Toronto. It was made in Toronto and it was set truly in Toronto, and not plenty of movies normally are," she advised CBC. "So I simply am actually, actually honoured and excited that it's being proven there."</p><p>Outside its Reel Asian streaming window, <em>Stay the Night</em> is releasing in theatres Friday, Nov. 18 in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa.</p><hr/><h2><em>Riceboy Sleeps</em></h2><p><em>117 minutes</em></p><p><span class="youtube">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri7k0igTUVA

Riceboy Sleeps has already swept up quite a few awards — pulling within the Best Canadian Film Award on the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Platform Prize on the Toronto International Film Festival and a prestigious $25,000 award at the Windsor International Film Festival.

Inspired by Canadian author, director and star Anthony Shim’s personal life, it follows a younger boy and his mom within the years after they depart from South Korea to Canada, and their eventual (transient) return. 

It options Canadian actors Ethan Hwang, 17, and Dohyun Noel Hwang, 8, and a show-stopping efficiency by first-time actor Choi Seung-yoon, a South Korean ballet dancer. Though the competition opener is the one movie on this checklist not accessible on-line and with out a confirmed launch date, Shim mentioned a wider launch might come quickly — whereas remarking on the optimistic reception it has already loved. 

“When I set out to make this movie, the aim was to, , make one thing that I assumed would have an effect on individuals in a optimistic manner and transfer individuals, transfer audiences,” he advised CBC. “But I by no means imagined that it could be obtained on this method.”

Therapy Dogs

83 minutes
Streaming Nov. 14-20

Another debut function this yr, 21-year-old Ethan Eng’s Therapy Dogs was filmed at his highschool — fully in secret. 

The coming-of-age film follows Ethan (performed by Eng) alongside along with his good friend Justin (Justin Morrice) in a meta-story about their ultimate yr of highschool. He, together with a small variety of collaborators, disguised the mission as a yearbook mission — roping in buddies and academics with out letting any of them in on the key, and with out a lot of a concern of getting caught.

“Teachers are sluggish. We might outrun them at any second, any form of authority we might outrun,” he mentioned. “The solely actual wrestle for me was the detriment of my social life, as a result of I had a GoPro in my face the entire time.”

Beyond Extinction: Sinixt Resurgence

103 minutes
Streaming Nov. 14-20

Canadian filmmaker Ali Kazimi spent greater than twenty years producing Beyond Extinction: Sinixt Resurgence. It began in 1995, when a Vancouver lawyer and good friend advised him about an uncommon immigration case he was dealing with — a Sinixt man, who was being deported from Canada and argued he must be allowed to keep on his conventional territory. 

The authorities’s response? Since the Sinixt individuals had been declared extinct in 1956, he wasn’t protected by any laws, and so would have to go. 

The solely drawback there, Kazimi mentioned, was that they have been far from extinct. The movie itself follows the story of native Sinixt chief Marilyn James’s combat to have her individuals acknowledged, in addition to Kazimi’s personal expertise as an immigrant to Canada. 

“This is, in a manner, the proper competition for it,” Kazimi mentioned. “The movie is in regards to the intersection of two south Asians — myself and Zool Suleman,  the refugee and immigration lawyer —  intersecting in several methods over a protracted time period, and with the continued wrestle of an indigenous neighborhood.”

All that Breathes

91 minutes

Another movie that doesn’t have a streaming possibility on the competition, All That Breathes has already picked up crucial accolades, being dubbed “extraordinary” by the Los Angeles Times, “masterful” by RogerEbert.com and successful the world cinema prize for greatest documentary at Sundance. 

The Shaunak Sen-directed piece follows two brothers in New Delhi who look after injured birds of prey, usually sickened by air pollution within the metropolis. But for individuals who missed their shot to see it in Toronto, a consultant for Bell Media’s Crave confirmed it should debut on the streaming platform in 2023. 

Big Fight in Little Chinatown

87 minutes
Streaming Nov. 14-20 (excluding Quebec)

Canadian documentarian Karen Cho’s Big Fight in Little Chinatown will see its world premiere at DOC NYC this Friday, however Canadians will not have to wait for much longer to get a glance. 

Following an in-person screening on Nov. 13, the documentary about gentrification of Chinatowns in cities from New York, to Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto and San Francisco can be accessible on-line till Nov. 20. 

Cho, who relies in Montreal, studied at Concordia University’s movie manufacturing program earlier than happening to launch a collection of documentaries targeted on heritage and social justice, together with the National Film Board-sponsored In the Shadow of Gold Mountain, Seeking Refuge and  Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada.


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