Toronto is like a pot of gold at the end of a multi-faceted rainbow when it comes to film festivals. Throughout the year we are spoilt for choice: besides the massive Toronto International Film Festival, we also have other cinema events such as Brazil Film Fest, the South Asian Film Festival FILMI, Hot Docs, and Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Currently, Toronto film and culture lovers can enjoy the annual Reel Asian Film Festival, running to Wednesday, November 17.
The most valuable thing about the Reel Asian festival (and the many other Toronto film festivals) is that it is an alternative to the Hollywood movies playing at megaplexes. We get a chance to experience different voices, characters, and stories that not only entertain in new ways, but also show us social norms, mentalities, and issues other than what we see in mainstream theatres. There’s nothing wrong with watching and enjoying Hollywood blockbusters, but attending film festivals like Reel Asian give us an opportunity to expand our vision globally and socially, to enjoy even more films, and to see cinema beyond what is produced in North America.
Fro 2010, Reel Asian has prepared a rich variety of events, held at several venues in
the downtown core (including the NFB Mediatheque, Bloor Cinema, and Innis College). Besides showing feature-length films, shorts, and documentaries produced by Asians all over the world, the festival also organizes panel discussions with directors and producers, workshops for those interested in working in the film industry, a film pitching session (with pre-selected participant teams), live “Asian pop psychedelic” music at the Rivoli (on Saturday, November 13 at 10p.m.), and even a karaoke party (Friday, November 12 at the Abbey Pub, 9p.m.). While the majority of attendees will go to Reel Asian to catch a movie, the wealth of other film-related events that are offered gives even more incentive to attend the festival.
(Picture source: http://reelasian.com/)
Tickets for regular screenings are $12 each. They can be bought in advance at http://reelasian.com, by telephone at 1-888-222-6608, or in person at the festival box office located at 2 Sussex Av., at the intersection of Sussex Av. and St. George St. Tickets can also be bought on the day of screening at the box office, one hour before doors open to the film.
The festival box office is at 2 Sussex Av., at the intersection of Sussex Av. and St. George St. Parking is available on St. George St. The closest TTC station is St. George; head south on St. George St. until you see Sussex Av.