Now in its 24th edition, the Reel Asian Film Festival runs November 12-19, 2020, this year in a digital format available Canada-wide for the first time.
Opening the Festival this year is Ursula Liang‘s Documentary Down a Dark Stairwell which looks at how two coloured communities in New York City navigate a criminal case. The Closing Night selection is a live script reading with cast, the directors, and author of upcoming screenplay Scarborough, following three kids who find community, compassion, and resilience at a drop-in literacy centre over the course of a school year.
Other selections include:
Dust and Ashes, which unfolds over three days as a woman tries to navigate bureaucracy, her mother’s death, and a desperate desire to escape impoverishment; and A Rifle and A Bag, a documentary about a former communist rebel couple’s work to integrate into an unwelcoming Indian society following surrender. Making their Canadian Premiere at the Festival are The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time, a Western about fractured families and survival in the wake of violence; and documentary short I Do My Work, following students as the school year begins at the Afghan National Institute of Music ahead of the 100th anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence; as well as the Ontario Premiere of Moving On, chronicling family relationships, growing up, and getting old as a family moves in with their ailing grandfather in the wake of failed marriages and money troubles; and the Toronto Premiere of Mogul Mowgli, co-written by and starring Emmy-winner Riz Ahmed (Rogue One) which explores self-expression, identity, and intergenerational trauma in a story of a British-Pakistani rapper whose international breakthrough tour is compromised by a debilitating medical condition. The lineup also includes the first French-language Canadian feature to screen at the Festival, The Greatest Country In The World, set in an alternate universe with Quebec borders closed by an anti-immigrant government, desperate people try to make the best of their crumbling world; Goodbye Mother, a Vietnamese LGBTQ story chronicling a son subverting his community’s expectations of patriarchy and legacy, leading to the unearthing of family secrets; The Taste of Pho, which explores the different meanings of home to a father and his daughter; Labyrinth of Cinema, the swansong of the almost 60-year career of the late Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi; and an archive presentation of A.K.A. Don Bonus (1995) directed by Spencer Nakasako, a forerunner to the now-popular diary and vlog-style documentary format.
Tickets priced at just $7.99, are on sale October 15, 2020. This and more on the entire slate of selections available at http://reelasian.com.
(Photo credit: Reel Asian)
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