Last night the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (November 6th -17th) unveiled the 60 films, from 14 different countries, that will be screening at the 16th edition of the festival. The sensational list not only includes films that were well received at festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Fantasia, and Sundance, but also films, such as Little Miss Jihad, that were products of Reel Asian’s annual So You Think You Can Pitch competition. Here is a look at some of the films that will be playing the festival in November:
First Time Opening Night Gala
Director Han Yan | Hong Kong / China 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.
Director Eric Khoo | Japan/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.
Director David 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.
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 masterpiece about Hana, a young woman who falls in love with a werewolf and bears wolf children.
Director Ron Morales | United State/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.
Seeking Asian Female
Director Debbie Lum | USA 2012 | 85:00 | Toronto Premiere
Stephen is an aging white male with “yellow fever”. Sandy is the Chinese bride he met online. See if their marriage can make it through the cultural barriers and battle of the sexes in this intimate and quirky personal documentary.
Floating City Richmond Hill Opening Night Film
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
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.
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.
Director Romeo Candido | Canada 2012 | 60:00 | Canadian Premiere | Director 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 6 Filipino prison dancers whose group dancing turned a maximum-security prison into a world stage.
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.
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.
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.
Architecture 101 Toronto Closing Night Gala
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.
Valley of Saints
Director Musa Syeed | Kashmir/USA 2012 | 82 min | 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.
Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings
Director Tadashi Nakamura | USA 2012 | 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.
Director David Wu | China/Hong Kong 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.
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.
10 + 10
Omnibus | Taiwan 2011 | 115:00 | Toronto Premiere
Commissioned by the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, twenty of Taiwan’s top young and veteran directors each direct five-minute shorts to highlight the uniqueness of Taiwan. The resulting stories are a multifaceted 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.
For the full list of films, ticket information, and screening times be sure to visit the Reel Asian website.