The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Reel Asian), presented by National Bank, celebrates its 17th annual edition from November 5 to 16, 2013 with more screenings, high-profile guests from across North America and Asia, an exciting expansion to include films from across South Asia, an energy-driven collaboration between Toronto’s hottest up-and-coming dancers and filmmakers and 60 films from 14 countries including Hong Kong, India, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada and the United States. Here is what will be screening at this year’s festival:


bombay talkies

Opening Night Gala: Tue Nov 5, 7:00 PM, Isabel Bader Theatre

BOMBAY TALKIES (directors Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, India 2013, Canadian Premiere)
Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema, this Cannes Film Festival Gala film showcases the power of storytelling by four of Mumbai’s hottest independent filmmakers. Featuring Bollywood stars Rani Mukerji and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Paper lotus

Shorts Presentation: Wed Nov 6, 1:00 PM, AGO Jackman Hall

Paper Trace follows funny, dark and personal stories from the heart, from a search for family roots in North Korea to a life story told on a car window.


Shorts Presentation: Wed Nov 6, 6:30 PM, AGO Jackman Hall

Six fearless first-time filmmakers embarked on an intensive six-week video production workshop this summer and now show off their chops in this year’s presentation of Unsung Voices 2.


Feature Presentation: Wed Nov 6, 8:30 PM, AGO Jackman Hall

THE KIRISHIMA THING (director Daihachi Yoshida, Japan 2012)
On Friday afternoon, star athlete Kirishima quits the volleyball team, sending his teammates, girlfriend and classmates into an anxious, bewildered tailspin. A poignant look at the fragile and irrational nature of high school social dynamics.


Shorts Presentation: Thu Nov 7, 1:00 PM, AGO Jackman Hall

An assortment of shorts featuring the young and young at heart – from animations about noodles coming together to serious dramas about children facing political unrest and poverty.

the banquet of the concubine

Shorts Presentation: Thu Nov 7, 6:00 PM, AGO Jackman Hall

This year’s Best of Canadian Shorts program broadens perspectives on history and memory and offers a wide range of well-crafted animations, performing arts on screen and music-inspired videos.


Feature Presentation: Thu Nov 7, 8:30 PM, AGO Jackman Hall

HOW TO USE GUYS WITH SECRET TIPS (director Lee Won-Suk, South Korea 2013, Toronto Premiere)
Choi Bo-Na spends her days on movie sets hiding in her baggy hoodie and the shadow of her sexist boss . When she stumbles upon a secret instructional video, she suddenly gets more romantic attention than she bargained for.


Feature Presentation: Fri Nov 8, 6:00 PM, The Royal

THE SILK ROAD OF POP (director Sameer Farooq in attendance, Canada/China/Holland/Belgium 2012, Canadian Premiere)
A documentary about young Uyghur Muslims living in China who express their cultural identity through traditional, hip-hop, and hard rock punk music.


Centrepiece Presentation: Fri Nov 8, 8:00 PM, The Royal

CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION: TALES FROM THE DARK PART 1 (directors Simon Yam in attendance, Lee Chi Ngai, Fruit Chan, Hong Kong 2013, Toronto Premiere)
From grave-digging and ghost-hunting to revenge-seeking and demon-exorcising, directors Simon Yam, Lee Chi Ngai and Fruit Chan create three distinct tales of Hong Kong horror to chill your bones, make you sweat and keep you hearing the whispers in the night.


Feature Presentation: Fri Nov 8, 11:15 PM, The Royal

EVANGELION: 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO (directors Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Masayuki, Mahiro Maeda, Japan 2012, Toronto Premiere)
The long-anticipated third installment of Hideaki Anno’s epic anime saga begins with Shinji returning to Earth after 14 years of hibernation, only to discover a new world order and a home he barely knows.


Feature Presentation: Sat Nov 9, 1:00 PM, The Royal

WITHOUT SHEPHERDS (director Cary McClelland in attendance, Imran Babur, USA/Pakistan 2013, Canadian Premiere)
“What is the meaning of Pakistan?” cricket star-turned-opposition leader Imran Khan asks the crowd at a political rally. This sprawling documentary follows six very different Pakistanis trying to define their dynamic but misunderstood country.


Feature Presentation: Sat Nov 9, 4:00 PM, The Royal

FARAH GOES BANG (director Meera Menon, producer Liz Singh in attendance, actress Nikohl Boosheri in attendance, USA 2013, International premiere)
Farah is a 20-year-old, fun-loving, Bush-hating, Iranian-American virgin. With her two besties, she sets off to campaign for US presidential candidate John Kerry and get laid in this fresh take on young American feminism.


Feature Presentation: Sat Nov 9, 7:00 PM, The Royal

EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY: DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ (director Ramona Diaz in attendance, USA 2012, Canadian Premiere)
When American band Journey went in search of a new lead singer, they happened upon YouTube clips of a Filipino singer with a voice of gold, belting out cover tunes in an obscure Manila bar. A modern day rags-to-riches tale.


Feature Presentation: Sat Nov 9, 9:45 PM, The Royal

CONFESSION OF MURDER (director Jeong Byeong-gil in attendance, South Korea 2012, Toronto Premiere)
Fifteen years after a serial killer terrorized the nation, he reveals his identity in a tell-all biography. Fueled by a desire for vengeance, Detective Choi comes face-to-face with the murderer to settle the score once and for all


Feature Presentation: Sun Nov 10, 2:00 PM, The Royal

ZONE PRO SITE: THE MOVEABLE FEAST (director Chen Yu-hsun, Taiwan 2013, Canadian Premiere)
This Taiwanese box-office comedy hit serves up gut-busting laughs as Wan (played by Kimi Hsia), daughter of banquet caterer Master Fly Spirit, teams up with her mother to bring catering honour back to their family name.


Feature Presentation: Sun Nov 10, 5:30 PM, The Royal

THE ROCKET (director Kim Mordaunt, Laos/Australia 2013, Toronto Premiere)
Following in the steps of Whale Rider and Beasts of the Southern Wild, this coming-of-age story from the lush and seldom-seen country of Laos has captivated critics and audiences around the world.


Closing Night Gala: Sun Nov 10, 8:00 PM, The Royal

LINSANITY (director Evan Jackson Leong in attendance, USA 2013, Canadian Premiere)
The meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin, from NBA benchwarmer to worldwide phenomenon, inspired the term “Linsanity” and has become one of the most unforgettable stories in sports and Asian American history.


Feature Presentation: Tue Nov 12, 7:00 PM, Ryerson University, Image Arts Building

AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS (director Grace Lee in attendance, USA 2013, Canadian Premiere)
What does it mean to be an American revolutionary today? Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese-American woman in Detroit whose vision of revolution may surprise you.

Waack Revolt

Live Presentation Film & Dance: Wed Nov 13, 8:00 PM, Innis Town Hall

This dance-themed commission project brings together the collaborative efforts of talented filmmakers and dynamic performers in a range of fringe styles including waacking, poppin’, Filipino folk, athletic, conceptual and contemporary.


Feature Presentation: Thu Nov 14, 7:00 PM, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Kobayashi Hall

THE GREAT PASSAGE (Director Yuya Ishii, Japan 2013, Toronto Premiere)
Japan’s 2013 Oscar-entry for Best Foreign Language Film is a gentle love story about awkward linguist Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda) and his landlady’s daughter (Miyazaki Aoi), as Majime takes on the momentous task of editing a new dictionary and defining the word “love”.



Richmond Hill Opening Gala: Fri Nov 15, 7:00 PM, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

CHRISTMAS ROSE (director Charlie Yeung in attendance, Hong Kong 2013, Canadian Premiere)
Hong Kong actress Charlie Yeung steps behind the camera for the first time with the courtroom thriller Christmas Rose. Starring Aaron Kwok, Chang Chen and Gwei Lun Mei.


Feature Presentation: Sat Nov 16, 4:30 PM, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

LINSANITY (director Evan Jackson Leong, USA 2013, Canadian Premiere)
The meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin, from NBA benchwarmer to worldwide phenomenon, inspired the term “Linsanity” and has become one of the most unforgettable stories in sports and Asian American history.


Richmond Hill Closing: Sat Nov 16, 7:00 PM, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

RIPPLES OF DESIRE (director Zero Chou in attendance, Taiwan 2012, Canadian Premiere)
Zero Chou’s big-budget period drama features Taiwanese pop idols Ivy Chen and Michelle Chen as talented courtesans caught in a web of love and betrayal.

Other events at the festival, as well as ticket information, can be found at the Reel Asian website.