REEL ASIAN Award Winners Announced

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor

Twitch was proud to be a sponsor of Toronto's Reel Asian International Film Festival this year and we're more than pleased to pass along news of the festival's award winners. Attendance was way up this year - thirteen percent, which is a big jump for an established fest - and the award winners reflect the diversity of the programming selections ... continue on for the full list.

For Immediate Release:

Monday, November 26, 2007

THE 11TH ANNUAL TORONTO REEL ASIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL EXPERIENCES TREMENDOUS GROWTH - ANNOUNCING SEVEN AWARD WINNERS!

Toronto, November 23, 2007 - In its 11th year, the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival continues to bring the best of Asian and Pan-Asian cinema to Toronto audiences, hungry for the festival's unique and high quality programming. The 2007 festival surpassed all its expectations and celebrated the biggest and most successful festival yet. Presenting solid programming and launching new creative endeavours, Reel Asian received an enthusiastic 13% audience growth over last year's festival.

Over five days, from November 14 to 18th, 2007, Reel Asian proved to be Canada's leading Pan-Asian film festival. While promoting cross-cultural exchange, the festival continued to push forward with a unique showcase of innovative films and videos. Presenting 77 films from 13 countries, Reel Asian saw a spike in audience numbers that resulted in sold out screenings every day including: OWL AND THE SPARROW (2007, USA, Vietnam), DARK MATTER (2007, USA), and shorts presentations OUT OF THE ORDINARY and POWER PLAY.

Reel Asian's programming has expanded to include more multi-disciplinary programming. Creative projects such as the Lightning Doodle Project celebrated collaboration and goodwill through improvisational music, performance and animation. RAMeN: Reel Asian Music Night brought some of the hottest musical acts to festival-goers and Reel Asian launched it's first publication - Reel Asian: Asian Canada On Screen, an anthology edited by Elaine Chang and published by Coach House Press. Reel Asian's second annual INDUSTRY SERIES created networking opportunities, industry dialogue and professional development for up-and-coming filmmakers and producers.

As Reel Asian continues to experience tremendous growth, the festival looks forward to many more years of excellence.

Announcing the 2007 REEL ASIAN AWARD WINNERS:

Once again, the NOW Audience Award for this year's favourite feature film was chosen by the audience. The NOW Audience Award goes to GETTING HOME (dir. Zhang Yang, 2006, China, Hong Kong). ($500 cash prize.)

An independent jury comprised of distinguished media arts community members filmmaker Mike Hoolboom, programmer Hiroko Namba and critic Glenn Sumi selected the award winners for best documentary, most innovative film, visionary video and best animations.

NFB BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD
($1,000 cash prize goes towards the development of winner's next project.)

"For introducing us to a moving, important and little known chapter of history, which brings up issues of culture, identity and home- all things we can relate to as Canadians - the NFB BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD goes to Y. David Chung and Matt Dibble for KORYO SARAM - THE UNRELIABLE PEOPLE."

- Glenn Sumi

CENTENNIAL COLLEGE @ WALLACE STUDIOS MOST INNOVATIVE FILM PRODUCTION AWARD
($2,000 in studio time, $300 cash prize towards completion of next work.)

"For its conversion of family intimacies into fictions, for turning blood truths into candy coloured pop dreams we can all hum along to, for letting the youngest member of her family speak the oldest truths, the CENTENNIAL COLLEGE @ WALLACE STUDIOS MOST INNOVATIVE FILM PRODUCTION AWARD goes to WANDA AND MILES by the fabulous Lesley Loksi Chan."

- Mike Hoolboom

TRINITY SQUARE VIDEO VISIONARY VIDEO AWARD
($650 in TSV membership dues and services, $100 cash prize upon completion of new work.)

"For its evocation of a past we can all look forward to, for dishing the most harrowing of personal experiences, and turning it slowly in her careful hands, until the unthinkable and unwatchable can also be shared, for daring to speak her truth and making it witty and beautiful and tender, The TSV VISIONARY VIDEO AWARD goes to i no i no, by this year's spotlight artist, Lesley Loksi Chan."

- Mike Hoolboom

ANIMASIAN AWARD ($500 cash prize)

"To do: Award Jeff Chiba Sterns the ANIMASIAN AWARD for YELLOW STICKY NOTES, a funny, lively and insightful look at the life of a working artist and activist - all told through thousands of yellow sticky notes. An original idea, impeccably executed, and all those years and pieces of paper were well spent."

- Glenn Sumi


HONOURABLE MENTION

"For filling every frame with a hip, handcrafted beauty, and granting us a vision of escape which is also a homecoming the honourable mention for the ANIMASIAN AWARD goes to FLUTTER by the handsome Howie Shia."

- Mike Hoolboom


THE HEAR ME! SEE ME! PITCH ME! AWARDS

A separate independent jury including artist Nobu Adilman, festival director Eileen Arandiga and filmmaker Midi Onodera judged the pitch competition participants coached by producer Paul de Silva.

The CHARLES STREET VIDEO AND REEL ASIAN PITCH PROFESSIONAL ARTIST AWARD goes to CASTLE IN THE SKY by Dean Vargas and Lena Lee. Award has a $5,000 in-kind value (equivalent to $18,000 at Industry rental rates).

The CHARLES STREET VIDEO AND REEL ASIAN PITCH EMERGING ARTIST AWARD goes to WHAT YOU EAT by Jennifer Liao. Award has a $3,000 value (equivalent to $10,000 at Industry rental rates).

For more information: www.reelasian.com


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