Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

Summary of organization/program

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by East and Southeast Asian artist in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

Contact information


 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 309, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3A8 Canada

  (416) 703 – 9333 

Geographic region

  • International (they accept submissions throughout the world)
  • Festival takes place in Ontario


  • Media artists of all ages are able to submit their films
  • They have a youth specific program with screenings and hands-on workshops
  • The film festival is open to all viewers

History/Background Information

  • Established: 1997
  • Founded in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun, this non-profit community-based festival has grown into an eagerly anticipated annual event that attracts thousands of attendees to 6 exciting days of galas, screenings, forums, workshops and parties.

Dominant Media Forms

multi media presentations


  • Provide a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

Statement of Principles

not provided


  • Film festival 
  • Youth specific programs 

Samples of work

Youth Program

  • Within – and distinct from – the festival is a youth programme comprised of film & video screenings which showcase the diversity of Asian culture and a variety of social issues. In addition to being educational, the youth programme will introduce youth to film & video as vehicles for cultural and political advocacy.
    • Selected directors will be in attendance for an engaging discussion and Q&A with the audience. This is a unique opportunity for students to interact with filmmakers about their creative process and thematic interests and to demonstrate that the film industry presents viable career opportunities for students.

      In addition to the screening programme, NFB Mediatheque will be offering an innovative, hands-on production workshop for teens entitled ‘Animate the Issues’. In this workshop, students will be challenged to take on social issues and confront them through the medium of stop-motion animation. After learning the basics of animation and brainstorming ideas, students will work in teams to create their own animated public service announcements (PSA). The PSAs created by the students will be screened as part of the Reel Asian Youth Presentations on November 10th and 12th.

Funding Sources

Brad Duby

Michael Fukushima
Emi & Vijay Jog
Cheuk Kwan 

Karla Bobadilla
Louanne Chan
Margaret Chan
Jennifer Chen
Jeff Chiba Stearns
Chris Chin
Michael Doi
Pat Dolan
Richard Fung
Diang Iu
Eugene Keenan
Peter Keung
Zach Klein
Garth Lawrence
Serena Lee
Lesley Loksi Chan
Heather MacDougall
Reynolds Mastin
Megan McPhee
Sonia Sakamoto-Jog
Randy Shek
Victoria Shen
Alice Shih
Caroline Sin
Elke Town
Ada Vaughan
Anya Villanueva
Frank Villanueva
Deanna Wong
Francis Wong

Nobu Adilman
Robert Barter
Kevin Cho
Sally Lee
Anna Matas
David Kirk McLeary
Joanna Miles
Asa Mori
Bill O’Connor
Simon Racioppa
Leslie Supnet
Cindy Wan