Carolyn Talks…With Deanna Wong, Executive Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

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Founded in 1997  by Anita Lee and Andrew Sun, the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is now in it’s 22nd year of bringing films from new and veteran filmmakers to audiences. The festival will be running from November 17 – 15th, 2019 at various screening locations including the TIFF BELL LightBox in downtown Toronto.

The festival features independent films and video projects from the Asian diaspora including Canada, the U.S. South Korea, Japan and South East Asia. With special initiatives and programs like “So You Think You Can Pitch” and the “Unsung Voices” Reel Asian’s goal is to provide opportunities for aspiring writers, directors and film creatives to give them a foothold into an industry that is challenging to break into.

In a city like Toronto where a significant portion of the population is comprised of immigrants from across the globe (including yours truly), it is vitally important that organizations like Reel Asian continue to work with and support young people so that they can tell their stories.

Having the opportunity to work closely with those who have gone before them and have found success, is a priceless experience. During the media day for East of The Rockies I had the opportunity to briefly speak with Executive Director Deanna Wong about the films to look forward to during the festival, and her goals for it and young aspiring filmmakers.

Below are a list of some of the films screening during the festival, and you can keep up with coverage here on the site, and by following my Twitter @Carriecnh12 and the hashtag #SHWHPodReelAsian.

Ms. Purple by Justin Chon (Korea, USA)
Friday Novemeber 8th at 6:15 pm at TIFF Bell LightBox

Lucky Grandma by Sasie Sealy (USA)
Friday November 8th at 8:30 pm at TIFF Bell LightBox

Gyopo by Samuel Kiehoon Lee (Canada, USA)

We Are Champions by Chang Jung-Chi (Taiwan)

Dragon Painter (Japan, USA)
Innis Town Hall

Drawn Closer (Shorts Programme)
T Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space


All images courtesy of Reel Asian, for more festival announcements and to purchase tickets, visit You can email us at, and follow the ladies on social media at @CarrieCnh12@La_Ney_Sha, and the podcast’s official Twitter account @SHWH_Pod  but be warned, we tweet a lot.