Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Sean Kelly

Highlights of the 2013 Reel Asian Film Festival


An eccentric line-up was announced for the 2013 edition of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, which takes place from November 6-13 in Toronto and Richmond Hill.  This will be the first year I plan on attending the festival, which is now in its 17th year.  New this year, the festival is expanding to include films from the South Asian continent, including India and Pakistan.  This will include the festival’s Opening Night Gala, which will be the Canadian Premiere of Bombay Talkies, which was a gala at the Cannes Film Festival and features Bollywood stars Rani Mukerji and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

The following are some of the other highlights of this year’s festival line-up:

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.

Thoughts: As horror fan, this film seems to be right up my alley. Will definitely look forward to this one.

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

Thoughts: Even though I haven’t seen the other two, I love a good anime film.

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.

Thoughts: There is just something about this film’s title and description that has me saying “yes please!”

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.

Thoughts: A documentary about the new Filipino lead singer of Journey? Sounds like a fun watch.

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

Thoughts: There is always something good coming out of Korea and this looks to be a enjoyable action-thriller.

Well that wraps up my main highlights of the festival. I hope to see those films and more when I attend the festival next month.  The full festival line-up, as well as ticket information, can be found on the festival website.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).