Unity in Diversity: Fusion of Communities in Canada

27 May 2023 | 1:30 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. | Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto

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Asian Heritage Month Film Festival

Presented in partnership with Reelworld Film Festival
Programmed by Tonya Williams, Executive and Creative Director, Reelworld Film Festival

Unity in Diversity: Fusion of Communities in Canada, Asian Heritage Month Film Festival 2018

Canada 150 | Unity in Diversity: Fusion of Communities in Canada
Short Films made by Students from Toronto Catholic District School Board and Toronto District School Board in Celebration of Canada 150

Moe Jiwan, Reelworld Chair of the Board

Audience Q & A moderated by Moe Jiwan with filmmakers Simu Liu, Lulu Wei, Supinder Wraich and Farid Yazdani

1. Meeting Mommy
| Director Tricia Lee
Zoe can only see her Mom once a year on her birthday. On the day that she turns six, Zoe has some hard questions for her father to answer.
Director: Tricia Lee- Director of award-winning films ‘Silent Retreat’ (Best Canadian Feature -Toronto After Dark) and ‘Clean Break’ (Best Drama Feature – Atlanta Horror Film Festival), Tricia has just completed her third feature ‘Blood Hunters.’

2. Silver | Director Simu Liu
During the vampire outbreak, millions either lost their lives or were turned. The world erupted into chaos. Then, a ray of hope—scientists were able to synthesize a blood substitute without the addictive and maddening qualities of human blood. The synthetic blood was mass-produced and distributed amongst the vampire population. Thus, vampires and humans came to co-exist together.

3. A Bicycle Lesson | Director: Renuka Jeyapalan | Starring: Supinder Wraich
A dramatic short film focusing on the relationship between a second generation daughter and her mother. When a young woman teaches her mother how to ride a bicycle she discovers a secret that has the potential to mend their fractured relationship.

Renuka Jeyapalan is a Toronto-based filmmaker and a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab. Her short film ‘Big Girl’ premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and has screened at over 35 film festivals around the world. In 2010, Renuka was awarded the Kodak New Vision Mentorship Award by Women in Film and Television-Toronto and was mentored by director Catherine Hardwicke (‘Twilight’, ‘Thirteen’). Renuka recently wrote and directed the short film ‘Arranged for TMN,’ ‘Movie Central,’ and the ‘Harold Greenberg Fund’ and is currently developing her first feature film, ‘How to go to a Wedding Alone’ with Gearshift Films.

Supinder Wraich is an actress and filmmaker born in Chandigarh, India and raised in Toronto, Canada. She is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Actor’s conservatory, holds a BA in Communications from Ottawa University and is also a Sheridan College, Advanced Film & Television program alumni. Wraich played the lead in the CTV Emmy Award winning series ‘Guidestones’, for which she earned a Canadian Screen Award. She has also appeared in numerous film and television productions including: ‘Hunter’s Moon,’ ‘Textuality,’ CBC’s ‘The Border,’ CTV’s ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ and ‘Saving Hope,’ CBC’s ‘Combat Hospital,’ Global’s ‘Rookie Blue,’ BBC’s ‘Copper’, Syfy’s ‘Haven’, CW’s ‘Backpackers’, Comedy’s ‘The Beaverton’, Syfy’s ‘Incorporated’, and FX’s ‘The Strain.’

4. P6HUT | Web format, Supinder Wraich (director, writer), Matt Power (producer), Ontario, partner: Reelworld Film Festival
One of projects selected under the Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund Talent Fund-supported Micro-Budget Production Program.
It’s the Hipster ‘Legally Blonde’ meets the Sopranos . . . P6HUT is a good girl gone bad story with a South Asian Female Anti-Hero at its center. Ashamed of her cultural heritage Surpreet Deol aka ‘SURI’, a 27-year-old Indo-Canadian/ Instagram ‘It girl’, who has successfully separated herself from her roots is forced to return to Brampton/‘BrownTown’ after her father mysteriously disappears. Uncovering his involvement as the head of a cross-border drug cartel Suri is forced to replace her father as the interim leader. In doing so, she begins embracing the culture she thought she escaped and her inner bad girl.

5. There’s no place like this place, Anyplace | Filmmaker selected to participate in the Doc Accelerator Emerging Filmmaker lab. 2018 Doc Accelerator Fellows Supported by Netflix.
Director: Lulu Wei | Toronto, Ontario
A filmmaker sets out to document the redevelopment of the historic Honest Ed’s block she calls home, as a way to pay homage to its cultural heritage, and to understand the problems of development and gentrification in Toronto—problems that end up hitting closer to home than expected. This is a feature documentary about the redevelopment of the historic Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village block. In Toronto at the intersection of two main streets, Bloor and Bathurst, sits the iconic Toronto landmark Honest Ed’s. In 2013, Honest Ed’s and the surrounding buildings that comprise Mirvish Village were sold to be redeveloped into luxury rental towers.

6. Day Players | Up for Best Short at Canadian Comedy Awards, a Day Players is a short film created and produced by Farid Yazdani
Day Players is about six amateur actors taking the world’s most bizarre acting class together. Think Community meets Inside the Actor’s Studio. Day Players takes place in the modern day, real world. However, it’s showcased through an over produced hyper-reality. Juxtaposing the melodrama is a postmodern sensibility, which is supported by cutaway gags, flashbacks, and pop culture references.

Unity in Diversity: Fusion of Communities in Canada, Asian Heritage Month Film Festival 2018

Watch the video of the Audience Q & A moderated by Moe Jiwan with filmmakers Simu Liu, Lulu Wei, Supinder Wraich and Farid Yazdani | Part I, Part II

Keith Lowe introduced ‘Finding Samuel Lowe’

Keith Lowe, Unity in Diversity: Fusion of Communities in Canada, Asian Heritage Month Film Festival 2018
Keith Lowe

Watch the video of Keith Lowe’s introduction of the film

Q&A with Keith Lowe and Jeanette Kong, moderated by Moe Jiwan

Unity in Diversity: Fusion of Communities in Canada, Asian Heritage Month Film Festival 2018

‘Watch the video of the Q&A with Keith Lowe and Director Jeanette Kong, moderated by Moe Jiwan | Part I, Part II

An Afro-Chinese-Jamaican Harlem family seeks their Chinese grandfather who was forever separated from their mother—his 3-year-old half-Chinese, half-Jamaican daughter—in 1920. Samuel Lowe returned to China in 1933 with a Chinese wife and six children. After a 91-year separation, his Black Chinese grandchildren journey to China where they find Samuel Lowe’s 300 Chinese descendants and the entire clan in reunited. The film takes viewers to Harlem, Toronto, Martha’s Vineyard, three cities in Jamaica and two cities in China to see these families of different races become one.

The film’s director, Jeanette Kong, is a documentary filmmaker from Jamaica based in Toronto, Canada. She has more than 17 years of media experience in Canadian television formerly at TVO and as an independent producer and director.She specializes in short-form videos and documentaries including Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China’ and ‘The Chiney Shop and Half: The Story of a Chinese-Jamaican Son.’

Kong directed and produced ‘Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China‘ in 2012 for Jamaican-American media entrepreneur Paula Williams Madison. The feature-length documentary traces Madison’s search for her Chinese grandfather. It was shortlisted for Best Diaspora Documentary at the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2014 and has screened at the Reelworld Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, the UrbanWorld Film Festival, the San Diego Black Film Festival, the Honolulu African-American Film Festival, and the Garifuna Film Festival, among others. In 2015, the ReelWorld Film Festival selected ‘Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China’ as its Opening Night Gala film. The film won both the ReelWorld Film Festival 2015’s ReelChoice Audience Award and ReelWorld Film Festival 2015’s Markham ReelChoice Audience Award.

In 2011, Kong taught Journalism in the Media Foundation Program at Humber College. She has a Master of Arts in Media Production from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University.

Closing remarks by Reelworld

Organizers: Asian Heritage Month–Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc., Social Services Network in partnership with Reelworld Film Festival Co-Organizers: Asian Heritage Month—Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.; Reelworld Film Festival; Richard Charles Lee Canada Hong Kong Library, University of Toronto; Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairrs, University of Toronto; Social Services Network

Asian Heritage Month Festival is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and supported by Toronto Arts Council with funding from the City of Toronto

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