30 July 2022 | 11 a.m. EDT | Virtual
Asian Heritage Month Film Festival held in collaboration with Reelworld Film Festival
Virtual Screening with Q&A with the film directors
Now in its 13th year, the Reelworld Screen Institute, in partnership with Asian Heritage Month-CFACI, presents the Asian Heritage Film Festival.
The festival will begin with a special screening of the feature film, “In the Rumbling Belly of Motherland”, directed by Brishkay Ahmed, and followed by a Shorts Program focused on Asian intergenerational stories. Asian Heritage Month may be over, but now more than ever, Asian Canadians must be celebrated throughout the year. So in this vein, we’re bringing you Ahmed’s incredible and prescient story of journalists in Kabul reporting breaking news on Taliban and US peace talks, and a series of short films exploring intergenerational conflict across the Asian diaspora.
Following the feature, we’ve curated a shorts program from brilliant Asian Canadian directors; Josh Miakawa (Christopher Kim), Samir Malhal (Vest), and King Louie Palomo (Nene).
These virtual screenings will be followed by pre-recorded Q&As with the Directors, moderated by Zaarin Bushra, Programming Coordinator at Reelworld.
Feature Film: ‘In the Rumbling Belly of Motherland’ (83 mins, 2021)
During Taliban and US peace talks, journalists from The Women News Network in Kabul report on breaking news amidst insecurity and uncertainty, leading up to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
Q&A with Director Brishkay Ahmed
Moderator: Zaarin Bushra
Brishkay Ahmed is an Afghan-Canadian director and writer who makes documentary films that focus on women’s rights. She is known for her films ‘Unveiled: The Kohistan Video Scandal,’ ‘The Story of the Burqa,’ ‘Wanting the Wine,’ ‘Aryana Resurrected,’ and ‘In the Rumbling Belly of Motherland.’
Zaarin Bushra is a South Asian actor and filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. She is known for her role in ‘White Elephant,’ which earned numerous accolades at film festivals throughout Canada. Apart from acting, Zaarin strives to cultivate greater opportunities for the BIPOC and LGBTQIA2+ communities within the film industry. She previously held the role of Director of Operations at The Future of Film Showcase and is currently the Programming Coordinator at the Reelworld Film Festival.
Shorts Program followed by Q&A with Directors
“Christopher Kim” (9 mins, 2021)
Director: Josh Maikawa
Christopher struggles to meet his mother’s expectations on the day of his piano exam.
“Vest” (13 mins, 2020)
Director: Samir Malhal
A family is strained when the child they fostered from Pakistan acts out. After another blowout, Ali runs away, eventually finding himself in the London Underground. When a bystander makes a quick judgment about what Ali is doing there, Ali’s life is in peril.
“Nene” (17 mins, 2021)
Director: King Louie Palomo
Nene is in her eighties, an accomplished and retired painter. Her daughter travels from the city to see her with her grandson, but unbeknownst to her family, Nene attempts to finish the final painting of her lifetime.
Q&A with Directors, Josh Maikawa, Samir Malhal and King Louie Palomo
Moderator: Zaarin Bushra
Joshua Maikawa is a filmmaker and composer based in Toronto, Canada. He began writing music at the age of 14, focusing on his interests in orchestral and cinematic genres. Soon after, he developed a passion for filmmaking and went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production at York University.
Samir Mallal is a commercial director who began in documentary. His film ‘Nollywood Babylon’ screened at Sundance, Edinburgh, Sydney, and MOMA. In 2010, he was selected for Saatchi and Saatchi’s New Directors showcase and won the Young Director Gold Award at Cannes Lions. TIFF voted ‘Arctic Sun”‘ their top commercial in their Essential 150 list.
Originally from the Philippines, King Louie Palomo moved to Canada to study Human Biology. In that first year, he already began pursuing another calling, which led to a change of direction and a Diploma in Film Production, specializing in Producing and Post Production from the Vancouver Film School. With only three years in the film business, King Louie has produced seven short films and continues to hone his craft at the west coast studio of DNEG Visual Effects.
Zaarin Bushra is a South Asian actor and filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. She is known for her role in “White Elephant,” which earned numerous accolades at film festivals throughout Canada. Apart from acting, Zaarin strives to cultivate greater opportunities for the BIPOC and LGBTQIA2+ communities within the film industry. She previously held the role of Director of Operations at The Future of Film Showcase and is currently the Programming Coordinator at the Reelworld Film Festival.
Event co-organizers: Asian Heritage Month—Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.; Toronto Public Library; York Centre for Asian Research, York University; Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto; York University; Richard Charles Lee Canada Hong Kong Library, University of Toronto; Chinese Canadian Photography Society of Toronto; WE Artists’ Group; Social Services Network; Cambridge Food and Wine Society
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. Asian Canadian Artists in Digital Age is funded by Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund.