Staff Picks: what we like…and YOU should too!

With less than one week away from the fest, we know you all have so many decisions to make about next week’s annual Reel Asian…what to wear, what to see, who to meet…so we thought we would make it easier for you and tell you which films the staff of Reel are looking forward to:


Henry’s pick:
OVERHEARD 2 is better than its predecessor due to a tighter story line that’s more evenly paced compared to the first.  With an ensemble cast of Hong Kong’s top-ranking actors and a few powerhouse veterans like Kenneth Tsang, plus an increase in action sequences, this sequel makes for a fun ride. Catch all the action of Overheard 2 on Nov 19 in Richmond Hill only.

Sonia’s pick: My favourite this film this year is BLEAK NIGHT.  I love dark Korean movies, and I love highschool movies, and this one gives you both in one package.  The dynamics between the 3 best friends in this movie are great, and make you realize how hard it is sometimes for guys to confront each other with their feelings because it’s so different from how they’re used to interacting with each other.  This film stars a great cast of young Korean actors and tells a simple but very real story about how hard it is to be a teenager. Relive your highschool years at Bleak Night on Nov 12 at The Royal and again Nov 19 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

Aram’s picks: Shorts are often my favourite, they take different risks than features and you can discover new filmmakers or veteran ones playing with new ideas. In the Canadian Shorts program SEIZE THE MOMENT, MUYBRIDGE STRINGS is my favourite film of the year. 6 stars out of 5!  NO CONTRACT is some of the most stunning cinema you’ll see. PLANTS OUT OF THE SUNLIGHT and LEFT BEHIND WOMAN are other faves from that program. Take a risk and come out to the Canadian Shorts Program Seize the Moment on Nov 11 at the Royal. I am also looking forward to LOST SECRETS OF THE ROYAL – a project years in the making, I can’t wait to see what surprises these artists have come up with using these pre-loved but long neglected films. Lost Secrets of the Royal will be open from Nov 9 – Dec 11 at Blackwood Gallery and A Space Gallery with Opening Receptions taking place on Nov 9 & Nov 12 and Artist Talk on Nov 12.


Gina’s picks:
A DRUMMER’S PASSION – Watch trailer here. Enough said. A Drummer’s Passion will be screening as part of the Trailblazers Shorts Program on Nov 9 at Innis Town Hall. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: THE SACRED STAR OF MILOS – Yes, I watched all the anime. Yes, I’m read the manga. Yes, I’m a closet otaku. This may be your only chance of watching the awesome Alchemist Elric brothers run into trouble on the big screen so YOU MUST WATCH THIS. Bring out your best cosplay to Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos on Nov 11 at The Royal.  The more otaku’s the better!

Heather’s pick: I am most excited about the LILY ENG CANADIAN SPOTLIGHT co-curated by Coman Poon. Lily is an incredibly powerful performer and her incorporation of martial arts in her conceptual performances is an inspiration for my own artistic practice. You can experience Lily Eng in all her powerful glory on Nov 10 at Innis Town Hall.


Joyce’s pick:
SURROGATE VALENTINE is charming and heartfelt. Goh’s soulful music goes well with this realistic depiction of the subtle complexities of the game we call romance. Let Joyce…I mean Goh charm you at Surrogate Valentine on Nov 13 at The Royal.

Bjorn’s pick:
I’m looking forward for SURROGATE VALENTINE: At a festival you usually watch a lot of films. There will be a moment where you wish for an easy piece of film. Surrogate Valentine is just that: It makes you feel calm and relaxed and keeps both, it’s humor and it’s melancholy so subtle that it becomes unusually realistic. I can’t wait to hear that soundtrack again. Surrogate Valentine is screening on Nov 13 at The Royal.

Louanne’s pick: Without a doubt, I am most pumped for JUMP ASHIN!  This is a fun film that required incredible levels of athleticism from lead actor Eddie Peng.  The relationships that Ashin develops with his brother, best friend and the pager operator in his life are endearing and amusing.  I also LOVE the 90s clothing (think denim on denim when it was socially acceptable) and the cheesy love songs (while dreamily leaning against a scooter no less).  I can’t promise you we’ll have a trampoline, but I will say that you will leave the theatre on a high note. Jump Ashin! is playing at Reel Asian on Nov 12 at The Royal and again on Nov 19 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

To check out the full film schedule or to buy tickets click here.

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