18th Annual Reel Asian International Film Festival-Nov.6th-16th@Richmond Hill+Toronto

By Bill Kwan


Opening gala-Thurs.,Nov.6th, 2014@Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto. Photography by Paul Murton


This is the 18th annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival presented by National Bank which showcases great Asian films in North York, Richmond Hill and downtown Toronto. Kristine Estorninos-Head of Programming said that this year’s selection of films and special projects centre around showing films that “tell honest stories” Films from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nepal, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Canada and USA.
“If All You Have is a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail” Will Kwan/Canada2014
A film about a white real estate agent and an Asian-Canadian home-buyer make small talk as they travel to homes for sale. Through their conversation they talk about ethnic identity, expectations, about each other and character. The unique film is shown on 3 screens at the same time to the viewer.
Will Kwan is a Toronto-based visual and media artist. He is a graduate of the MFA Program in Visual Art at Columbia University. His works have been exhibited internationally at museums, galleries and art festivals.


“Manny”is a documentary film about Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao who gained world recognition as a world champion boxer. This is a fascinating film about Pacquiao who grew up poor and entered the ring at 16 years old, with the goal of earning a living to support his family. Now years later in 2014, he still the commands the attention of almost everyone in his country when he enters the ring. Pacquiao now juggles with his boxing career, his personal life and his political duties. The movie showcases Manny as a family man, a Rockstar Boxer, a spiritual man and a congressman. The movie was created by Ryan Moore(in attendance at this film) a first time director who was inspired by Pacquiao after he defeated Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. Leon Gast is an American documentary film director famous for films such as: “When We Were Kings, a documentary film about the iconic heavyweight boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Goerge Foreman> The cast includes: Manny Pacquiao, Liam Neeson, Freddie Roach, Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Piven, Alex Ariza, Jimmy Kimmel, Larry Merchant and Bert Sugar.


“Overheard 3” is the 3rd installment and final version of the Overheard thriller series, directed by Hong Kong writers Felix Chong and Alan Mak, recently released from prison, Jau(Louis Koo)leads a plan to take down the Luk Brothers, a gang of bullies who rule the villages and Uncle To(Kenneth Tsang), the godfather of the New Territories. This movie features an all-star cast, including China’s Zhou Xun, Lau Ching Wan, Louis Koo and Daniel Woo, the story surrounds the corruption of real estate development of Hong Kong’s New Territories. An action filled movie which puts the final pieces together from the other two Overheard franchises from 2009 and Overheard 2 in 2012.