Vladimir’s Real Asian Festival Picks

What grabbed my attention right off the bat was the alluring poster of an attractive Asian self-tattooing the back of her left shoulder with the Festival logo and its motto for 2009: “Define Yourself”.

Defining their program comes first and the staff at the TRAIFF have cooked up a menu to rival any film festival smorgasbord that Toronto has to offer. Here are my tasty samples for the film-going public to savour and relish:

Overheard – a riveting crime thriller and fast-paced mental and emotional aerobic workout that exposes the corruption within the unholy circle of insider trading and criminal law enforcement surveillance in Hong Kong. When money is god, can love and loyal friendship triumph?

Yang Yang – a bitter-sweet poignant Taiwanese film that portrays the effect of sibling rivalry between two stepsisters and the unpredictable consequences that come with searching for your true identity. This film may induce you to remember or even embark on a similar journey. Be careful what you wish for!

The Ache – if you, your parents or grandparents were a fan of the 1980s idiosyncratic television series Twin Peaks, then this film will definitely wet your palate; perverse sexuality, eccentric characters, fetish parlours, family secrets, the supernatural, folklore, vengeance and the power of sex are the ingredients to make your mouth water and the fixed price is right. So make your reservations immediately!

Breathless – all the hoopla you’ve read about this powerful, hilarious and heartbreaking film is right on the money! Breathless shockingly explores domestic abuse and violence through a quirky yet touching friendship between a fourteen-year-old potty-mouthed student and a low-rent gangster/debt collector. Fasten your seatbelts!


The Festival is also presenting an informative and entertaining Industry Series of panel seminars and workshops, a few of which are free and open to the public.*

Topics range from Tapping into the Child’s Mind, Financing for Low Budget Feature Film, Screenplay Anatomy and Speaking the Language of Music.

*Free and open to the public: So You Think You Can Pitch? (A film idea or story). Speaking the Language of Music.

Go to www.reelasian.com for more information re times, dates and locations.