A film still from GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. Two characters stand on the left facing two characters on the right. They are all dressed in multi-layered winter clothing and are standing on a frozen lake. Overlaid upon the image is the text: ASIAN FEMINIST PODCAST: THE GREATEST PODCAST IN THE WORLD FT. KY NAM LE DUC.
A film still from GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. Two characters stand on the left facing two characters on the right. They are all dressed in multi-layered winter clothing and are standing on a frozen lake. Overlaid upon the image is the text: ASIAN FEMINIST PODCAST: THE GREATEST PODCAST IN THE WORLD FT. KY NAM LE DUC.

written and hosted by Sarah Barzak and Vidhya Elango
intro/outro: “Mako” by A.I.R.

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

Ky Nam Le Duc’s LE MEILLEUR PAYS DU MONDE, or GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, which screened at the Reel Asian Film Festival in November 2020, was the festival’s first Canadian French language film. …


by Chorong Kim

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

Black and white illustration of a child in a striped sailor shirt and white pants, being attacked by anthromorphous books with the words in top right, “Lesson Time.”
Black and white illustration of a child in a striped sailor shirt and white pants, being attacked by anthromorphous books with the words in top right, “Lesson Time.”
Illustration from Verses for Grannie (1899), provided by British Library’s digital collections, Public Domain

Childism:

[…] a belief system that constructs its target group, “the child,” as an immature being produced and owned by adults who use it to serve their own needs and fantasies.

There is no one more antagonized and disparaged in fairy tales than children and young adults: they are constantly ridiculed, admonished, abandoned, and even enslaved by their parental figures, whose authority works under arbitrary rules and is rarely challenged. Jack Zipes, a renowned…


A collage of stills from three animated films featured in Reel Asian’s Wee Asian program. The left still from FIRST BORN depicts a young boy performing kung fu in yellow, the middle from TEST FLIGHT depicts a bunny and squirrel character hugging on a field with pink mountains in the background, and the right still from FELT LOVE shows a little boy holding up a book to his mother. On the top and bottom are runners showing animation sequencing programs.
A collage of stills from three animated films featured in Reel Asian’s Wee Asian program. The left still from FIRST BORN depicts a young boy performing kung fu in yellow, the middle from TEST FLIGHT depicts a bunny and squirrel character hugging on a field with pink mountains in the background, and the right still from FELT LOVE shows a little boy holding up a book to his mother. On the top and bottom are runners showing animation sequencing programs.

by Aiken Chau

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

A full transcript of all audio files included in this piece can be found here

Within movie fandoms and art communities, artists often create personas and original characters (OCs) which are a manifestation of their own selves as superheroes, Pokemon trainers, hedgehogs, and so forth. …


by Vidhya Elango

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

No Cut Film Collective’s A RIFLE AND A BAG navigates the contradictions between individual lives and their entanglements with the state, its style at once urging viewers to sit with these contradictions, while generating questions about the ethics, purpose, and responsibilities of documentary film.

Film still from A RIFLE AND A BAG of the night sky with a half-moon and tree silhouettes.
Film still from A RIFLE AND A BAG of the night sky with a half-moon and tree silhouettes.
Film still from A RIFLE AND A BAG

Shot over the course of 3 years in 2017- 2019, RIFLE centres on Somi, her husband, Sukhram, and their two young sons. The couple, both members of the Gond…


Film still from RONG of protagonist played by Maryam Supraba, wearing a red dress, walking toward the camera through a dark alleyway, followed by a man at a distance, just out of focus.
Film still from RONG of protagonist played by Maryam Supraba, wearing a red dress, walking toward the camera through a dark alleyway, followed by a man at a distance, just out of focus.
Film still from RONG (2019)

In Conversation with RONG Director Indira Iman

by Sarah Barzak

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

CONTENT WARNING: The following essay covers themes of sexual violence and rape.

Southeast Asia is a diverse region made up of eleven countries that is underrepresented in the world of cinema. Chong Seow Wei reveals in the article, Why is Southeast Asian Cinema Still Lagging Behind? (2020) that commercial viability, language, censorship, and funding are some of the reasons why the region’s film industries are not as internationally recognized as East and South…


Gif wall by Khiem Hoang of Gif wall by Howie Tsui

by Khiem Hoang

This interview is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Introduction

I was delighted to conduct this interview with Howie Tsui, a Hong Kong-born, Vancouver-based artist who presented a DIGITAL EXHIBITION and ARTIST TALK at the 2020 Reel Asian International Film Festival. His work is maximal, full of juxtaposition, and spans a wide range of mediums from oil paint to pinball machine to GIF. …


A black and white image featuring Sokly Ny (AKA Don Bonus) pointing a camcorder back to the camera and looking through the viewfinder. On the top left of the image there is text that reads “AKA DON BONUS” in pink, and on the right of the image is text that reads “THE UNOFFICIAL PODCAST” in red.
A black and white image featuring Sokly Ny (AKA Don Bonus) pointing a camcorder back to the camera and looking through the viewfinder. On the top left of the image there is text that reads “AKA DON BONUS” in pink, and on the right of the image is text that reads “THE UNOFFICIAL PODCAST” in red.

written and hosted by Aashna Thakkar and Khiem Hoang
music and FX by Khiem Hoang

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

This podcast will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more within a week or so, for now you can check it out on Soundcloud.

A full transcript of the podcast can be found here.

Spencer Nakasako’s 1995 documentary AKA DON BONUS celebrated its 25th anniversary at last year’s Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. In this podcast Youth Critics…


by Chorong Kim

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

Film still from MOVING ON, of a driveway, trees, and a character on a motorbike silhouetted against a pink sunset sky.
Film still from MOVING ON, of a driveway, trees, and a character on a motorbike silhouetted against a pink sunset sky.
Still from MOVING ON (2019), Yoon Dan-Bi

Taking place during a dreamy summer break, MOVING ON is centred around the young Okju, who moves into her grandfather’s two-storey house with her little brother Dongju after the business of their divorced father Byung-Gi fails. Eventually joined by Byungi’s sister, Mijung, the family awkwardly settles in with the sibling’s gentle yet silent grandfather. Okju explores the home’s nooks and crannies, attempting to create her own space and contemplate the transient situation she…


by Lucy Fang
All images in this essay are c/o Lucy Fang

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

Image of three panels with text: “Obayashi’s 2019 film Labyrinth of Cinema fulfills its role as a fantastical, anti-war film by showcasing Japanese war and cinema history congruently.” “By outlining the phases, tropes and narratives of war films from the earliest forms of cinema up until 1945,” “Labyrinth of Cinema takes up Chuuya Nakahara’s poetry in the hopes that future generations will not have to experience war again.” Bottom image of a figure amongst fish, saying “Let us go on a journey”.
Image of three panels with text: “Obayashi’s 2019 film Labyrinth of Cinema fulfills its role as a fantastical, anti-war film by showcasing Japanese war and cinema history congruently.” “By outlining the phases, tropes and narratives of war films from the earliest forms of cinema up until 1945,” “Labyrinth of Cinema takes up Chuuya Nakahara’s poetry in the hopes that future generations will not have to experience war again.” Bottom image of a figure amongst fish, saying “Let us go on a journey”.

In addition to showing the historical and technical underpinnings of cinema history, members of the audience —


Film still from Reviving the Roost by Vivek Shraya of  a neon image of a human ouline with short hair wearing a t-shirt, haloed by purple and aqua lines.
Film still from Reviving the Roost by Vivek Shraya of  a neon image of a human ouline with short hair wearing a t-shirt, haloed by purple and aqua lines.
Film Still from REVIVING THE ROOST

by Jamie Nicholson

This essay is published as part of the Youth Critics Initiative II, a collaborative program between the 24th Reel Asian Film Festival and TACLA.

On paper, this is only the second time Reel Asian has done an LGBTQ+ focus shorts program, after 2018’s Spectrum, but queer content has consistently run through their programs throughout the years and the 2020 edition is no exception. Even outside of the Resurgence program this year there are several shorts and features that feature queer themes. GOODBYE MOTHER is a Vietnamese feature about a young man returning from the USA with his…

TACLA

a living / counter archival initiative run by a coalescing of pan-Asian communities

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