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Memories to Light in Toronto

  • October 29, 2014
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The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Reel Asian®) is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian® provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

CAAM’s Executive Director Stephen Gong will be traveling to Canada this November to present highlights from CAAM’s Memories to Light initiative at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival on November 11, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario. Memories to Light is CAAM’s national project that seeks to preserve and celebrate Asian American home movies and an Asian American history. Memories to Light is now home to over 14 hours of footage from 17 different families, covering a period from the early 1930s to as recent as 1998.

Stephen will present clips from CAAM’s collection, which will include family films from a family trip to the legendary Expo ’67 in Montreal, San Francisco’s 1930s Japanese American community that would be lost after internment, and more. “…To see Asian Americans and Asian Canadians in these films serves as a crucial document for remembering our experiences and history in North America,” notes the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival team. Toronto-based Filipino musician and community organizer Casey Mecija (Ohbijou) will provide live musical accompaniment to Stephen’s live narration of the clips. Learn more and buy tickets on the Reel Asian website.

Annabelle and Mom 2

Annabelle Udo and her mother walking in Washington, D.C., courtesy of the Udo family. circa 1974.

Gong will also be moderating the free event Memories Matter: Artist Talk with Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen on Monday,  November 10, 2014 at the Art Gallery of Ontario Weston Learning Centre. Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen is the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival’s Canadian spotlight artist. Her work explores the notion of memory and everyday immigrant life, as captured by amateur photographers and archived online with her project, The Making of an Archive. Nguyen will discuss the reasons behind the project as well as engage in discussion about why our memories matter. Learn more about this event on the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival website.

Memories to Light Toronto
Canadian Premiere
USA, 2014, Rated G, 60 minutes English
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 6:45 PM
Art Gallery of Ontario Jackman Hall
317 Dundas St W
Toronto, ON M5T 1G4

Main image: Toronto-based Filipino musician and community organizer Casey Mecija (Ohbijou). Still courtesy of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.