A new film festival celebrating Asian talent from across Canada and around the world has a University of Winnipeg connection.
Our primary focus is to help elevate the unique perspectives of Asians who were either born here or immigrated here.
Led by Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) alumnus Alan Wong, the FascinAsian Film Festival (F3) is taking place virtually May 28-30. This unique event originally started as part of Asian Heritage Month activities in 2017 and has grown to become a branded three-day event.
“The goal here is to showcase those underrepresented voices and stories,” Wong, the festival’s president, explained. “We aim to present Asian-Canadian stories with the majority of our programming being either locally-made by Manitoban filmmakers or by Asian-Canadians.”
The Department of Theatre and Film, as well as the Faculty of Business and Economics, are sponsoring the festival.
“So many Manitoba filmmakers and film professionals have come from the film stream in the Department of Theatre and Film at UWinnipeg, and we love to find opportunities to support them through helping to sponsor local festivals and events,” said Christopher Brauer, Chair, Department of Theatre and Film.
“The pool of talent in Manitoba’s Asian community is huge and growing fast, and we love supporting a festival that features the voices of these remarkable artists. The FascinAsian Film Festival has a terrific lineup of films and workshops by, and for, Asian filmmakers and we’re just happy to be able to be some small part of the success of this event.”
F3 is committed to promoting and celebrating Asian perspectives, culture, and integrity in film and media, as well as fostering understanding and appreciation of Asian arts and culture within the Canadian mosaic.
In total, F3 will showcase three feature films, 17 short films, and 19 different filmmakers from across Canada and one in the United States.
“While we plan to one day feature films from the Asian cinematic world, our primary focus is to help elevate the unique perspectives of Asians who were either born here or immigrated here,” Wong said. “Often caught between two cultures, these individuals are definitely underrepresented and the ironic thing is if their stories were more broadly accessible, there might be more understanding between those who are ignorant of our commonalities.”
Along with the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival and Vancouver Asian Film Festival, F3 is the only other Asian-specific film festival in Canada.
With a sharp rise in anti-Asian racism around the world the past year, Wong hopes F3, and events like it, will help broaden people’s viewpoints.
“Movies have the power to change minds. Movies have the ability to inspire and enlighten. They reveal the emotions and inner thoughts of its characters,” he said. “If you can understand someone, perhaps, very different from yourself, then you can start to relate to them.”
If you’d like to view the three-day F3 program, please visit the FascinAsian Film Festival website.