The University of Winnipeg



UWinnipeg Alumnus curates film festival to celebrate Asian Heritage Month

Alumni Spotlight

Alan Wong sitting in movie theatre

Alan Wong, Founder and President of FascinAsian Film Festival

May is Asian Heritage Month. The 2024 theme is “Preserving the Past, Embracing the future: Amplifying Asian Canadian Legacy.” UWinnipeg Alumnus Alan Wong (PACE 19) is providing an opportunity for all to learn about the diverse cultures of Asian communities in Canada though film.

Alan is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist, writer, producer, actor, and founder and president of the FascinAsian Film Festival. He received his certificate in Manitoba Arts and Cultural Management through the University of Winnipeg’s Professional, Applied, Continuing Education (PACE) program. Alan credits his experience with his peers and instructors as being instrumental in providing the knowledge and connections required to pursue a career in the arts.

“The program taught me how to manage and run a non-profit arts organization in Canada,” said Alan. “One of the most significant things that came out of the program was being able to get a job in the field that I wanted.”

While working as the Executive Director of the Gimli Film Festival, Alan realized that Manitoba has quite a few niche festivals, but he saw a gap. “We didn’t have anything that really celebrated Asian films,” said Alan.

“We are building a community and there was an obvious need for it”

Alan Wong

Alan and some friends began doing one-off film nights at the Asian Heritage Society to celebrate Asian Heritage Month. “It started small, showing short films, but it was a really fun event,” said Alan. “Getting the filmmakers out and together to have meaningful conversations after watching the films was really rewarding.” It was out of these events the motivation to do a multi-day festival began.

An art gallery for films

Currently in its fourth year, the FascinAsian Film Festival has grown  exponentially, almost doubling in size, and expanding to two cities: Winnipeg and Calgary. The Winnipeg FascinAsian Film Festival will take place May 24-26 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery Ilipvik theatre located in Qaumajuq Inuit Art Centre. The three-day festival will screen over 30 films ranging from short films to feature length. There will also be numerous panel discussions and opportunities to engage with film makers and members of the film industry.

“Winnipeg actually has quite a large number of Asian filmmakers,” said Alan. The Calgary FascinAsian Film Festival received one short film submission while Winnipeg had over 10 submissions by local filmmakers. “We are building a community and there was an obvious need for it,” said Alan about the Asian filmmaker demographic.

The Winnipeg event will have a special presentation featuring an all-Manitoba line-up of short films made by local filmmakers of Asian origin. “There is a community here that we need to support and celebrate,” said Alan.

Alan is also the council president of ACTRA Manitoba which is a subset branch of the National ACTRA union of professional performers working in recorded media. For Alan, his experiences as a festival director, actor and advocate all tie in with what he learned at PACE. “I learned so much at PACE,” said Alan. “I learned about how the industry works, and specifically the arts and culture landscape in Manitoba. PACE really did help me become more knowledgeable and connected in the film industry.”

More information or to purchase tickets to the FascinAsian Film Festival,


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