We’re almost halfway through VAFF 2022, as we continue our focus on this year’s theme: the importance of representation in film. Here’s a recap of what you may have missed so far, starting with our opening night on November 3.
Opening Night Film Screening and Q&A Session
Festivities began with a screening of Stay the Night by Renuka Jeyapalan, a story about a one night stand between chronically single Grace and an on-the-outs professional athlete in town with a problem of his own. The film’s moving conclusion ended with an eruption of applause from a full house as Jeyapalan made her way to the front for the Q&A portion of the night.
Audience questions largely centered around Renuka’s struggles with the filmmaking process and her inspiration behind the film. Renuka expressed that she wanted to capture the essence of Toronto throughout the film and that after having originally shelved the script, she was pushed to modify aspects of her characters to increase their stakes. Citing one major change as the main male lead’s backstory from a movie star to a hockey player. Impacted by the pandemic, Stay the Night faced major delays with COVID shutdowns disrupting the reshoot schedule. On a closing note, Renuka encouraged new and upcoming filmmakers to never give up.
The celebration of Asian-Canadian representation continued at the Opening Gala, hosted at the D/6 Bar & Lounge at the JW Marriott Parq in Downtown Vancouver. The crowd was lively and buzzed with excited chatter as several speakers took turns to say a few words on stage.
Amongst the guests present, Netflix’s Kevin Kreider from Bling Empire was the VAFF Opening Night special guest and he had a few words to say. After several long minutes of getting the crowd to quiet down, Kevin made a moving speech about the importance of representation and what it means to keep the momentum going. His words clearly resonated with the audience who erupted in cheers and applause.
“You want to see more Asian representation? Put your intention to the people that you want to see on screen,” he said.
The venue at the Opening Gala was filled with the angelic sounds of our talented array of performers including Isla Noir, Dano Wen & Athena Wong and Kristin Fung and The Fungateer.
Throughout the weekend, several other films also featured a Q&A session following their screenings. This included a plethora of our programs from shorts to feature films. We’ve included a few highlights from those sessions below:
“My real parents are the voice actors of the film and the voice actor for the child is [one of] my mom’s students.”
– Aiken Chau (Perfect Restaurant 善美餐廳)
“BFRB which stands for body-focused repetitive behavior…used to be something I was really ashamed of. I used to hate it but now it’s kinda my friend…it’s just challenging to just step outside the shame.”
– Jason Yu (Low Fuel Light)
People’s Choice Awards
VAFF attendees have the opportunity to vote for their favorite films in the People’s Choice Award categories from November 3, 2022 (10:00 pm) PST till November 12, 2022 (11:59 pm) PST.
Audience members can vote for best overall performance for feature, best overall performance for short, best overall feature, and best overall short. Voting results will be shared live during the OVASIAN Awards Ceremony, so be sure to join in on the celebration at Science World, Sunday November 13, 2022 from 7:30 pm until midnight.
Votes can be cast online at: http://vaff.org/vote/
VAFF Virtual Week
In addition to all our exciting in-person events, we also have an extensive catalog of virtual screenings available between Nov 7 – Nov 13, 2022. VAFF Virtual Screening is our selection of online-only exclusive films which includes:
- Blood Relations: International Shorts Program
- The Grizzlie Truth: Canadian Feature
- We Don’t Dance for Nothing: Hong Kong Feature
- Strength in Heritage: International Shorts Program
- This Too Shall Pass: Canadian Shorts Program
- And so much more!
The Festival Continues!
We extend our deepest gratitude to all those involved in making this year’s festival another success. Our dedicated team of volunteers, generous sponsors, and loyal festival attendees make VAFF possible. Thanks to the community’s continued support, our 26th year of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival is lively as always.
The family we’ve built here at VAFF over the years is all thanks to the like-minded individuals who believe in their craft and in uplifting our new rising stars. So, thank you again for making VAFF a safe space for our community.
Festival events continue online all week, followed by the in-person VAFF Industry Insight Series Workshops on Nov 12 and our closing ceremony, the OVASIAN Awards, on Nov 13. For more information and program listings, please click here.