The Drummer was the opening film for the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival on 12th November. It was an electrifying night, even the mayor David Miller and Member of Parliament Olivia Chow came to show their support.
The venue was at Bloor Cinema where I used to see art films when I lived in Toronto.
Deanna Wong (Executive Director) of Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival walked the Red Carpet with me
Toronro mayor, David Miller, with my parents in the background
Deanna, Mayor Miller, my parents and I posed for photographs
The night began with a 10 minute Taiko drumming performance by RAW (Raging Asian Women). It was an auspicious start. The performers really fired up the crowd.
RAW (Raging Asian Women)
The Bloor Cinema is an 850 seat cinema. We had a full house on Opening Night. (Balcony not shown)
Executive Director, Deanna Wong, opened the festival and welcomed the guests.
Ms. Maureen Siu from the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, Member of Parliament Ms. Olivia Chow and Mayor Mlller
Artistic Director Heather Keung introduced me and The Drummer, saying that my first feature (a digital film) A Small Miracle was in their 2001 program and that seven years later, The Drummer is opening the festival.
I was thrilled to present my film to the Toronto crowd.
During the screening, there was a black out between reel changes. It was a technical error. I nearly had a heart attack when that happened. It went black for 10 seconds but the sound can still be heard. Itís of the sound of a violent fight scene. When the image finally came back the audience quickly got back on track.
I joked during the Q & A after the screening that the blackout was the result of the Canadian Censor board cutting out the excessive violence.
Friends: Jennifer Walton, Katherine Johnston, Mary Laundry, Me, Heather Keung and Claudette Brundage. They're old friends who have all traveled far to come to the screening. I have not seen most of them for 20 years.
Toronto International Film Festival Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes reminiscing about the first time he went to Hong Kong. He's an expert on Hong Kong cinema
Friends whom I havenít seen in 20 years, Pat Noonan, Victoria Williams and Diane Konkin
HONG KONG 100 YEARS OF FILM
I was on a panel at the University of Toronto, organized by the festival on the history of Hong Kong films, headed by Bart Testa, a professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto.
Raymond Phathanavirangoon (programmer for both Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival) and Colin Geddes