Your first peek into the 23rd annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival

We give you the insider rundown on VAFF 2019 plus Ludi Lin and Osric Chau share what the festival means to them.

The Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) is back for its 23rd season!

On October 2, VAFF hosted its annual press conference to give enthusiastic film lovers a taste of what’s to come.  From November 7th to the 10th, the four-day festival will highlight the best of Asian filmmaking from around the world. 

“Now in its 23rd year, this four day festival incorporates the theme of NO LIMITASIANS, which celebrates the achievements of Asian diaspora artists and empowers aspiring artists of Asian heritage to continue pushing boundaries and challenging expectations. As new filmmakers take the spotlights to tell authentic stories, they break moulds and expose the world to a multitude of voices.”

In addition to the new films, VAFF has made some new changes to the 2019 schedule.  This year, there will be more panels, more shorts, and more awards. 

VAFF attendees will be able to check out panels on Asian Leading Men in Hollywood, Financing Your Film Project, and Getting in Sync with your Music

There will also be two Canadian shorts program: Seven films in the British Columbia shorts program, and 11 shorts in the Canadian shorts program.

And, two more awards have been added to the awards ceremony: Best Canadian Cinematographer for features and shorts and Best Canadian Director for Features and shorts.

Photo credit: Hillary Nguyen-Don

Speaking at the conference panel was VAFF Festival Director Lynne Lee, Public Relations Director Regina Leung, and Vancouver actors Ludi Lin and Osric Chau. As a VAFF brand ambassador, Lin spoke on the importance of telling Asian stories on screen.

“If you mention the word ‘Asian’ and you get this idea that they’re ‘other,’ or they’re not a part of you, then how are you going to live together on this Earth for the next decade?” says Lin. “If you think their story is not your story, and you don’t accept it, then we’re not going to survive. That’s why I think there is great potential and great importance in why VAFF should expand and why more stories, not just Asian stories, but every story around the world, should be shown more often.”

In A New York Minute will be the opening film at VAFF.

Following Lin’s speech was Chau.  The local actor will also star in one of VAFF’s Spotlight feature films, Empty By Design.  In addition, he will be one of the panellists on the Asian Leading Men in Hollywood panel which will also be moderated by Cold Tea Collective editor, Tim Lam.  Chau also shared his excitement about the rise in representation in Hollywood.

“We have Asian writers coming up. We have Asian directors coming out. Financing is starting to come out from Asian sources and we’re starting to take pride in our Asianness,” says Chau. “The more we support ourselves, the more [Hollywood] is going to push our faces, names, and stories out there. It’s a really exciting time.”

Our Executive Producer, Natasha Jung, interviews Osric Chau on his film, Empty By Design.

All events will take place across Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas, Annex Theatre, and International Art Gallery.  A brief schedule of the four-day event can be found below. For more details and ticket information, visit the VAFF website.


Thursday, November 7, 2019

7:00 PM – Program 1: Opening Film Spotlight: In a New York Minute + Opening Gala

Friday, November 8, 2019

5:00 PM – Program 2: Documentary Series: Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story
7:00 PM – Program 3: Canadian Spotlight: Becoming Labrador preceded by SIN-SFO
8:00 PM – 100 Stories Challenge: Final Showdown
9:00 PM – Program 4: Documentary Series: The World is Bright

Saturday, November 9, 2019

11:00 AM – VAFF Industry Panel Series – Asian Leading Men in Hollywood
12:30 PM – Program 5: Documentary Series: Because We Are Girls
1:00 PM – VAFF Industry Panel Series – Financing Your Film Project
3:00 PM – International Shorts
3:00 PM – Fireside Chat with Tan Dun: Music with NO LIMITASIANS
4:30 PM – AIM3 Series (Asians in Music) – Getting in Sync with your Music
5:15 PM – Program 7: Narrative Series: Home Away
7:30 PM – Program 8: Centrepiece Spotlight: Empty by Design preceded by Nightcap: Mariana + After Party
9:45 PM – Program 9: Documentary Series: Geographies of Kinship

Sunday, November 10, 2019

1:30 PM – Program 10: Narrative Series: Terrolun and Lunlun preceded by y Daughter Yoshiko and Motherhood
3:30 PM – Program 11: BC Shorts
5:30 PM – Program 12: Canadian Shorts
7:30 PM – Program 13: Closing Film Spotlight: Yellow Rose + Awards Ceremony & After Party

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People chatting at the Making It documentary screening.

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