The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival® is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by Asian-identifying artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. As Canada’s largest Asian film festival, Reel Asian® provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

Founded in 1997 by producer Anita Lee and journalist Andrew Sun, this non-profit community-based festival has grown into an eagerly anticipated annual event that attracts thousands of attendees to multiple days of galas, screenings, forums, workshops and parties.

Audience Award(s)
Best Feature Film Award
Best Canadian Film or Video Award
Best First Feature Film Award
Best Documentary Award
Female Director Award (for Ontario-based female filmmakers)
Best Short Film or Video Award (multiple awards)
Animasian Award for Best Animated Film

We welcome films and videos by Asian-identifying artists in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world

We eagerly look forward to a hybrid festival in 2023 of both live in person screenings and events as well as digital presentations.

We are committed to the continued vigilance for the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and communities.


We require submissions that are produced with an Asian-identifying artist(s) in a major key creative role (behind the camera and/or on-screen).

We welcome films and videos of all genres, including but not limited to: narrative, documentary, short, animation, experimental, etc.

Eligible short film or video work submissions have a max runtime of 40 minutes.

For all submissions, we strongly encourage and prioritize works completed in the last two years. If your work was completed before 2021, please contact us before submitting.

If you are submitting a previously submitted work, note that all re-submissions must have significant edits and changes for it to be re-considered. Please contact for further clarification.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you are submitting a rough cut and update your submission later, we cannot guarantee that the updated version will be reviewed.


SCREENERS - Secure online screener links are the previewing method. If you need to submit in another format please contact to make arrangements.

INFORMATION - Provide concise loglines, synopsis’, artist statement/cover letters, behind-the-scene photos, (and trailers for feature films) etc. *We actually read these, and they are very helpful for our programming process.

SELF-IDENTIFICATION - Please share how you self-identify. Reel Asian aims to be a more diverse and inclusive festival. To help us measure and improve upon these efforts, we ask you to respond to the questions regarding self-identification as best you can. Responses are used for research and statistical analyses to help us understand your relationship to your film, recognize gaps in our programming, and better serve the filmmaking community.


Selected applicants must provide DCP for theatrical screenings and a high-quality digital video file for online exhibition of their film or video work. Please contact the festival directly if you have other formats for consideration.

Reel Asian is not responsible for transfer costs for the appropriate exhibition format.

All films must have captions (either open captioning, closed captioning, or the option of captioning). Films shown as part of the in-person festival will be exhibited with open captions.

All other access features must be identified (ie. audio description tracking, foreign language subtitles, etc)


Reel Asian is committed to paying artist fees to directors in selection and follows standard rates set by the Independent Media Arts Alliance ( Artist fees will be paid post-festival.


By submitting to this festival, you hereby grant the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival permission to screen and otherwise use the aforementioned title (the “Work”) in connection with the 2023 festival. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights in and to the Work and/or you have the authority to grant Reel Asian the rights to screen and otherwise use the Work. Your film festival acceptance also grants Reel Asian permission to use stills and excerpts from the Work for promotional and publicity use.

Should unforeseen events alter the format of the film festival, Reel Asian will contact and inform filmmakers in selection of how such events may affect and change the nature of their status.

Overall Rating
  • Hamza Bangash

    Amazing people, amazing cinema and an incredible experience!!

    December 2021
  • This is just the best film festival I have ever participated in recent years. Although its still online this year, I can see the sincerity and respect the festival has shown to each director. They have all the good things that a great festival should bring up to you, I look forward to meet with next ReelAsian(in person)

    December 2021
  • Reel Asian was such a fantastic festival. We were recognized by the Canadian Academy through them which was such an unreal experience and honor. Thank you guys so much. From the Q&A's to the festival itself. We we're thrilled to be amongst a beautiful selection of films. We hope to cross paths again for our future projects.

    November 2021
  • Ian Bawa

    Great people, great festival, and awesome films. Everything you want in a fest!

    November 2021
  • Farah Abdo

    Reel Asian has been such a pleasure to be apart of. We made the right decision to premiere our at this festival. Not only are they located in our hometown, but they made sure to take care of our team and keep contact throughout the year.

    We premiered in 2020 and Reel Asian still keeps in contact with us to this day. They check in from time to time asking about new projects and to see how we're doing. They've given us multiple resources while also introducing us to many industry people and filmmakers. It's truly a caring festival that wants to uplift its community and help them grow.

    We will continue to support Reel Asian as they've been a huge part of our growth. It's a special festival that's really for the Asian community. Keep up the great work Reel Asian! Can't wait to see the line up this year!

    - A Lonely Afternoon (SHORT) Team

    September 2021