Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SAVAC workshops at School Board's Asian Heritage Month

As Education Officer for SAVAC (The South Asian Visual Arts Centre), Allan conducted two workshops to discuss Sharlene Bamboat's film, Tapestry, at yesterday's Asian Heritage Month Symposium. The Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board organized the event at OISE all day yesterday. Classes of grades 9 through 11 discussed the challenges of maintaining and understanding their parents' traditions in multicultural Canada.

SAVAC is offering Tapestry and 10 other short films to high schools across the GTA along with lesson plans to be taught in classes for the 2010-11 school year. The lesson plan for Tapestry is available here.

To sign up for the Schools Program or to obtain further information, please contact Allan at

SAVAC workshops at School Board

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Want To Be A Desi 2 to screen at Okanagan Film Festival in July

The West Coast loves DESI. The Okanagan International Film Festival has chosen the short documentary by Allan Tong to play at its annual festival taking place July 21-25 in lovely Kelowna, B.C. Desi2 has already screened in San Diego, Vancouver and Portland.

Screening times will appear on the Okanagan site as soon as renovations are done, but sign up at the festival's Facebook group:

Friday, May 7, 2010


89 min ~ Canada & USA
Director: John Zaritsky

Rating (out of 4 stars):
Hot Docs showtimes

Carla Zilbersmith is dying of Lou Gehrig's disease and laughing all the way to her grave. She's a comedian and singer, and making audiences laugh is her way of fighting death and accepting her fate. This is a touching film with a sad undertone, lightened by laughs. Like all comedians not every one-liner by Zilbersmith is a zinger and some jokes fall flat, but that's not the point. It's her battle against death that's the theme. Her relationship with her son is particular honest and resonant with son switching roles with his mother to be the caregiver. Music cues are one too many and tend to sound sentimental. They are unnecessary, since Zilbersmith's story is strong enough on its own.

Director Zaritsky returns to the theme of death after his successful Suicide Tourist a few Hot Docs ago with another strong documentary.