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Contributor Bios


ANANYA OHRI

Ananya Ohri was the executive director at the Regent Park Film Festival for seven years, where she founded and directed the Lieutenant General Award-winning storytelling and preservation project Home Made Visible. Inspired by her kids, Ananya is co-creating Mixed Up, a kids’ animated series headed to CBC Kids.


ASHLEY DUONG

Ashley Da Lê Duong is a Vietnamese-Canadian filmmaker based in Montreal, Canada. Her feature directorial debut, A TIME TO SWIM, won numerous festival awards including Best First Feature at Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2018. She has also produced over 15 short documentaries for CBC Arts series. Ashley earned a BA in Environment Studies and Cultural Studies from McGill University and is a member of Brown Girl Doc Mafia, A-Doc, and BIPOC TV & Film. Her work often focuses on themes of identity, culture, and the environment.

 

BRANNAVY JEYASUNDARAM

Brannavy Jeyasundaram is a writer and Bharatanatyam dancer. Her main interest lies in exploring movement traditions and memory formation through understanding histories of displacement. Presently, she is a co-leader at the Toronto Ward Museum and the managing editor of Adi Magazine.

ENNA KIM

Enna Kim (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist and storyteller based in Toronto, Canada. She explores the dimensions between her hyphenated Korean-Canadian identity through animation, projection mapping, and large-scale murals. Inspired by her Korean-Canadian identity, she uses murals and storytelling as primary tools to explore her in-betweenness. Her recent work explores Korean motifs such as tigers, red-crowned cranes, and Haenyeo (sea women) combined with psychedelia, dreams, and nature to challenge notions of femininity using strong female characters and symbols. She is drawn to depicting diverse characters and urban spaces through the use of bold and vibrant colour palettes and whimsical compositions. Enna has exhibited work for the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), InterAccess Gallery, Xpace Cultural Centre, and events such as BIG on Bloor Festival, BigArtTO, and Burning Man. 

HOWIE SHIA

Howie is a Saskatoon-born illustrator, animator, and writer. His work has won several awards, including the 2007 Tokyo Anime Fair Grand Prix for Flutter and Canada Screen Awards nominations for both his 2015 short, BAM, and his 2020 short 4 North A, written and co-directed by Jordan Canning (Schitt’s Creek, Baroness Von Sketch). Along with creating, writing, and directing for Disney, Netflix, and Teletoon, Howie enjoys a fruitful ongoing relationship with the National Film Board of Canada. As an illustrator, he has worked for clients as varied as Nike, Amnesty International, and Donny McCaslin (leader of David Bowie’s Blackstar band). Along with his brothers, Howie is a co-founder of the music, film, and design studio PPF House. Howie is currently working on a children’s book and developing two new animated projects.

KAVI OHRI

Kavi is 6 (almost 7) years old. She loves stories, but not all stories. In this anthology, she shares some story ideas she is hoping will be made soon.

KENDRA YEE

Kendra Yee is an arts practitioner based out of Tkaronto/Toronto. Yee pulls tales from personal history, lived experiences, and collective narratives to develop site-specific installations. These multimedia works carve new archives, seeking ways to materialize the truths and fictions of memory. Yee has programmed and exhibited with the AGO, MOCA, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Art Gallery of Burlington, Art Metropole, Xpace Cultural Centre, Patel Gallery, and Letter Bet.

LUXVNA UTHAYAKUMAR

Luxvna Uthayakumar (she/her) is an emerging designer and artist residing in Tkaronto, Ontario. She focuses her work around topics of mental health and personal development and is often exploring new ways to communicate ideas that are not obvious to the eye.

MARIA-SAROJA PONNAMBALAM

Maria-Saroja Ponnambalam is a Canada-based, Latinx South Asian filmmaker. Her arts practice involves working with a variety of media, including family archives. Her current work explores the political, psychological, and sonic worlds that artists and communities create for themselves and how these are shaped by their own intergenerational and diasporic histories.

MICHAEL FUKUSHIMA

Over the course of 36 years, Michael Fukushima has been an animator, filmmaker, producer, and executive producer for the National Film Board’s Animation Studio. He’s a member of the AMPAS® Academy, with over 200 films (and some nice awards) under his belt. Now retired from the NFB, Fukushima skis, cycles, and cherry-picks projects that most interest him.

NATHALIE YOUNGLAI

Nathalie Younglai founded BIPOC TV & Film, a not-for-profit organization advocating inclusion in the Canadian media. Nathalie hauled her parents to the Daytime Emmys after being nominated for her writing on Dino Dana. Nathalie co-created the Hello (Again) web series (CBC Gem) with Simu Liu and is writer/co-executive producer on Coroner (CBC). Black Lives Matter.

NGUYEN-ANH NGUYEN

Nguyen-Anh began his career as a dentist before focusing on filmmaking. In 2008, he co-founded GreenGround Productions, an award-winning production house. He is also a co-founder at CineGround Media, the third largest camera rental and post-production house in Montreal. He created the company’s post-production division and served as its managing director from 2010 to 2016. As a film director, he broke into the science-fiction scene with the viral hit The Akira Project (2014), followed by acclaimed short films Temple (2016) and Hyperlight (2018). He recently founded Second Tomorrow Studios, where he uses all of his combined expertise to create world-class science-fiction projects. He is currently developing the feature version of Temple with writer Nicolas Billon (Elephant Song, X Company), with the support of Telefilm Canada and the Harold Greenberg Fund, and the cyberpunk animated series Babiru with writer Philip Gelatt (Europa Report; Love, Death & Robots).

REA SWEETS

Rea Sweets is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist, troublemaker, and doll collector. Through investigative, dialectical, and immersive methods, her mediums combine tangible, performative, and interactive storytelling. Her practice involves themes of virtual intimacy, slow web/slow art, and vulnerability as power. She also co-runs PRUDEmag, a zine for spinsters, rule-makers, asexuals, relationship anarchists, and all resisting a sex-necessary culture. You can find her at reasweets.com.

RUPALI MORZARIA

Rupali Morzaria is a designer and film programmer based in Tkaronto/Toronto. She is moved by storytelling and movement — in film, dance, and advertising—and uses design as a way to indulge in this fascination. Her work is based in traditional forms of print media and finding new forms of expression within contemporary media arts.

SAIRA CHHIBBER

Saira Chhibber is a PhD candidate in the cultural studies interdisciplinary graduate program at Queen’s University. Her research interests are based in film, television, and new media. She has taught courses in popular culture, film, and television studies in the department of film and media at Queen’s University.

SHAI HEREDIA

Shai Heredia is a filmmaker, curator, and founding director of the moving-image art biennial Experimenta. Her films I Am Micro and An Old Dog’s Diary, in collaboration with Shumona Goel, have been exhibited widely. She has curated for film festivals and art venues and was the programmer for the 65th Robert Flaherty Seminar. She teaches at the Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore.

SOOK-YIN LEE

Sook-Yin Lee is a Canadian filmmaker, musician, actor, multimedia artist, and award-winning radio and TV broadcaster (CBC Radio & TV, BBC, MuchMusic). After starring in John Cameron Mitchell’s groundbreaking LGBTQ movie Shortbus, Lee made her feature-film writer and directorial debut at TIFF with Year of the Carnivore, starring Cristin Milioti. In 2014, Sook-Yin won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by a Lead Dramatic Actress for her role as Olivia Chow in Jack, and went on to write and star in Unsafe at Canadian Stage. Octavio is Dead! won her Best Director and Best Picture at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival in 2018. Her latest feature, lockdown movie Death and Sickness made with Dylan Gamble, premiered on CBC Gem. Sook-Yin is a film-score composer and solo recording artist. Her bands include first project Bob’s Your Uncle; jooj, co-led with Adam Litovitz; and most recently, Lee & Gamble Unlimited. The album jooj two by Lee and Litovitz is on Mint Records. Explore her work at www. sookyinlee.com.

WEEDA AZIM

Weeda Azim is an emerging Afghan Canadian writer and filmmaker based in Toronto. Her ultimate goal is to embrace chaos and failure in her work, to create in order to understand herself, and to meet like-minded Afghans along the way.

ANH DUONG

Anh Duong retired in 1975 after 35 years of working as an engineer. Since his retirement, he has embarked on a new career as a writer based in Calgary, Canada. In 2017, he participated in the Banff Centre’s Emerging Writers Intensive. He is currently writing a coming-of-age novel based on his unlikely combination of first-hand experience during both the Vietnam War and the Iranian Revolution.

ARAM COLLIER

Aram is a filmmaker, educator, and film festival programmer. He has a background in documentary, editing the award-winning feature documentary Refugee and directing/editing the short doc Who I Became both of which broadcast nationally on PBS in the United States. From 2011-2014, his omnibus live music and film project Suite Suite Chinatown toured Canada, Asia, and the United States. In 2017, he completed the Telefilm Canada-funded feature film Stand Up Man, which he wrote, directed, edited, and produced. The film had its world premiere at the Atlantic Film Festival and its International premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Most recently, Aram directed and edited the award-winning short documentary A Sweet & Sour Christmas about a family-run Chinese restaurant on Christmas for CBC. His feature script Intro To Swimming is in development. Based in Toronto, Canada, Aram is a mixed-race Asian Canadian/American (Chinese and English/ Dutch/German) and a San Francisco native who has a BFA and MFA in film production from the University of California at Santa Cruz and York University respectively.

ERUM KHAN

Erum Khan is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. She was the recipient of the 2019 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Queer Emerging Artist Award and is currently working as a film programmer for the Rendezvous With Madness Festival.

FONNA SEIDU

Fonna-Tasha champions narrative projects with compelling storylines and niche audiences. She entered film production in 2018. Since then, she’s worked on 40-plus projects, including the multi-award-winning short Promise Me, Being Black in Toronto (2021 CSA’s Best Direction for Documentary Series) and the upcoming CBC web-series virgins!

JEFF CHIBA STEARNS

Jeff Chiba Stearns is an Emmy-nominated and Webby award-winning animation and documentary filmmaker, as well as an acclaimed author and illustrator. After graduating from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a degree in film animation, he founded Vancouver-based boutique animation studio and publishing company Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. in 2001. Jeff’s short and feature-length films, including What Are You Anyways? (2005), Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), One Big Hapa Family (2010), Ode to a Post-it Note (2010), Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam (2013), and Mixed Match (2016), have been broadcast around the world, screened in hundreds of international film festivals, and garnered dozens of awards.

KEVIN LIM

Kevin Lim is a cultural studies educator with an academic background in American studies and film studies. He has taught in Japan, Canada, and the United States. Lim’s other research interests include mixed-race media representation, film genre allegory, multiculturalism mythmaking, and Asian North American history.

LILLIAN CHAN

Lillian Chan is an animator and director based in Toronto, Canada. Her short films have won several awards, including the Public Prize at both the Ottawa International Film Festival and Anima Mundi in Brazil. Along with short films, she has worked on independent features, animated documentary, and most recently, interactive VR. See her work at www.lilch.ca.

MAHDI CHOWDHURY

Mahdi Chowdhury is a writer, artist, and historian. Born in Dhaka and raised in Toronto, his written works have been featured in The New Inquiry, Popula, Jadaliyya, Himal Southasian, and Asian American Writers’ Workshop. He is currently a PhD student in history at Harvard University.

MIN SOOK LEE

Min Sook Lee has directed numerous critically acclaimed feature documentaries, including Donald Brittain Gemini winner Tiger Spirit, Hot Docs Best Canadian Feature winner Hogtown, Gemini-nominated El Contrato, and Canadian Screen Award winner The Real Inglorious Bastards. Lee is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award and the Alanis Obomsawin Award for Commitment to Community and Resistance. Canada’s oldest labour arts festival, Mayworks, named the Min Sook Lee Labour Arts Award in her honour. Lee’s most recent feature, Migrant Dreams, tells the undertold story of migrant workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. In 2017, Migrant Dreams was awarded Best Labour Documentary by the Canadian Journalists Association and garnered the prestigious Canadian Hillman Prize. Lee is an associate professor at OCAD University. Her area of research and art making focuses on counter-hegemonic narratives of resistance, migrant justice, borderless worlds, and feminist working-class cultural praxis.

NOOR KHAN

Noor Khan (b. 1994) is a self-taught community-engaged artist, involved with image and sound production using a variety of mediums and surfaces. In her work, images and sounds are used as architectural and sculptural experiences. She is based in Scarborough (a suburb of Toronto) and was raised in Saudi Arabia, with roots in South Asia. Due to constant migration and a nomadic Pashtun ethnic lineage subject to state surveillance and violence, she grew up lacking a consistent communal experience and the privilege of maintaining relationships with land and people. Noor turned to art as a collaborative process to cultivate community and uses installation as an experiential learning platform.

OLIVER HUSAIN

Oliver Husain is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Toronto. His projects often begin with fragments of history, a rumor, a personal encounter, or a distant memory. He uses a wide range of cinematic languages and visual pleasures — such as dance, puppetry, costume, and special effects — to animate his research and charm viewers into complex narrative set-ups.

RENATA MOHAMED

Renata Mohamed is a filmmaker and artist based in Toronto, Canada. She is a graduate of the integrated media program at the Ontario College of Art & Design (now OCAD U). Her first short film, Coolie Gyal, has screened at more than 50 international festivals. Renata has been involved with numerous Toronto-based media arts organizations in a variety of capacities. Born in the British Virgin Islands to Indo-Guyanese parents, her work aims to explore the intersectionality of diasporic Caribbean, immigrant, and queer identities through a documentary and experimental lens.

SHANA YE

Dr. Shana Ye is an assistant professor in women and gender studies at University of Toronto Scarborough and in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Her research areas include transnational feminism, queer studies, post/ socialist studies, and theories of affect and trauma. Her work examines the ways in which discourses of queer sexualities in post/ socialism are intertwined with histories of colonialism, Cold War ideology, globalized modalities of neoliberalism, and new forms of empire making. From the perspectives of trauma and affective life, her book-in-progress, Red Father, Pink Son: A Queer Journey to Chimerica, explores how radical sexual practice and politics in socialism are rendered invisible in Western-centric transnational queer studies. Centering on the “impossible” queer socialist subject — in China’s Cultural Revolution, HIV/AIDS movements, institutionalization of queer Chinese studies, transnational grassroots queer/feminist activism, as well as Chinese neocolonialism — Shana’s project brings to the forefront questions of representation; queer mode of knowing; and the sexualized, gendered, and racialized power relations in transnational queer praxis. Shana is also a digital illustrator, and she plays guitar in her spare time.

TIFFANY HSIUNG

Tiffany Hsiung is a Peabody-award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada, listed as one of DOC NYC’s 40 under 40, and is a two-time Canadian Screen Award winner. Her film Sing Me a Lullaby (2020) won the Oscar-qualifying Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC, the inaugural TIFF Share Her Journey Short Cuts Award, the DGC Best Short Film Award, and is listed as one of TIFF Canada’s Top Ten of 2020. Hsiung’s work has played in over 150 film festivals with more than 25 awards, released and broadcasted globally.

TOKO HOSOYA

Toko Hosoya is a multidisciplinary person who works primarily with narratives. Originally hailing from Japan, she is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

TONG LAM

Tong Lam is a history professor at the University of Toronto and a visual artist. Growing up at the margins and intersections of many worlds, he is keen on journeying along conceptual, disciplinary, and physical boundaries as much as traversing them in his research and visual practices.

WINNIE WANG

Winnie Wang is a film programmer, designer, and writer who is enthusiastic about pop culture, sustainability, food justice, and fashion. They are currently a member of Insomniac Film Festival and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council.