FascinAsian Film Festival Set to Launch in Winnipeg on Friday!

FascinAsian volunteers from 2023

May 21, 2024 – Winnipeg, Manitoba 

The excitement of the FascinAsian Film Festival is set for a fever pitch this week as a wide collection of cutting-edge film screenings, training sessions, and festival awards are taking place in Winnipeg from May 24th to 26th. 

The FascinAsian Film Festival celebrates Asian contributions to the film and media landscape and showcase the talents of Asian-Canadian and Asian-American artists in film. The rare two-city event had the Calgary program complete in early May, and Winnipeg’s program is taking place this coming week. Opening the festival is a joint panel with Film Training Manitoba (FTM) on Film Festival Strategy. A second panel, The Current State of Asian Representation in Media is set for May 25.

“In addition to international films, FascinAsian also provides local Manitoba filmmakers and film professionals another place to connect and gather as a community.” Said Festival Director Alan Wong.

For the past two years, Film Training Manitoba (FTM) and FascinAsian have partnered on a collection of inclusive training sessions designed to share important industry know-how. 

FTM’s Adam Smoluk with FacinAsian Festival Director Alan Wong

“It’s an incredible honour to be expanding FTM’s partnership with FascinAsian which features exceptional industry training sessions from highly knowledgeable professionals.” Said FTM’s Executive Director Adam Smoluk. He also added, “All attendees of the two panels will receive incredible behind-the-scenes learning on jobs and careers in the film industry.”

FascinAsian is open to audiences of all backgrounds and the event looks to share stories and experiences with all members of society. Moderators of the two training sessions will be Wong and the CBC’s Faith Fundal. 

Manitoba Producer Orlando Braun, Festival Director Alan Wong, and FTM’s Executive Director Adam Smoluk

Select panelists of the training sessions will include: 

Jim Agapito, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He hosts Recovering Filipino, a captivating podcast featured on CBC Radio One nationally. Through self-discovery, Jim reconnects with his Filipino heritage and shares his journey with millions of listeners.

Filmmaker Ian Bawa, whose films have screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival. Bawa has recently completed his residency at the prestigious Norman Jewison Canadian Film Centre.

Warren P. Sonoda, BAFTA and CSA-winning, double Emmy-nominated filmmaker and the first person of colour to be elected National President of the Directors Guild of Canada. 

Jillian Groening is the Distribution Director at the Winnipeg Film Group (WFG) and the co-lead for WFG’s Case Study with Archive/Counter-Archive (ACA). Their media works have been presented at ASpace Gallery in Toronto and WNDX – Festival of Moving Image in Winnipeg.

Actor and filmmaker Stephanie Sy whose select film credits include: Hudson and Rex (CityTV/Amazon Prime) Ordinary Angels (Lionsgate), Winner (Sundance), Violent Night, Champions, (Universal Pictures), Burden of Truth, The Porter (CBC/BET), Seance (Shudder), FUBAR (Netflix) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Aaron Zeghers works primarily as an experimental and non-fiction filmmaker and has self-distributed his films and expanded cinema performances to film festivals and venues around the world.

For more information about The FascinAsian Film Festival:


FTM is a non-for-profit charity and member of the Province of Manitoba’s Sector Council program funded through the Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources. FTM builds a highly skilled and adaptable film industry workforce to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates and partners with members of the film industry to identify training needs to support workforce development.