We are an artist-driven, practice-based research and creation organization that fosters close ties with local artists and communities without limiting boundaries. We bolsters cultural diversity and Asian-Canadian artists and their communities by connecting East and West through film festivals, seminars, workshops, artist talks, and publications. Arts east-West/KFFC empowers the voices of Asian heritage and the Asian diaspora artists from Canada, Korea and pan-Asia.
Bringing Asian Cinema to You
Korean Film Festival Canada
Arts East-West has been interlaced with our long-standing motto “Where East Meets West” since 1996. It is dedicated to the creation, visibility and dissemination of arts created by Asian and Asian Canadian media artists across Canada and other parts of the world. We offer artistic opportunities that empower marginalized artists working within the Canadian arts and culture community. For inclusion and accessibility at large, we do our best to provide all our content in English, French, and Korean, but the work that is shared is not limited to the expression of these three languages.
The Korean Film Festival Canada (KFFC) is one of Arts East-West’s annual projects that takes place in the spring. The KFFC hosts film screenings, exhibitions of digital media works, conferences focused on the Asian and Asian Canadian diaspora, seminars with emerging and professional Asian Canadian artists and their community members, creative art workshops, artist talks, and various forms of publications.
This year is the 10th edition of the KFFC (KFFC 10). It will be touring in three Canadian cities, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, under the theme of Asian Arts: Environment of Resilience and Sustainability II, from May 26 to July 2, 2023. Special projects will also be shared such as:
- Asian Art Publication Lab (AAPLab),
- Asian Media Art Gallery East-West (GEW),
- a declaration of K-ART DAY on MAY 18,
- AEW Public’s Choice Awards,
- Installation arts of Statue of Peace (from Seoul-Toronto-Montreal)
- Live performing arts, Eucations and Initiatives programs and more.
The Asian Art Publication Lab encourages publications and conversations around experimentation and interdisciplinarity within Asian and Asian Canadian art. In 2020-21 we received 45 videos and essay submissions from across Canada and Asia that connected to our theme Womens’ perspectives on Asian Cinema, and in 2023 over 60 submissions on Asian Diaspora and Migration Narratives. There is a need not only to hear these perspectives, but to provide a place where they can be shared and developed.
Asian Media Art Gallery East-West (GEW) is partnered with Dazibao, a center for contemporary arts with a 42 year old history, to co-present GEW as an onsite gallery. For Asian Canadian and Asian art and artists, this offers visibility of their work to a wider audience. Not only can people view their work virtually, but people can experience it for themselves in a physical space and onsite interactions for more networking opportunities during the KFFC 10.
Arts East-West is an Asian Canadian media arts organization that thrives on creation, research, exhibitions, professional development and community projects, focused on cinema and digital, interactive, immersive media arts. We also act as a facilitator to provide necessary resources and safe environments that inspire creativity for artists and their works, and networking infractures for their community.
Our mission is to support, uplift, and celebrate Asian and Asian Canadian media arts through accessible and adaptable spaces in a place where the digital world is radically changing. Media arts and their artists demand outlets for their work to be integrated within the new digital and technology environments.
Our current year-round projects, the Korean Film Festival Canada (KFFC), Asian Art Publication Lab (AAPLab), and Gallery East-West (GEW) support our future vision to aid artists. We will bolster and facilitate a continuation of discovering and rediscovering media arts in Asian Canadian, Korean and Pan-Asian communities–providing more accessibility, resources, and opportunities in safe and inclusive environments not only for artists, but also their industry emerging artists and professionals.
We work towards decolonizing art sectors, raising awareness about issues of systemic discrimination for marginalized artists and organizations, and creating inclusive working conditions with shared perspectives as a part of the diversity in Canada.
We work towards building a creative space for respecting, sharing and nurturing Asian Canadian media artists and their communities in multiple languages.
Arts East-West’s mandates promote and produce creativity, connectivity, nurturing and sharing of one’s lived stories, to reflect the people and stories of the past, while carrying these stories into the present, and becoming the voices of tomorrow.
The Korean Film Festival Canada (KFFC) was first developed in 1996 under the name Cine-Asie Film Institute. Cine-Asie began in Montréal as a non-profit Canadian organization that focused on disseminating voices in the Asian and Asian Canadian media arts and culture community. The organization became a vehicle to nurture and expand the cultural environment of Asian Canadian media arts and Asian heritage films by showcasing and networking spaces for them. The first Ciné-Asie project was the nationally acclaimed Three Korean Master Filmmakers made in collaboration with the MOMA in New York, making its mark in the Canadian media arts scene and was also awarded the Team Canada Project from the Jean Chrétien Administration of Canada. The project toured four main cities across Canada, including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver in 1997.
Since Cine-Asie’s inception, our organization has collaborated with other Canadian festivals such as the Reel Asian Film Festival in Toronto, the Fantasia Film Festival and the Festival Accès Asie in Montréal. Ciné-Asie has also formed strong partnerships with the Cinémathèque québécoise, the Canadian Film Institute, the Harbourfront Centre, the Pacific Cinémathèque, the AMC Forum, and the Smithsonian Museum to achieve their goals and artistic visions.
Ciné-Asie has brought culturally rich media arts events to the city of Montréal, including the 2006 retrospective Regard sur le Cinéma Sud-coréen and the 2008 Hong Sang-Soo retrospective, both held at the Cinémathèque Québécoise. In addition, Ciné-Asie has organized events in partnership with Concordia University and NYC’s Film Society of Lincoln Centre, the retrospective Chinese Cinema – 1993-1949.
In 2019, the Korean Film Festival Canada (KFFC) took its presence as a cluster organization that holds multiple year-round projects. The year 2019 also marked the festival’s partnership with the Centre d’études asiatiques de l’Université de Montréal (CÉTASE). This was the first attempt to integrate the festival in the center of a francophone heavy environment since the festival’s establishment in 1996.
Then, in the year 2020, the Korean Film Festival Canada rebranded itself as Arts East-West. With this rebranding, the festival would not only be a place to promote Asian Canadian and Asian cinema and media arts, but also a creative place for other mediums of Asian, Asian Canadian and Pan-Asian arts to be explored, created, and presented. Through media arts as a new form of language, the mission of Arts East-West became the bridge between the cultures from the East and the West.