Indo-Canadian Filmmakers on the Rise

20 Feb

The Indian film industry is the world’s largest, with over 800 feature films produced annually and with highest ticket sales recorded worldwide. They easily outnumber North American sales and have a long history of film production in several areas of the country. North America boasts Hollywood as the entertainment haven, with New York and Vancouver holding second and third spots in terms of capacity, output and infrastructure for film and television production. Top revenue generating film production regions in India are Bollywood (Mumbai), Kollywood (Chennai) and Tollywood (Hyderabad), though there is activity across the country. Preethi’s weblog gives a detailed synopsis of the film industry across India.

As filmmaking must be in their blood, there are several Indo-Canadian producer/ directors making noise here in Canada. The stories brought to Canadian cinema are fresh perspectives of Indian culture immersed into Canada, with the accompanying cross-cultural themes. Brightlight Pictures picked up “Pink Ludoos” from a schoolteacher who entered the screenplay into a writing competition. This film explores the issue of societal discrimination against women and how geography is no boundary for cultural normality. The film, directed by Guarev Seth, will star a host of Indo-Canadian actors.

anandr2.jpgNorthern Saskatchewan born Anand Ramayya, son of India’s Ray Ramayya grew up with film and has recentlywapos.jpg won his third Gemini Award, this time for the Wapos Bay Series in the category of Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program (beating out the popular Degrassi High). He is currently in post production for “Mad Cow Sacred Cow,” an extension to his bio-doc “Cosmic Current” that offers a cross cultural analysis of the human relationship with the cow, and the societal, spiritual and environmental impacts of globalization. Shooting in the Canadian prairies, the UK and India, this film discusses an important topic, and can be seen on CBC’s The Lens late this summer.

Vancouver’s Nilesh Patel has been making films for several years. His latest project, Brocket 99patel.jpg, is about the mock radio show of a Canadian First Nations community that was spread across western Canada via audio cassettes in the 1980s. The feature documentary traces back to the origins of the tapes, to the community of which it is based on, and gathers diverging social and cultural perspectives by those who remember the cultural phenomenom of the 80s. Patel has won several awards including the Sequences Magazine prize at the Montreal First Peoples Festival and the Special Recognition Award at the Anchorage International Film Festival. Nilesh Patel also works as a mentor for the Intersections Media youth project, which has just completed its seventh season providing opportunities for youth to learn about film and video production.

The Indo-Canadian perspective offers a diverse lens into a Canadian culture overlooked by most. I look forward to the future projects that come from these and others in the community.

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One Response to “Indo-Canadian Filmmakers on the Rise”

  1. RK August 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    We takin over, one city at a time

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