Vinay Giridhar, left, and Alex Sangha are planners of the new Sundar Prize and Film Festival in Surrey. (Submitted photo)

Vinay Giridhar, left, and Alex Sangha are planners of the new Sundar Prize and Film Festival in Surrey. (Submitted photo)

‘Beautiful’ films sought in Surrey for new Sundar Prize and Festival from ‘Emergence’ filmmakers

Call for films launched by Sher Vancouver ahead of June 2024 showcase

Sher Vancouver is now accepting submissions for its inaugural Sundar Prize, launched in tandem with a new film festival planned in Surrey.

Billed as “an international film awards competition,” the Sundar Prize involves more than $10,000 in cash prizes for the top five films, in categories of best feature, documentary, short, animation and student film.

The winners will be announced 18 months from now, in June 2024, ahead of screenings at either Surrey City Hall or the adjacent City Centre Library (venue pending) over two back-to-back days on a weekend, before a live audience.

The Sundar Prize seeks to recognize “beautiful films that uplift our world through impactful and informative storytelling about social causes and social issues that have a social impact,” says a call for submissions.

Sundar means “beautiful” in the ancient Sanskrit language.

“Films with any theme are welcome but we encourage filmmakers who showcase the following communities and causes to submit their films,” says the post, noting themes of human rights, immigration and refugees, social justice issues, Indigenous communities, people of colour, LGBTQ+ community, vulnerable and marginalized peoples, environmental and climate change and education.

The festival manager is Alex Sangha, an award-winning social worker and documentary film producer. He produced the documentaries “My Name Was January,” about transgender people of colour, and “Emergence: Out of the Shadows,” about coming out in the South Asian community of Metro Vancouver.

“Sher Vancouver wants to bring the best, most beautiful, and impactful films from around the world to the heart of Surrey City Centre for the people to enjoy and learn from and drive change in our communities,” says Sangha.

The festival director is Vinay Giridhar, who directed “Emergence: Out of the Shadows” and is a graduate of an animation program at Vancouver Film School.

Films for the Sundar Prize and Festival can be submitted online at filmfreeway.com/sundarprize.

Sher Vancouver (shervancouver.com) was founded in 2008 as a social-welfare group supporting LGBTQ+ South Asians.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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