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Surrey-filmed ‘Emergence’ and 2 more online-only movies in KDocsFF festival this fall

9/11 doc kicks off festival on Sept. 16, plus a ‘Titanic’ tale in November
Alex Sangha, Vinay Giridhar, Jaspal Sangha and Kayden Bhangu (clockwise from top) are involved in making “Emergence: Out of the Shadows,” a documentary movie about being gay or lesbian in the South Asian community of Metro Vancouver. (submitted photo)

Three documentary movies will be screened digitally during this fall’s edition of KDocsFF, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s annual social-justice film festival.

First up, with a free 24-hour online viewing window starting Thursday, Sept. 16, is the 9/11 doc “You Are Here: A Come From Away Story,” which follows the 6,600 plane passengers redirected to Gander, Newfoundland on Sept. 11, 2001, and how the townspeople opened their doors to them for five days.

A live panel discussion/Q&A on Friday, Sept. 17 will include film director Moze Mossanen, panelists Claude Elliott (mayor of Gander), Diane and Nick Marson (film subjects), and KPU’s Gavin Paul and Valerie Vezina, with moderator Kelly Doyle, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

On Oct. 10, the festival will showcase the new documentary “Emergence: Out of the Shadows,” filmed in and around Surrey. The movie follows Kayden, Jag and Amar as they come out to their Punjabi Sikh families and “deal with deep-rooted tradition and taboo within the culture and community.” A panel talk on Oct. 11 will include film producer Alex Sangha and others featured in the movie.

(Story continues below trailer)

“I hope that our audience embraces this Surrey-based documentary, which captures the challenges three families face as their LGBTQIA2S+ children come out in their conservative Punjabi Sikh communities,” said Greg Chan, community outreach director of KDocsFF.

“The special event coincides with National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. Our hope is that the documentary and panel discussion will inspire queer/questioning youth to be themselves and show their parents how to be allies.”

• RELATED STORY, from Dec. 2020: Surrey-shot film to focus on ‘taboo topic’ of being gay/lesbian South Asian.

Starting Nov. 16, the festival’s third movie is “The Six,” which highlights the racism and anti-immigration policy that almost erased the stories of the six Chinese men who survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic more than a century ago. Director Arthur Jones is on a post-film panel, along with researcher Steven Schwankert, MOSAIC’s Sherman Chan and film subject Lily Cho.

Noted Chan: “Titanic stories and family histories have been well documented, but with one notable exception: the narratives of the six Chinese men who survived the sinking. The erasure of their stories speaks to the history of anti-Asian racism, which KDocsFF aims to break down.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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