A new documentary about the booming Indian wedding business in the metro Vancouver area airs July 23 on CBC. “Little India Big Business” shines a light on the high price families pay to put on a show.
“I wanted to explore my own reluctance to getting married,” says journalist and documentary producer Bal Brach. “I was stunned to hear the average cost of an Indian wedding is $100,000 – and most of the time, it’s hard working, immigrant parents footing the bill for week long celebrations.”
Whether it’s hair and make-up artists charging thousands of dollars for services and booking three years in advance, or venue owners who “wanted to bring Las Vegas style Parties to Surrey, B.C.,” “Little India Big Business” reveals the pressures that young Canadians of South Asian descent face when planning their weddings – not only from close family connections, but also the community as a whole. The documentary highlights how lucrative these celebrations are for wedding vendors, the lengths they go to ensure their clients’ needs are met, and the cost of this commercialisation on the sanctity of marriage.
This is the first feature length documentary written, directed and produced by Bal Brach. She has spent more than 10 years working as a journalist in newsrooms across Canada. “As someone who avoided Indian weddings most of my life, it’s ironic that I’ve spent the last three years immersed in this crazy world,” says Brach.
It will be available online across Canada July 24 at cbc.ca/absolutelyvancouver/watch – CINEWS