A pioneer in addressing issues of the South Asian immigrant community in Canada by means of performing arts, the Punjabi Arts Association, has come out with a new short film called Apne, which directly translates into our people. Directed by Parvinder Thethi and Smriti Thethi, the film released on August 13, 2020 at BMO IFFSA Toronto, the largest South Asian film festival in North America.
The film narrates the story of an Immigrant family from India, based in Brampton, Ontario. The lead character ‘Sandy’ has been through immense emotional stress and become a drug addict. He feels caught up among Canadian values and the diverse Indian cultural facts leading to a dramatically tragic situation where he ends up asking his father: “Who really are our people? The Canadians or some Indian conservative threads that do not promote equality at all?”
The storyline borders on significant issues like mental illness, effects of violent content in modern Punjabi music, gender inequality, abusive relationships, impaired driving, and most importantly, it raises the question of the immigrants’ integration into Canadian society.
Speaking about the initiative, the Punjabi Arts Association said: “We are an independent, not-for-profit, volunteer-based organisation that presents issues of relevance to the South Asian immigrant community through performing arts. Our primary objective is to celebrate and explore South Asian culture, particularly in relationship to the Canadian mainstream. We are committed to creating awareness of the disastrous effect of drugs and violence on our youth and to explore issues that arise from generation gaps and family challenges.”