Sundar Prize Film Festival: Uniting Filmmakers and Audiences through Powerful Narratives

Surrey, BC – The inaugural Sundar Prize Film Festival has successfully concluded, marking a landmark event that highlighted a vibrant array of filmmakers, captivating screenings, and thought-provoking panels. This groundbreaking festival underscored themes of human resilience, empathy, anti-racism, and community, leaving a mark on attendees and participants alike.

A Celebration of Intersectional Stories

The Sundar Prize Film Festival showcased compelling narratives. Each film delivered powerful social messages, capturing the essence of the festival’s mission. The networking receptions provided a platform for filmmakers, actors, producers, and film lovers to connect, exchange ideas, and collaborate on future projects through an open mic where they could share their upcoming projects.

Amplifying Human Values through Film

Films screened at the festival conveyed significant socially impactful messages such as our connection to nature, showcase by the film Rematriation directed by Alexi Liotti. Grandma Losah who’s an interview subject in Rematriation opened the film with an Indigenous drumming ceremony. The festival’s panels and discussions seamlessly intertwined these themes, promoting empathy, resilience, social justice, and artistic expression. This collective celebration of filmmaking transcended differences, uniting us through shared human values.

Jason Loftus, Director of the Best International Documentary winner, Eternal Spring (Canada, 2023), reflected, “There is something powerful in telling your story; you don’t need permission from anyone to tell yours.”

Dave Mann, Executive Producer of the Best BC Film winner, Dil Rakh: Gloves of Kin (Canada, 2023), shared, “We are perfection in motion, it’s all a dance of perfection even with our difficulties and flaws. Change is inevitable; it’s the only God of society, so let’s do our part and move things forward.”

A Community United in Celebration

The Sundar Prize attracted filmmakers from Los Angeles, Toronto, and throughout British Columbia. The festival was honored to host notable figures such as Curtis Woloschuk, Director of Programming of the Vancouver International Film Festival, and Clement Lau, Vice President of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Greg Chan of the KDocsFF also was in attendance to present the Emerging Filmmaker Residency Prize at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey which was awarded to Shubham Chhabra who directed Cash Cows. With the support of 58 founding sponsors, supporters, and media partners, the festival thrived on the collective effort of the community.

Co-Founder Alex Sangha remarked, “Everything is possible if we work together, and the film industry and community came together for the Sundar Prize.”

Highlighting Remarkable Films

The festival featured exceptional films, including Eternal Spring, Canada’s entry to the Oscars in 2023, Rosie, named one of Canada’s top ten films at TIFF 2022, and DOSH, winner of the audience choice award at the Academy Award-qualifying Tasveer Film Festival in Seattle. Executive Director and Senior Programmer Sidartha Murjani reflected, “The biggest compliment we received was from a festival-goer who said this is a festival where they felt a very kind and welcoming energy for people to connect and express themselves.”

Looking Ahead

As the curtains fall on this year’s festival, the Sundar Prize Film Festival extends heartfelt thanks to its sponsors, team, volunteers, and everyone involved in making this event a reality. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with filmmakers worldwide, utilizing our platform to showcase impactful narratives that resonate globally.

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