ENDORSEMENTS

FEEDBACK ON THE STORY-LINE EDIT

“Narrationally interesting, emotionally gripping, and of great educational value. We wish you success in the project and are confident that the addition of secondary visuals and subtitles that you are engaged in will make the film cinematically powerful.”

Chinmoy Banerjee
Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation
Former SFU English Professor Emeritus

FEEDBACK ON THE FINAL CUT

“The Team behind Emergence has really created a special film to shed much needed light on a very important topic ACCEPTANCE!  The LGBTQ+ community and in this case the Punjabi LGBTQ+ community highlighted in this emotional and well executed film.  The film showcases three Punjabi subjects in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia who tell their stories and struggle of coming out to their families and their community.  I applaud the filmmakers for their bold subject matter and excellent execution.”

Avi Federgreen
Award-Winning Producer
Nominated for a Gemini, Leo Award, Daytime Emmy, Canadian Screen Award, and Winner of a Directors Guild of Canada Award

“Emergence is a must see film on the crucial topic of struggling with love and acceptance in the South Asian gay and lesbian community. We are skillfully guided through three different family situations of coming out and how each family navigated their journeys. This film offers hope for a better future for all families with youth who are struggling with sexual orientation and gender identity as well as anyone interested in a world where it gets better for all.”

Susan Ruzic
Acting Assistant Director of Social Justice
BC Teacher’s Federation

“In a perfect world, one without oppressive binaries and queerphobia, coming out would not be necessary. But we don’t live in that world . . . yet.  As an educator I am supremely excited with the opportunity that Emergence: Out of the  Shadows provides. A chance for the stories of Kayden, Jag, and Amar and their families to inspire, enlighten, and provide a path forward on how to love our children, support them in being themselves, and unchain themselves from the oppression so many  LGBTQ2S+ folks face. I cannot wait to facilitate discussions with families and students alike as we seek to emerge stronger together.”

Annie Ohana
M.Ed in Equity Studies

Nationally Recognized Anti-Oppression Educator

“Emergence: Out of the Shadows accomplishes in 90 minutes what our communities have been trying to do for so long – remove the shutters off of a silenced and shamed part of our world. This seminal work will spur discussion and help our communities begin a journey of healing and acceptance. A foundational work that will uplift all.”

Upkar Singh Tatlay
Vice President, DIVERSEcity

“This film looks so ‘Ahead of Times’ even in the modern context. Pain is the common emotion weaving every character, capturing and encapsulating biographies of complex lives in a simplistic manner. A Father’s enthusiasm is bulldozed soon after he finds out about the sexuality of his Son and Daughter. What makes the film stunningly bold and brave, is that, eventually the parents embrace, not only them but their partners too. The film makes a powerful statement and lesson for families, jostling similar situations. Even though the stories emanate from the Western world, against the South Asian cultural backdrop, the film transcends many cultural barriers.”  

Dr. Viney Sharma
Journalist with the Times of India

“The film tells the inspiring story of three gay South Asians who have come to terms with the stigmatization and suppression of their identity in a socially conservative culture.  Each of the three is articulate, candid and courageous in describing their emotional journey.  A huge element of this journey involves coming to terms with their families — or, for one of them, accepting that this will not be possible, but that new families can be created out of love.”

Dr. Patricia Gruben
Award Winning Filmmaker and Retired Professor of Film Studies at SFU specializing in Indian Cinema and Winner of a Spotlight Award for being “Woman of the Year” from Women in Film and Television Vancouver

 “In Emergence: Out of the Shadows, a diverse group of courageous and eloquent young South Asians tell their stories of coming out as gay and lesbian to their families. The pain, humour, and hope depicted in their stories has a simple message – that love is love and nothing is as liberating as being true to yourself. Visually beautiful, this film is an understated but powerful platform to move forward a cause and celebrate humanity in all its diversity.”

Ravi Basi
Manager of Multicultural Services
Surrey Libraries

“Emergence: Out of the Shadows” shares the transformative stories and impactful emotional journeys of three South Asians.  The film organically weaves their experiences in coming out with that of their parents – fostering a deeper connection and understanding of each other.”  

Karen Wong
Producer – The Curse of Willow Song
Vancouver International Film Festival 2020 Best BC Film Award

“Alex and his team have been making their name as compassionate filmmakers shining a light on underrepresented and marginalized people in Canadian society. These are the stories we need to hear and see and they are as compelling as they are revealing.”

David C. Jones
Actor, Keynote Speaker, Writer, Filmmaker, and Teacher
His film “Same Boat” won the OUTtv’s People’s Choice Award for Best Short Film at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

“Emergence: Out of the Shadows is an impactful documentary that reveals complex truths about identity and family ties. Despite conflicted emotions, three people bravely share their perspectives on life and love, taking viewers on a powerful journey through their lived experiences of coming out to their families. This thought-provoking and tender film affirms chosen family bonds and the power of genuine acceptance and love.” 

Mette Bach
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter, and Director
Author of Femme, Cinders and Charming and The Love Cod
e

“Emergence: Out of the Shadows is an exceptionally effective documentary as it provides a genuine and in-depth look into the three distinct journeys of Kayden, Jag, and Amar, who grapple with their sexuality and courageously come out of hiding it from their traditional Punjabi Sikh families and the community at large. As the film richly narrates their voices and those of their families, it provides a nuanced view into how family — adopted, in the case of Kayden — culture and religion also play a role in building resilience. The audience is undeniably left with hope and greater awareness of the profound journey towards acceptance and loving kindness.”

Dr. Kamala Nayar
Chair and Faculty, Asian Studies
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

“Emergence: Out of the Shadows is a documentary that has arrived in the LGBTQ+ community at the right time.  It is a film that fuses the complexities of culture, stigma, and fear with the simple, but necessary, notion of love.  The South Asian LGBTQ+ community will find this movie to begin to tear down the silent walls of ignorance, shame, and false expectations.  It is a profound story of love at the most basic of human levels.  A level we can all relate to.”

Amandeep Singh Grewal
Senior Teacher at David Thompson Secondary School
Anti-Racism and SOGI School Lead
BCTF Committee for Action on Social Justice
BCTF Anti-Racism Facilitator

“I am proud that the City of Surrey played a role in this beautifully filmed story, both as a backdrop and as a funding supporter. Emergence: Out of The Shadows weaves a compelling journey of three South Asian family narratives, at times painfully heartbreaking. This journey towards love and acceptance draws us into the complexities of family dynamics, the struggles and entanglements around personal beliefs, cultural norms and internalized phobias, and the pathway which ultimately leads to love and acceptance. Kudos to you all . . . your brave stories offer up hope for humanity.”

Greg Magirescu
Manager of Community Arts
City of Surrey

Emergence ushers the LGBTQIA2S+ South Asian community out of the shadows with its clarion call to collective action. Demonstrating the importance of family support, Queer role models, and visibility are the transformative stories of Kayden, Jag, and Amar. All three are guided by the promise of taking control of their narratives within and beyond their traditional cultures. Helping them find their light are Jaspal (Amar’s mother) and Avtar and Rajwant (Jag’s parents), who are a master class in loving acceptance when their children come out to them. This documentary will open your heart a little wider as it gently breaks the silence around Queer folx in the South Asian diaspora. As the Outreach Director of the KDocsFF Social Justice Documentary Film Festival, I am proud to be bringing Emergence: Out of the Shadows to the KPU community for a special screening on National Coming Out Day 2021. Its celebration of Surrey’s LGBTQIA2S+ South Asians is documentary activism at its finest.”  

Greg Chan
KDocsFF Community Outreach Director and Kwantlen Polytechnic University English Faculty