“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


“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

“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
Kwantlen Polytechnic University English Faculty

“Emergence is a much needed learning tool for our Punjabi Sikh community. To have the opportunity to see a resilient relationship within the parenting structures allows us to re-create frameworks around support, empathy, understanding and strength. Sikhism for me has always been an endeavor to see compassion and empathy as the leading conversation around connecting to people. This movie allowed me to cry with Kayden, dance with Jaggu, and feel the warm embrace of a mother. Grateful to have shared this experience.” 

Anoop Gill
Co-Executive Director, Programs and Services
QMUNITY – BC’s Queer, Trans and Two-Spirit Resource Centre

“This is a well-made documentary that shines a rare light on parents and their journey into acceptance of their LGBTQ+ children. It will go on to inspire many parents not just to be open about their gay children but to celebrate them in much the same way they celebrate heterosexual ones. The visuals of the grandparents playing with their granddaughter and those of them welcoming their second grandchild are powerful and send an important message to South Asian parents all over. Congratulations and well done.”

Lotus Visual Productions
United Kingdom

“Thank you for sharing the full documentary with me in advance of premiere screenings – I’m touched and humbled. I just watched the film and loved it!  So many topics are covered, intersecting angles are explored, and the immigrant experience is most definitely captured.  I’ll go on.  The film explores the lows and highs, the emotional rollercoasters of desi queer life, the nuances we have to traverse and navigate, and beautifully takes the audience to a brighter and happier future!  Well done to you, your team, the participants and all involved.  Sha-bash!!”

Laks Mann
LGBTQ+ Lead, South Asian Heritage Month UK 
Founder, Gaysians UK 

“I just finished the film. I am speechless! It is simply fantastic! Every minute of it is absolutely fantastic! Thank you again for sharing it with me. This film is going to bring about much needed change; it is going to save lives. Thank you for telling your story so candidly. I am in awe of your mom, she truly is an angel among us.  That is so awesome about the screening at the KDocsFF!  I would give the film a definite 10 out of 10. It is so very well done. It brought out every emotion in me, there were parts I felt angry, there were parts I cried, there were parts I laughed. It takes something that is so very misunderstood and explains it simply for what it truly is, people loving people. Parents loving their children for who they are and their children loving the person of their choice without prejudice.  The film addresses the dysfunction, and abuse which is an absolute must but it’s focus is the celebration of love which should be what society focuses on. Extremely well done!”

Nicole-Curtis Gill
M.Ed. School Counselling
Surrey, BC

“This documentary has succinctly, and with the utmost of care provided an avenue and a space for the dialogue to occur. Families are often the core of the South Asian experience, and it is also through the family, complicated as it is, that those stories are weaved. This film will speak to so many South Asians in so many ways. This is a powerful, must see, emotionally attuned documentary that carefully highlights the complexities, the nuances, and the love of the South Asian queer experience.”

Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains
South Asian Studies Institute
University of the Fraser Valley

“Speaking for myself, I found the documentary truly stayed with me. It touched me on an emotional level and also added additional layers to the ways I think about the scholarly work that we engage in as part of the course – which takes an in-depth look at Canadian society. I find the story work in the documentary is so beautiful and careful and I loved seeing the ways that themes were woven together in such a natural and artful way.” 

Dr. Lisa Smith
Faculty Member
Department of Sociology
Douglas College

“Following the journeys of Kayden, Jag and Amar, Emergence is an intimate, honest look at the challenges of coming out in the South Asian community. It is an inspiring film that shines a light on the beauty and strength of the LGBT2SQ+ members of our community. Touching on themes of discrimination, identity, acceptance and family, these stories share a powerful thread of connection, love and understanding. I commend Sher Vancouver and everyone involved for the compassion and courage in telling these stories.”  

Rachna Singh
Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives
Government of British Columbia