January Marie Lapuz, right, with friend Alex Sangha, in an undated photo. Sangha produced an award-winning documentary film about his friend, who was killed in 2012. (Submitted photo)

Producer of doc about Surrey-raised murder victim working on second film

The film, tentatively titled Emergence, follows success of My Name Was January

The founder of Delta’s Sher Vancouver LGBTQ Friends Society is working on a second documentary, tentatively titled Emergence.

The film follows on the success of Sher Vancouver’s first documentary, My Name Was January. That film, about the life and murder of Surrey-raised transgender woman January Marie Lapuz, has won more than 10 international awards and garnered more than 40 official selections at film festivals around the world.

Alex Sangha said his second film will feature LGBTQ South Asian people in Metro Vancouver reflecting on coming out and the reactions of their parents.

READ MORE: Delta LGBTQ group receiving grant to screen doc about Surrey-raised murder victim

Although the cast of four to six people has yet not been finalized, Sangha said it will likely include Punjabi and Sikh people who live in Surrey.

“We will have people in the film who have been rejected and disowned by their families,” he said, adding that he has seen many Sher Vancouver members experience this type of trauma.

“We have witnessed … the trauma that happens when a child is basically disowned and rejected.

“Even if they start to flourish in their life … they still have that sense of loss of the foundation of their life where they don’t have their parents.”

READ MORE: Delta to address inclusion and services for LGBTQ community

Depending on the cast members who are chosen, other stories may also come out in the short, 20 to 25-minute film.

Sangha said audience members could also see interracial relationships addressed as well as LGBTQ South Asians who are trying to have children.

All of the stories will be tied together by the overarching theme of emergence and coming out.

“Our hope for the film is that people emerge and come out with a new level of thinking,” he said.

The film will be directed by Surrey resident Vinay Giridhar and produced by Sangha. Once complete, they will send it to film festivals around the world, host screenings around the Lower Mainland and request that local broadcasters air it on television so that it can reach a broad audience.

Further, Sangha said the film will be used as an educational tool.

He said film distributor Moving Images, which added My Name Was January to its catalogue, has expressed interest in also selling the forthcoming second film.

If Moving Images picks up the film, he said, it will be available on DVD, along with a discussion guide.

“We want to educate the public,” he said, adding that a key target group is parents with LGBTQ children. “This film is to tell the parents, this is what happens to your kid when you reject them.”

READ MORE: Sher Vancouver founder Alex Sangha of Delta honoured by Governor General

Sangha said he has raised $7,000 to produce the film so far, and he is seeking an additional $18,000.

He recently requested $2,500 from the City of Delta, which he said was the first time he has ever requested funding directly from the Delta mayor and council.

“In 11 years, Sher never received funding from the city,” he said.

In his funding request letter, Sangha said the film will create a sense of community and critical awareness for South Asian parents with LGBTQ children.

To make a donation toward the film, email [email protected].



[email protected]

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