EHSAAS: A South Asian film festival
March 9, 16 AND 23

Presented by the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at UFV.

A Punjabi/Hindi word, “ehsaas” means “to reflect” or “to come to a realization”. This festival will showcase three powerful films – Present In All That We Do, Amu and Amal – that emphasize social consciousness. Each film has significant historical and current relevance while highlighting social justice issues. The goal of the festival is to raise awareness, initiate dialogue, and encourage understanding on topics that are globally significant yet have local relevance.

Much can be said about the film-makers, who show human suffering, courage, and dignity in a memorable manner. The real power of these films is that they connect the audience with people who are normally not within their sight lines. In short, they will make you care.

The festival runs on Monday's, March 9, 16 and 23rd. Films will be screened starting at 7 pm at University House (F110) at UFV’s Abbotsford campus (33844 King Rd). Admission is free and is open to the public, donations welcome.

For more information, please call the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at 604-854-4547.

Film Summaries

Present in All That We Do
March 9th, Opening reception at 6pm, film at 7Pm 
(dir. Andrew Hedden - Opening reception with andrew, who will lead an interactive dialogue and discussion)

In 1907, more than two-hundred South Asian workers in Bellingham, WA were attacked by a mob of white workers. The white rioters broke into the South Asians' houses and workplaces, stole and destroyed their valuables, and threatened and beat them until they were forcibly expelled from the city. In the course of one night, an entire community was driven from the town - in the approving words of a local paper, "wiped off the map." One hundred years later, 2007, hostility towards non-white immigrants in Bellingham continues. Raids and detentions by government immigration agents are ongoing; so are surveillance and harassment from both government agents and groups like the Minute Men. How have the events of 1907 shaped Bellingham as we know it in 2007? What has changed and what remains the same?

March 16th, 7pm 
(dir. Shonali Bose)

Amu is the story of Kaju, a twenty-one-year-old Indian American woman who returns to India to visit her family. The film takes a dark turn as Kaju stumbles against secrets and lies from her past. A horrifying genocide that took place twenty years ago turns out to hold the key to her mysterious origins.
How were Kaju’s family involved in the killings? What happened and why? Who were the culprits? Who benefited? Will Kaju have the courage to pursue the truth no matter the cost? Will it destroy her relationship with her mother? Will it affect her burgeoning romance? Will it change everything she knows about herself and about India?

March 23rd , 7Pm
(Dir. Richie Mehta)

Autorickshaw driver Amal is content with the small but vital role he serves—driving customers around New Delhi as quickly and safely as possible. But his sense of duty is tested by an eccentric, aging billionaire, who, moved by Amal's humility, bequeaths him his entire estate before passing away. With only one month to discover and claim the inheritance, Amal's struggles with duty and wealth are threatened by all those around him—from a young injured beggar girl and a lovely store merchant, to the danger of the old man's upper-caste friends and siblings, all seeking to claim their share of the riches.

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