Producer Alex Sangha, who is based in North Delta, says he couldn’t have been more delighted to have his 2021 feature film documentary Emergence: Out of the Shadows selected to screen at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF).
Directed by Vinay Giridhar, Emergence explores the complex journeys of three queer South Asians coming out to their traditional, conservative families.
The feature documentary is driven by emotional, intimate interviews and is intended to be accessible and understood by everyone, regardless of how knowledgeable about the queer community you are.
“It took me many years to accept myself as a gay person, so I can’t expect my parents or my community to understand me right away. We have to listen, talk and work together to bring people to the table, to support each other. My approach is one of collaboration and cooperation, as opposed to shaming and blaming,” says Sangha.
The Sher Films documentary follows the stories of Kayden Bhangu, Jag Nagra and Sangha, himself, all of whom are tied to the non-profit charity for LGBTQ+ South Asians and their friends and families, Sher Vancouver.
“When Alex asked me if I would be in Emergence, [my wife and I] had our daughter then, and ... having kids kind of changed my outlook – I was less afraid of what people thought,” says Nagra, highlighting how she wanted to normalize having two moms to her kids.
“Before that, I was often very afraid what our extended family and relatives would say to my parents. I didn’t care what they thought, but I didn’t want my parents to have a hard time. But my parents have been amazing, and they’re part of the film,” she says.
Announced mid-July, VQFF will be screening Emergence at the York Theatre at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19, as well as virtually throughout the 11 days of the festival from Aug. 11-21.
There will also be a 20-minute Q&A with director Vinay Giridhar, Alex Sangha and cast Jag Nagra, Harv Nagra, Avtar Singh Nagra and Rajwant Kaur Nagra.
Additionally, the City of Delta will be doing a screening at the North Delta Centre for the Arts on Aug. 13, starting at 6:30 p.m. with guest speakers Alex Sangha, Jaspal Kaur Sangha, Vinay Giridhar and Jag Nagra. For tickets to the VQFF, visit https://outonscreen.com/vqff-event/emergence-out-of-the-shadows/ and for tickets to the Delta screening, visit https://www.delta.ca/community-culture/happening-delta/events-calendar/film-screening-emergence-out-shadows.