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

Doc about Surrey-raised murder victim wins national film award

‘My Name Was January’ movie wins in ‘Documentary Short Competition’ at 2019 Canada International Film Festival

A documentary that eulogizes the life of a Surrey-raised trans woman who was murdered has won yet another award.

“My Name Was January” was named a “Royal Reel Winner” in the Documentary Short Competition at the 2019 Canada International Film Festival on March 14, held at Edgewater Casino in Downtown Vancouver.

The 25-minute movie is about January Marie Lapuz, who was stabbed to death at her home in New Westminster in September of 2012. She was 26.

The doc has so far garnered 10 awards, in addition to being named a finalist eight times, semi-finalist three times, and it has appeared at 31 film festivals around the world.

It was also picked as the “Best LGBTQ Film” at the Los Angeles Film Awards.

READ MORE: Surrey-raised murder victim remembered in new documentary film

Official Trailer – My Name Was January from January on Vimeo.

Alex Sangha, who produced the short documentary, said the project was created to pay tribute to his departed friend and ally at the Sher Vancouver, a non-profit society for LGBTQ South Asians and supporters.

The film is directed by local journalists Elina Gress and Lenee Son, and produced by Sher Vancouver.

“When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home, a community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges,” reads the film synopsis.

“January was seen as a bright light in the lives of many. This is a story of January, a friend, a daughter, a person. This film will not only bring justice to January, but to all women who have lost their lives. January had a beautiful soul, and now part of her soul rests in each and every one of us.”

Lapuz’s killer pleaded guilty to manslaughter and in 2014 was sentenced to eight years in prison.

RELATED STORY: Surrey residents make it big in January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award, from January 2018.

There are two screenings of the documentary planned in Surrey this September, both at City Centre Library. First, on Sept. 21 then again on Sept. 28, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Free tickets will be available on eventbrite.com, organizers say, with capacity for each screening set at 80.

To learn more about the documentary, and the awards it had received, visit januarylapuz.net/film-festival-awards.

-With files from Tom Zillich

Just Posted

SOCCER: A Surrey coach recalls Alphonso Davies’ rise, days after his first goal for Bayern Munich

Injury may prevent the budding star, 18, from playing for Team Canada in Vancouver on Sunday

Semiahmoo advances to B.C. peewee hockey final against Burnaby Winter Club

Ravens to square off against only team to defeat them during provincial tournament

Surrey RCMP hunt for robbery suspect after woman threatened while using ATM

Police say a man demanded a woman withdraw money from her account while threatening her with a weapon

Tory MPs chant ‘cover up’ during federal budget delivery

Liberal government’s fourth budget delivered in House of Commons Tuesday, but nobody could hear it

Former South Surrey boxer relishing role on Riverdale

Peninsula resident Darcy Hinds has recurring role on popular CW series

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Most Read