Surrey-filmed ‘Because We Are Girls’ to be streamed free on NFB website

Surrey-filmed ‘Because We Are Girls’ to be streamed free on NFB website

Acclaimed movie among seven documentaries to debut at NFB.ca in July

A documentary with Surrey connections is among several films that will be available for free streaming on the National Film Board of Canada’s website this summer.

Baljit Sangra’s Because We Are Girls will go live on nfb.ca on July 7.

The acclaimed feature-length doc was filmed in Surrey, Cloverdale and Williams Lake, and a key driver of the movie, Jeeti Pooni, lives in Cloverdale.

It tells the story of the Pooni sisters, the sexual abuse they endured as girls and the court case that followed.

“After remaining silent for nearly two and a half decades, the sisters decide to come forward — not only to protect other young relatives, but to set an example for their daughters as well,” says a post on the NFB’s website.

Three years in the making, Because We Are Girls had its world premiere in 2019 during Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival, and later opened the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.

The 85-minute movie offers an empowering story about a conservative Indo-Canadian family coming to grips with sexual violence. The film also weaves in the moments of happiness and joy the sisters experienced as kids. In home movies, they are shown dancing, singing and celebrating weddings. In newer footage, they return to the playground at their former school in Williams Lake.

• RELATED STORY, from June 2019: Surrey sister reacts to stayed charges in sex-assault case profiled in doc movie.

(Story continues below video)

Elsewhere, Because We Are Girls filmmaker Sangra, along with visual artist Sandeep Johal and writer Shauna Singh Baldwin, will take part in a free online conversation Saturday (July 4), during an event co-presented by Surrey Art Gallery and Indian Summer Festival. The event, called “Zanani/ Zamana/ Zameen: Feminist Thinking, Society and Place,” will run from noon to 2 p.m. as part of the festival’s Tiffin Talks digital season and Surrey Art Gallery’s online Art Together programming. To register, visit eventbrite.ca.

Meantime, Sandra Ignagni’s short documentary Highway to Heaven will be streamed on the NFB’s website starting July 1. Shot on location along a one-mile section of No. 5 Road in Richmond, the 16-minute film takes a look at B.C.’s “Highway to Heaven” and its a multitude of faiths, including Buddhist temples, a Sikh gurdwara, Hindu and Swami temples, Shia and Sunni mosques, Christian churches, and Jewish, Islamic and Christian schools.

The films are among seven NFB documentaries that will be debuting at NFB.ca in July, joining the organization’s catalogue of more than 4,000 titles online.

• READ MORE: Self-isolating? National Film Board of Canada has over 4,000 free films online.

Also, three NFB interactive works are being featured as part of the Government of Canada’s online Canada Day Celebration Kit, “with entertaining and creative activities for the whole family,” the NFB says. They include the Joella Cabalu-curated First Photo Here, in an exclusive-to-Instagram project that focuses on new arrivals to Canada and the first photos they share with family and friends back home. The other interactive works are Parliament: The Virtual Experience (“With Centre Block closed for long-term rehabilitation, this innovative co-production opens the doors to the historical seat of Parliament”) and NFB StopMo Studio (“Create stop-motion animated films with ease”).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Movies

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

File photo
Surrey council members give themselves a raise in secret meeting

A redacted report was subsequently posted to the city’s website

Crews work to build Central Surrey Recycling and Waste Centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
PHOTOS/VIDEO: Surrey’s new recycling/waste dropoff site takes shape near Newton business park

‘Central Surrey’ location to make for ‘a convenient one-stop-drop’ by early 2022

Jennifer Brooks with a stone tablet that adorns the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police in July 2015. (File photo)
Coroner’s inquest underway to examine Hudson Brooks’ 2015 police-shooting death

Witness recalls ‘feeling scared’ for South Surrey man in moments before RCMP fired fatal shots

A semi-truck hauling lumber through Tilbury did not have its load adequately secured, which Delta police believe resulted in the cargo almost falling off the trailer. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police find issues with nearly half of trucks inspected in January

Load safety, brakes, driver records the focus of DPD’s dedicated Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

Needles are seen on the ground in Oppenheimer park in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s chief coroner says increased drug toxicity responsible for record overdose deaths in January

165 people – the largest number of lives lost due to illicit drugs in the first month of a calendar year

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria both have a MySafe machine to help reduce overdoses

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Abbotsford Regional Hospital (Black Press file photo)
Nurse assaulted at Abbotsford hospital in same ward as 2019 dumbbell attack

‘Completely unacceptable that nurses continue to be assaulted,’ says union president

Most Read