Surrey murder victim Maple Batalia’s tragic story set to become a feature film

Five years after Batalia's ex-boyfriend killed her Mani Amar wants to shed light on her life – with the blessing of her family.

Surrey filmmaker Mani Amar

SURREY — A local filmmaker is working to bring Maple Batalia’s tragic story to the big screen.

The Surrey woman, 19, was shot and stabbed to death by an ex-boyfriend in September of 2011.

She was an aspiring actress and model who studied health sciences at SFU Surrey before she was murdered in a parking lot at the university campus.

Last March, a judge sentenced Gurjinder Dhaliwal to life in prison with no eligibility to apply for parole for 21 years after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Batalia’s death.

The court heard Dhaliwal was obsessed with Batalia and couldn’t handle it after she ended their four-year relationship.

Five years after the crime, and with the blessing of Batalia’s family, filmmaker Mani Amar wants to shed light on her life.

“My main goal and full priority with this film is get awareness out about Maple’s story as well as educate young women about the dangers of dating and domestic violence, which is a huge topic that hasn’t really been talked about,” Amar told the Now.

He described his planned film as a work of fiction based on a true story, and that he hoped the movie would one day be shown in theatres.

“In my head, I want to do the story of the last 24 hours of Maple’s life,” explained Amar, who said the project could begin filming as early as the fall of 2017.

“Right now I’m in the research and writing stage, and the research itself is a massive undertaking,” Amar said.

“To do Maple’s story justice, I have to dot every I, cross every T, look in every nook and cranny and talk to as many people as I can.”

They include Batalia’s sister Rosaleen, who met Amar and supported his film work prior to Maple’s death.

The time is right for the film to be made, Rosaleen said Wednesday, now that Maple’s killer has been sentenced.

“A film about Maple has been in the back of my mind for quite some time now, and our family has always been looking at ways to educate, inform and create awareness about her story,” Rosaleen said on the phone from California, where she now lives.

“We want to tell her story, the one most people don’t really know.”

In May, Gursimar Bedi, 26, who was accused of acting as Dhaliwal’s “eyes and ears” in Batalia’s murder, was acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Bedi will be sentenced on Oct. 31 in a Vancouver courtroom, according to Rosaleen.

Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Alzheimer’s Society launches helpline

Toll-free phone line available for people with dementia and their caretakers

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Most Read