It is a White -Chalk Outline- Christmas Season in Vancouver…

December 14th, 2010 mani

Hello everyone,

Early Sunday morning on December 12th, approximately 2am, multiple shots were fired in the Oak Street & West 22nd Avenue area of Vancouver.

When I say multiple…I really mean a lot.  Reports are saying that there are 10 victims!

December 12th Shooting in Vancouver

The stupidity just doesn’t lie in this event, but with the residents of that area and the Vancouver Police Department as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Footsteps Into Gangland

December 2nd, 2010 mani

Many of you might not know but I have been very busy working on my new project, ‘Footsteps Into Gangland’.

Going from the genre of documentary to fiction is quite drastic but ultimately was a smooth transition for me.  ‘Footsteps Into Gangland’ (FIG) is based on true events, it allowed me to keep the realistic nature of my work.  It also gave me the opportunity to utilize my poetry, similar to the techniques that I had employed in AWR.

I sincerely hope FIG has the same or even greater reach than AWR did in reaching youth and opening the lines of communication in families.  As always, it is my sincerest goal to make a positive difference.

For all those interested, here is the trailer;

To learn more about the film, please visit the official website;

www.footstepsintogangland.com

You can also find us on the following social networking sites;

Everyone’s support for myself and AWR has been enormous thus far.  It was that support that propelled me to continue making socially conscious films.  I look forward to everyone’s support once again.

Best regards,

mani

Guest Speaking session for Criminology Students of Douglas College

December 2nd, 2010 mani

Hello everyone,

Professor Heidi Currie has been a whirlwind of support for myself and my work since day one.  She has been tireless with her efforts to get my work recognized.  I am forever grateful and indebted for her ongoing support.

I was invited to speak to one of her criminology classes at Douglas College (New Westminster Campus) yesterday.

This guest speaking session was a great experience for myself and I hope for the class as well.  It was structured differently.  The class had already seen my film and had done some homework on it.  I wasn’t invited to speak about the film (or just the film) but to speak about Mani Amar, the person.  About how I got into filmmaking, my beliefs, my activism work, my past, my present, my future, and anything else the students wanted to know.

It was one of the first times where I was given the opportunity to be an ‘open book’.

I believe the students were more engaged due to the fact that I was just another ‘regular’ person, who had similar experiences as they did, and spoke from the heart and was bluntly honest.  Speaking like a robot to today’s youth does not reach them.  And that is what our politicians and government need to understand.

There is a huge communication gap between our future generations and the generation in power.

What is the point of being in power if you cannot protect our future?  If you cannot at the very least listen to their concerns?

Shout out to Heidi Currie for the ongoing opportunities and support.  A shout out to all the students who made it a great session.

Best regards,

mani

AWR screens at E.A.R. Conference

October 23rd, 2010 mani

Yesterday, AWR was screened at the E.A.R. (Educators Against Racism) Conference in Nanaimo.  The event; ‘Facing the Realities of Racism: Taking Control, Starting Dialogue’ was only possible due to the relentless hard work of a Delta based school teacher, Sukhy Dhillon.  For years now, Sukhy has been a pillar in the community, educating people on racism, sexism, and the benefits of communication and awareness.  Sukhy was kind enough to scout my work and invite me to the conference to further help bring awareness to the issue of youth violence in BC schools.

The AWR screening was followed by a Q&A session from the engaged educators.  I sincerely hope I was able to answer all their questions and address their concerns.  Some of the concerns brought up could simply be eliminated by the decriminalization, legalization, regulations and taxing of marijuana.  It is uncanny how many issues are directly linked to the prohibition of marijuana.

Shout out to the very hard working Sukhy Dhillon.

Thanks everyone,

mani

Another South Asian Gangster Shot and Killed / Too Close for Comfort

October 18th, 2010 mani

…what is there left to say?  I sincerely cannot fathom what the fuck is wrong with these ‘blazing guns’ idiot gangsters.  You know, if you all want to shoot each other, then leave the innocent public out of it.  I have heard of shootings in restaurants, in clubs, in backyards, schoolyards, and temples…few times I heard of shootings at malls.  Why around the public?  It is fair to say that you have to be fairly stupid and idiotic to make a life choice to be a gangster, but most of you have families, how would you feel if bullets were flying around their heads?

October 16th, 2010, 5:50pm, multiple shots fired at Metrotown Mall in Burnaby.  Metrotown is the 3rd largest mall in Canada, the largest and busiest mall in British Columbia.  Metrotown is a family oriented public place.

Shooting at Metrotown Mall - October 16th, 2010

Gurmit Singh Dhak, a 32 year old South Asian male, murdered in a targeted shooting.  Dhak, well-known to police, a gangster and convicted killer.  You can read the full story here.

Nothing bothers me more about the gang violence issue than when public safety is threatened.  It is bad enough that countless innocent bystanders have been shot and even killed, but now family oriented places like malls are not even safe for families to go to.  What is next?  Public libraries?  Grocery stores?  Your family room?  Actually, those places have had shootings as well.

We as a public have to take a stand and make a conscious social change.  We cannot defeat this issue by simply relying on Enforcement in the Pillars of Action model.  We cannot rely even on Intervention, because the choices have been made.  We must look at pre-emptive measures such as Awareness and Prevention to save another generation from this and other epidemic issues.

Too close for comfort, I was at Metrotown mall that very day…maybe an hour or so before the shooting, no more than 100 metres away.

Stay safe everyone, murders might not be occurring as readily as they were, but the issue is definitely getting worse.

mani

Radio India owner’s home targetted in drive-by shooting…

September 20th, 2010 mani

The story continues…

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100920/bc_surrey_shooting_100920/20100920/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

Here is a quote from the recent story;’

“Gill told reporters Monday that he believes “separatists” in the Punjabi community are responsible for the drive-by.

Gill, 47, is charged in a shooting at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple on Aug. 28. According to witnesses, the target of that shooting was businessman Harjit Atwal, who had a long-standing dispute with Gill over a series of inflammatory broadcasts made on his radio station.”

It was only a matter of time before religion and community politics come out as the underlying issues of this dispute.

Don’t the close-minded individuals at the WSO think this brings the character of the Sikh community down?  Where two prominent Sikh businessmen fight with guns at a Gudwara?  Of course not, but if they made a film trying to bring awareness to our community’s youth…then they become a traitor, not only to that community, but to the religion.

Kiss my ass…

mani

Radio India owner shoots another man…at a Gurdwara…during a wedding ceremony…

August 30th, 2010 mani

It never ceases to amaze me that such stupidity could exist it today’s age.

Well known businessman and millionaire, Maninder Gill, got into a heated argument with another local businessman, Harjit Atwal.  It seems as though these 2 have had a long and robust history with one another.

Both were invited to a wedding at a local temple.  For whatever reason, they decided that the temple parking lot would be the best place to continue arguing.

Maninder Gill decided to shoot the man.  Harjit Atwal survived the ordeal.

Here is the link to the original CTV story and video;

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100828/bc_temple_shooting_100828/20100828/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

Here is the link to the CTV story and video of the suspect turning themselves in;

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100830/bc_temple_shooting_monday_100830/20100830/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

During my media blitz for ‘A Warrior’s Religion’, I had a few meetings with Maninder Gill in regards to the topic of my documentary and if he would support me via his radio station (Radio India), though reluctant as it would be pro bono work, he agreed.

He said he agreed with me on everything I presented in the documentary, yet as you can see, he really didn’t believe what he was saying.

Harjit Atwal is the father of notorious local drug dealing/gangster brothers, Aneil & Bobby Atwal.

You can learn more about that here; http://www.nowpublic.com/crime/british-columbia-gangsters-jailed-6-years-violent-kidnapping

Harjit Atwal was a former member of the banned extremist group [International] Sikh Youth Federation, a group that was led by the infamous gangsters, the Dosanjh brothers, Jimsher (Jimmy) Singh Dosanjh & Ranjit (Ron) Singh Dosanjh.

Go figure…

mani

p.s., Why does that robotic idiot, Harjinder Thind, even try to pretend he knows what he is talking about.  He is just a self-centered arrogant media attention hungry jackass that will do anything for camera time.  He might have some people fooled that his intentions are for the betterment of the community with sound news reporting, but the truth is he is a tool in love with his own reflection.

p.p.s., Please note how the mainstream media was quick to remind everyone of the past violent events at this temple.

Back into production…

July 1st, 2010 mani

Hello all!

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support over the last 3 years.

It was quite the journey creating this documentary and bringing awareness to a youth generation in need.

Your support has propelled me to continue making films on socially conscious issue.

I would like to announce that we are now going into production for my 2nd feature length film scheduled to release January 2011.  It is a fictional follow-up to the South Asian Gang Violence Issue I presented in ‘A Warrior’s Religion.’

We will be releasing more details as we go forward.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Look forward to your support on the new project.

Best regards,

mani

AWR screens at 1st Annual Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival (VISAFF)

June 27th, 2010 mani

This past Saturday, AWR screened at the 1st ever VISAFF.

VISAFF was the labour intensive vision of actor/producer Agam Darshi.  Along with her partners, Agam brought a festival to Vancouver that showcased Vancouver’s South Asian Community in a diverse fashion.  It was a great event created by some very talented film industry people.

I wish Agam and the rest of the VISAFF team best of luck in their future VISAFFs, you will definitely be around for years!

Thank you to the audience for the great questions during the directors Q&A and a sincere thanks to all the feedback I received throughout the day.

Shout out to Agam Darshi, your hard work paid off, thanks again for the invite!

To learn more about VISAFF, click here.

Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival (VISAFF)

Honoured at the Community Leader Awards

June 8th, 2010 mani

Hello everyone,

Today I was honoured with a Community Leader Award – Honourable Mention from The Surrey Leader Newspaper, a community newspaper serving Surrey-North Delta since 1929.

It was a great gathering of proactive people from the community.  A chance to network with other activists and people with similar backgrounds.

To be honest, I have no idea why I received this award, or for that matter, who nominated me.  That person must see something in my work that I do not.  I never have nor ever will do this activism for recognition.  As I will continuously say until my death, it is everyone’s innate duty to make a positive difference in this world.

I have been recognized as a ‘community supporter’ as per the plaque, thank you.  To everyone who supported me and The Surrey Leader Newspaper, I sincerely appreciate and thank you for this.

To check out The Surrey Leader Newspaper, click here.

To download the entire 8th Annual Community Leader Awards Newspaper, click here.

Thank you everyone!

mani

The Surrey Leader - Community Leader AwardsMani Amar blurb in 8th Annual Community Leader Awards NewspaperMani Amar picture in 8th Annual Community Leader Awards Newspaper

The Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival New Asia Festival Sikh International Festival Spinning Wheel Festival