Presenter for ‘At Home, On the Streets’

April 22nd, 2011 mani

Hello everyone,

A few months ago, I was approached by our old friend Nimi Chauhan of Sahara Services Society to be one of the three presenters for the ‘At Home, On the Streets’ presentation (a hard-hitting presentation showing the realities of drugs, gangs & materialism).

The presentation took place on April 20th, 2011 at David Thompson Secondary School in Vancouver to 400 students, teachers, community members, and parents.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thank you! Screenings were a success!

March 24th, 2011 mani

Thank you everyone for your ongoing support of my work.

The screenings of Footsteps Into Gangland on March 21st/22nd/23rd were received very well.  But as always, my work, however sincere my intentions might be, some people will misconstrue the message of the film.

This has prompted me to eventually put up a F.A.Q. on the film’s website.

As with all my work, the goal of the film is simply to bring awareness to issues that a lot of youth face.

Once again, thank you to everyone for your ongoing support.

gratefully,

mani

Footsteps Into Gangland – Premiere Screenings!

February 17th, 2011 mani

Hello everyone!

Thank you for your ongoing support over the years.

‘A Warrior’s Religion’ could not have been as successful as it has been without you.

My new film, ‘Footsteps Into Gangland‘, a fictional follow up to my documentary will be released this spring to the public.

There will only be a handful of screenings before I enter the film festival circuit, so if you are in the Metro Vancouver area, please come and support the cause.

Footsteps Into Gangland – Premiere Screenings

March 21st/22nd/23rd – 7pm & 9pm showtimes

Surrey Arts Centre
13750 88th Avenue
Surrey, BC

Tickets $11 (all inclusive)

buy tickets online now @ tickets.surrey.ca
or call the box office @ 604.501.5566
or call Films Of Fire Productions @ 604.288.2528

http://www.footstepsintogangland.com/showtimes

Thank you everyone!  Hope to see you there!

best regards,

mani

AWR still sparking dialogue

January 13th, 2011 mani

Hey all,

One of the greatest compliments any artist, especially a filmmaker, can get is that their work is still sparking dialogue between people.  It shows that the artwork has the ability to evoke thought, ‘films evoking thought’, the motto my film production company goes by.

I was contacted by Olena Morozova of The Source/La Source Newspaper.  A community driven newspaper serving Vancouver for over 10 years, their motto; ‘forum of diversity’.

Olena wanted to do an article about AWR with a focus on the precursors and attributes that can cause gang-related issues.  Most reporters want to focus on the controversy or the ‘South Asian’ angle.  Sufficed to say, Olena pleasantly surprised me.

Shout out to Olena for writing a great article, you are a talented writer and you will surely write great articles for years to come.

The article is available in PDF format from http://www.thelasource.com.  You can alternatively download it by clicking here.

thanks,

mani

What do you get when you combine Consumerism, Materialism, & Globalization (amongst others)? Deracialization…sigh.

December 20th, 2010 mani

Society is becoming more and more insecure.  Insecurity is leading to more and more radical and life altering choices.

These are human-made conditions that stem from consumerism, materialism, and globalization. Globalization and its precursors are very complex issues, but it is safe to say that the human-condition is becoming adversely affected.

For example if we look closely at mass media, the ‘female’ advertising trend, for the most part, is to showcase having slim-toned bodies, sharp features, and light skin.  This is apparent in nearly every ‘beauty’ magazine.  Women are depicted to be ‘desirable’ when they have this look.  The ‘male’ advertising trend, is to have a somewhat muscular body, the ‘six pack abs’, sharp female-esque features with a pronounced jaw line.  What I stated above have always been measures of beauty, but the even more-so disturbing trend is that nearly 75% of magazine covers that are distributed worldwide have a European descendent gracing the cover.

This does wonders for our already insecure youth who ‘just want to fit in’ in today’s day and age.

I am a big believer that we control our destinies, that we have the power to make the right choices.  But the truth is, when our society is being brainwashed by mass media, the chips are stacked against you.

Bleach, Nip, Tuck: The White Beauty Myth is a documentary about the growing trend in minorities in the U.K. wanting to be more white.

Bleach, Nip, Tuck: The White Beauty Myth

When you take apart the ‘gang’ issue, you will understand how this issue is connected.

This is the first episode, I will try to post them as they come.

Shout out to Channel 4 Productions for putting this together.

You can find out more about the series here;

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/bleach-nip-tuck-the-white-beauty-myth/episode-guide/series-1

Everyone is beautiful.

mani

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

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