For Kayden, Jag, and Amar, awakening to and expressing their sexuality within conservative South Asian families was a lonely and terrifying experience. Denial, shame and despair haunted their youths, even threatening their lives. Yet, they’ve emerged. In the feature documentary Emergence: Out of the Shadows, the disparate journeys of Kayden, Jag and Amar converge around a shared sense of compassion and healing as they bravely convey their often heart-wrenching stories. Confronted with tradition and taboo, Jag’s parents and Amar’s mother choose love and support for their children, offering courage and inspiration to individuals and communities struggling with acceptance.
Emergence: Out of the Shadows is my directorial debut as a documentary filmmaker. I had the privilege to plan, direct and edit this film. I also designed the official poster and marketing material, including posters, social media banners, and a discussion guide for use in high schools, colleges, and universities.
The parents and their children describe their struggles to understand and “emerge” together to embrace, love, and support each other, and reach a higher level of critical awareness and compassion. I believe Emergence: Out of the Shadows can help you understand the lived experiences and unique challenges faced by gay and lesbian members of the South Asian community in Metro Vancouver.
I learned that society tends to alienate, marginalize, and even fetishize people of color, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community.
What makes Emergence: Out of the Shadows different is the fact that the film provides a rare insight and voice for the parents of gay and lesbian South Asians. The parents address how “coming out” is not only life-changing for their children but also life-altering for the parents who are left with broken dreams and unanswered questions.
The film focuses on the rights of these individuals to live an open and respectable life despite traditional and often strict family values and socio-cultural pressures.
Emergence: Out of the Shadows makes world premiere and begins festival run this month - The documentary, developed through NSI Business for Producers, premieres at Cinema Diverse Film Festival on September 19, with more festival dates in Canada soon.https://t.co/0Qi8UyZnn7 pic.twitter.com/QFjxVaqaUz— NSI-Canada (@nsicanada) September 8, 2021