17th Annual Filmi!
Filmi Toronto’s South Asian Film Festival Celebrating 17 Years!
December 2nd – December 3rd, 2016
7:30PM Shorts Programme
Duration : 15:40 minutes
Bonjour Ji is a short film that shows that the assumptions we keep about other races, religions
and cultures decide our interaction with them. Bonjour Ji asserts that our behavior driven by
assumptions is the real reason such assumptions grow and spread. Bonjour Ji revolves around
two characters who feel sidelined by each other’s community. But when they meet, they realize
how a change in their perspective on other people can drive different behavior out of the same
In short span of my life time, I have traveled as much as a man in my capacity could afford. I was
born in Punjab, India and like my forefathers I probably could have spent my entire life in my
native village, if I wasn’t curious. My first out-of-home experience happened when I went to an
Engineering College in Maharashtra, a state far from my home. Sardar jokes were the first
cultural shock I had. Being a Sikh boy, it did hurt and soon I realized that when people look at
you they look at all the tags you come with. Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Jatt, Punjabi, Bengali etc.
After 13 years of my stint with Engineering, I have lived in multiple cities of 3 continents and
worked with clients from almost all major ethnicities. Despite of having absolutely no personal
experience of interacting with people from other religions, races and/or countries, I have been
fascinated with how we pre-judge others solely based on those ‘tags’. I have been guilty of this
and I am ashamed of that.
Bonjour Ji is my first short film as a director. I wanted to convey that when we don’t keep any
assumptions; our experiences can be very different from the popular beliefs. Although my film
has a Sikh lead but it’s not a religiously oriented film, neither it is a cultural film. This film is
about a day of two characters, one happens to be Sikh and the other one is French. I chose
these ethnicities because I have seen their social dilemma up close.
Despite of not knowing French, I chose French to be the language of the film. I wanted to stay
close the place where my film happens. I wrote my script in English and then got it translated in
French keeping the context and local dialect in view. It was hard to direct my French actors but I
wanted to explore the film just like my viewers would when they would see the film.
Script, Direction, Editing: Satinder Kassoana
Story: Satinder Kassoana, Rup Magon, Surjit Pahwa
Executive Producer: Surjit Singh Pahwa
Cinematographer: Robert Rioux
Sound Recordist: Christian Olsen
Rup Magon, Benjamin Meneghini, Alice Tixidre, Kenny Wong, Mark Aylward, Srishtie Banga,
Astrida Auza, Simon Belanger, Manveer Singh, Daphnee Duval, Satinder Kassoana, Joan
Gosselin, Cindy Piché Bernier, Sabrina Djoghlaf, Tiffany Lu, Yan Nie, Karine Turcot
Short bios of cast and crew could be found on http://bonjourthemovie.com/cast-crew/.