Filmi 21! Virtual Edition
Filmi Toronto’s South Asian Film Festival Celebrating 21 Years!
December 27th, 2020
21st Filmi: Toronto’s South Asian film festival
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Two families, similar identities. Fleeing violence, they sought refuge in Canada and began a new life. This is the experience of thousands of people in North America and yet these stories go mostly untold. Arrival Archives is an artful exploration of newcomer arrival stories, told through a multi-generational viewpoint. The stories intertwine as one, illustrating that Canada’s cultural landscape is a communal experience shared by many different faces.
Arrival Archives is a commission of the Home Made Visible Project which seeks to bring a personal lens to Indigenous and visible minority archives.
Maya Bastian is a Tamil-Canadian filmmaker and multi-media artist from Toronto,Canada. As a writer/director she has won awards and exhibited her short films internationally, which run the gamut from narrative to documentary, to experimental animation. Her short film ‘Fear Itself’ won Best Cinematography and Best Horror/Thriller at the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival and her short documentary ‘After the War’ received Best Documentary at the Eyelens Film Festival in Vancouver, BC. From there, she spent several years traveling the world as an investigative video journalist, documenting areas of conflict and post-conflict. .
She has since won awards and received extensive press in Canada for her short documentaries which explore conflict and justice as they relate to community and culture.
She is the recipient of the 2017 Al Magee Diverse Screenwriter Mentorship, a 2017 Reelworld Emerging 20 fellow, has received filmmaking grants from Regent Park Film Festival and Art With Impact. She is currently in pre-production on her Ontario Arts Council funded short drama entitled ‘Tigress’, which examines militant rebellions and the ways in which we choose to rebel.
How do our memories shape our identity? What if they aren’t our own? My ancestors’ memories are saturated with the bloody civil war that ravaged my homeland for 30 years. As a first generation Canadian female and a member of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, some of my earliest memories are of stories being told in hushed whispers, of people escaping terror and of those who could not get
out. Through my work in conflict and post-conflict journalism, I have come to understand that most children are aware of their parents’ refugee experiences, no matter how traumatic. These stories take up residence in our psyche and create a visceral cognizance, a deeply empathic understanding of what our closest family members have endured.
Arrival Archives is a short, conceptual documentary created to
highlight the stories of those who are contributing to our changing cultural landscape in a way that may serve their identity and memories. It is a multi-generational love story to the stories of our ancestors.