“Surrey Through My Lens” proudly shares authentic photo essays that showcase what it is really like to live in and visit our community from a range of perspectives. Mannu Sandhu is the lead producer of Canada’s International South Asian Film Festival.
“I moved to Surrey with my family from India at age 13 and have lived most of my adult life here. I have always been interested in the world of cultural expression and the arts. I began modelling shortly after high school and was able to build up a substantial database of contacts in the worlds of fashion and film.
I always knew that in order to create a message and have it heard, seen, and understood, I must become proficient in the medium of film and television. While bringing iSAFF to Surrey, I have found the opportunity to celebrate diversity and inclusion through the power of many storytellers, challenge perceptions and question beliefs while always trying to bring new understanding and compassion to distressed sections of communities in the South Asian diaspora.
Over the years, I have also been actively involved with charities and non-profit organizations such as the BC Children’s Hospital, Sikh Blood Donation; Pakistan Flood Relief, Salvation Army, Operation Canada and Mannkind Charitable Society, an organization that helps children born with facial deformities.”
“Since 2010 we’ve been building this journey, and now with a new name and new goals, we’re reaching even more hearts. At iSAFF 2023, our goal is simple: to light up screens with incredible stories and grow our community. Join us as we celebrate films, embrace a community of storytellers, and honour everyone pushing limits in their own ways. We’re determined to make this year’s festival unforgettable!“
“As one of the largest South Asian film festivals in North America, iSAFF is more than just a showcase of cinematic brilliance; it’s a platform for South Asian artists to shine and for stories to be told. It’s a testament to our vision of building a stronger multicultural society and economy through the transformative power of arts and culture. “
“iSAFF has brought home brilliant filmmakers and storytellers over the years. One of the key events of the festival, our Opening Gala Night on September 29, has always been a night of elegance and allure that epitomizes the festival’s celebration of diversity and inclusion. This soirée is not just an event; it’s an experience, an evening where conversations spark, connections flourish, and dreams are set in motion. This year, attendees will be in the company of industry influencers, artists, and visionaries who are shaping the landscape of South Asian cinema around the world.“
“Established in 2010, iSAFF is a cultural milestone that celebrates South Asian cinema and promotes diversity and inclusion through the medium of film, arts, and culture. This year, iSAFF unveiled the theme “Pathbreakers” to celebrate individuals and stories that defy convention and inspire change in all aspects of life. Additionally, iSAFF will feature many firsts for any South Asian film festival, including:
Also, industry speed networking events where filmmakers, artists, and other industry professionals can connect with specific goals and meetings.“
“Our community is the sole reason behind all the experiences and the fact that this community gets a chance to experience the work of South Asian filmmakers through the medium of iSAFF gives me immense satisfaction. The community in Surrey has been very accepting of all the work that iSAFF has been bringing for many years and this is nothing but gratifying for me.“
By highlighting authentic South Asian stories, and those extraordinary individuals who have exceeded expectations and broken barriers in the film industry, the International South Asian Film Festival is helping to pave the way for Surrey’s upcoming South Asian filmmakers, actors and writers.
Check out the other lenses on Surrey’s six neighbourhoods – new features are released regularly. Click the link below to learn more about the project and find the galleries for the other neighbourhoods.