In an old family photo included in the 2019 documentary movie “Because We Are Girls,” sisters Salakshana, Jeeti and Kira (from left) are shown with their mother at their home in Williams Lake, B.C. (submitted photo: NFB)

FILM

Surrey’s new doc-film series launches with ‘Because We Are Girls’ story of sexual abuse

‘If it goes as well as we hope, we plan to hold a film series every year,’ curator Neil Scott says

The acclaimed Because We Are Girls kicks off a new documentary film series in Surrey.

Director Baljit Sangra’s 2019 movie, about three sisters who come to terms with sexual abuse they endured as children, will be screened during Surrey Civic Theatres’ first “Film Night” event, on Friday, Sept. 27 at Surrey Arts Centre’s Main Stage.

The screening also serves to launch the annual Surrey Spectacular season of concerts, plays, comedy shows and other performances at three venues in the city, for 2019-2020.

The new “Film Night” series is curated by Neil Scott, a performing arts programmer with Surrey Civic Theatres.

“With Because We Are Girls as the first one, I thought it would be a good time to introduce a film series in Surrey, and to diversify our performing arts series to include films,” he said.

“If it goes as well as we hope, we plan to hold a film series every year,” he added. “And if things continue as they are with this first event, we’ll definitely be doing that. The last time I checked, we had 64 seats left for the (Because We Are Girls) screening. To start the series with a sold-out screening of 400 people would be amazing.”

For 2019-20, other documentaries featured in the series are Tasha Hubbard’s Birth of a Family (on Nov. 1) and Laura Marie Wayne’s Love, Scott (June 26).

• RELATED STORY: Sisters, sexual abuse and one Surrey family’s bond in new movie ‘Because We Are Girls’

A Surrey-area family is the focus of Because We Are Girls, a heart-wrenching yet hopeful NFB movie that documents the sexual abuse of three sisters – Jeeti, Kira and Salakshana – who grew up in Williams Lake decades ago.

Prior to the Sept. 27 screening of the 85-minute film, artworks on the theme of sexual abuse will be shown at Surrey Arts Centre. After the film, Sahara Services will moderate a panel discussion and Q&A session. Planners of the event say counsellors will be available for emotional support.

Event tickets are $12 at tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566. A subscription for the three-film series is $27.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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