THE National Film Board has entered some wonderful films by B.C. filmmakers at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival and one of the highlights is the world premiere of Hue: A Matter of Colour.
Vancouver filmmaker Vic Sarin’s documentary looks at colourism as well as the billion dollar skin-whitening industry.
What makes this really interesting and thought-provoking is the personal aspect that Vic introduces about his own experience and his family. He is married to a Caucasian.
This heartfelt investigation into the history and often-tragic effects of colourism—the phenomenon whereby people within the same ethnic group discriminate against each other based on differences in skin tone.
Sarin travels to countries in Asia, South America, the Caribbean, South Asia and Africa to discuss this complex cross-cultural social issue with individuals whose lives it affects, including a Filipina entrepreneur whose business has flourished within the billion-dollar skin-whitening industry.
If you are South Asian you just have to be aware of how skin colour dominates our culture where a lighter shade of brown makes you a “white” person while a darker shade makes you a “black” person and how society is so obsessed with being “gora” or “gori”!
Vic is director / writer / cinematographer of the documentary. The producers are Dawn Brett, Tina Pehme, Kim C. Roberts and Selwyn Jacob.
SARIN began his career in Australia making documentaries that he produced, wrote, directed and shot, while working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a cameraman. He then emigrated to Canada and went on to become one of Canada’s most celebrated Directors of Photography, receiving numerous accolades including Genie, Gemini and Emmy nominations and awards among others. He is the recipient of the prestigious Kodak Lifetime Achievement Award for having created some of Canadian cinema’s most moving and memorable images. Vic’s outstanding work on feature films such as Margaret’s Museum, Whale Music, Bye Bye Blues, Dancing in the Dark and On My Own earned him world renown as one of Canada’s premier cinematographers.
Sarin then turned his focus to directing where he often wears both hats as Director and Cinematographer, creating a distinct look and feel with breathtaking visuals and a unique storytelling style that seamlessly weaves together the emotional and visual aspects of his films. As a director, Sarin has won recognition for a diverse range of films such as the feature Cold Comfort, starring Maury Chaykin and Paul Gross, which garnered five Genie (Canadian Academy Award) nominations including Best Picture. He has thrice received Emmy nominations for his family films for television: In His Father’s Shoes, starring Lou Gossett (five Emmy nominations including Best Direction and Best Picture), Sea People starring Hume Cronyn, (four Emmy nods including Best Direction and Best Picture) The Legend of Gatorface and Trial at Fortitude Bay starring Lolita Davidovitch and Henry Czerny which garnered both Emmy and Cable Ace nods. He received critical acclaim for the controversial television movie, “Murder Unveiled – A Love Story.”
Sarin wrote his first feature film screenplay Partition, a story of love against all odds, set against the turmoil at the end of the British reign of India in 1947, based on events he had heard about and witnessed growing up in Kashmir. Partition became a $10 million feature that Sarin directed and shot in India and Canada in 2006 starring Jimi Mistry, Neve Campbell, Kristin Kreuk and Irfan Khan. It was released theatrically internationally in 2007 and has won numerous accolades.
Continuing to work with the themes of belonging, family, and what we leave behind, Sarin co-wrote the screenplay adaptation for the feature film A Shine Of Rainbows, based on the novel by Lillian Beckwith. Sarin completed production on A Shine of Rainbows in 2009 starring Connie Nielsen, Aidan Quinn and newcomer John Bell. The film had its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Truly Moving Picture award, and had its theatrical release in April 2010.
Sarin has recently completed Desert Riders, a feature documentary exploring the world of children camel jockeys in the Middle East. He is also co-writing and will direct the epic feature film Jack of Diamonds, celebrating the journey of maverick Canadian geologist Jack Williamson.
Sarin’s films, though unique in character and setting, share a common thread – the exploration of the human need for connection, tolerance and opening the boundaries of the human heart.