Surrey-Based Filmmaker’s New Movie Isn’t Your Typical Gangster Flick

Rather than stereotyping or glamorizing, Monster will focus on the human side of gang violence in Surrey

Promotional art for Inderveer Sodhi's film Monster. (Submitted)

Promotional art for Inderveer Sodhi’s film Monster. (Submitted)

Inderveer Sodhi, a 20 year-old director and music composer from Surrey, is set to begin work on his first feature film in a few months. The film, Monster, will follow a night in the lives of several Surrey teenagers who find themselves caught up in the world of crime and gang violence after finishing high school.

Sodhi became passionate about film after creating a series of short videos for an album he produced in high school. After realizing that “visuals are a very strong part of [his] art,” he decided to pursue directing.

Whereas many movies “glamourize crime and the abuse involved in these issues,” Sodhi says that he wanted create a film that “really focuses on the personal side of these characters.”

“I was building the story in my head for a long, long time … getting a lot of influence, a lot of inspiration and ideas,” he says. “Finally, in March, I sat down and wrote the whole script in about a week.”

On top of directing and writing, Sodhi will also be acting in, composing, and producing the film.

“I have three goals: One of them is to get [the movie] into a film festival, to bring this story that is sort of nook-and-cranny in this small city of Surrey … on an international level,” he says. “I [also] think it’s really important for it to be played in schools because it’s a pressing issue that starts in high school and goes on from there …. The other thing is to distribute it to get the film played in theatres, so the masses can watch it.”

Ivon Shiva, a fourth year psychology and criminology student at KPU, will be taking on the role of the villain, Gary.

“I got involved in the film because I actually knew Inderveer. He’s a good friend of mine,” he says. “I’ve always loved acting as a kid. I’ve always wanted to have a role in any type of film, so it’s a blessing to get.”

Shiva says that, while Sodhi specifically pitched him the role because he thought he was well-suited for the part, Gary’s personality is radically different from his own.

“He sees other people’s miseries and gets strength off that,” says Shiva. “Many people know me just as this social, humble person, but I got to really tell myself that’s wrong.”

Sodhi adds that the film focuses on broad themes such as parenthood, religion, school, and bullying in society. Specifically, it examines how these components interact to “create the monster you see in the news” as a depiction of youth in Surrey.

One of his highest hopes for Monster is that it will challenge the viewer to question how they label youth in Surrey. Rather than reinforcing toxic stereotypes, he hopes that it will “create empathy.”

“My main inspiration for the film came actually from the relationship with my mom,” he says. “I always think about what is going through the heads of their parents and how they are feeling.”

Filming is to begin in September with the film to be released next fall.

 

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